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Hawaii - The Big Island

 

Our adventures on the Big Island had us going in a circle. We started at "3:00" at Hilo and moved counterclockwise around. We arrived in the afternoon from rainy Kauai and stayed at the Hale Kai Bjornen B&B on the water where all rooms have a view of Hilo Bay.

 

 

 

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Day 4: Hilo

 

The next morning we did a couple of really nice hikes. The first was more of a nature trail in a state park to a waterfall. The other was down to the Waipio valley floor to the black sand beach and back up. It was was one mile down at a 25% grade. Glen walked the entire way back up as well while Ronda hitched a ride to the top. The cluster of ironwood trees along the beach is sacred ground as it is believed to hold an entrance to the underworld.

 

Big Island
Big Island

Our view of Hilo Bay from our room at the Hale Kai Bjornen Bed and Breakfast in Hilo.

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Big Island
Big Island

Akaka Falls, with its 440-foot drop, was the largest of the two waterfalls in Akaka Falls State Park

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Big Island
Big Island

The black sand Waipio beach within Waipio Valley

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Big Island
Big Island

Hiilawe Falls in Waipio Valley. It has a 1000-foot drop which makes it the highest free-falling waterfall in the state.

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Day 6: Hawaii Volcanoes NP
 

The third day on the Big Island was spent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The day began with a stop at the visitor center. After the introductory video, a traditional hula show and the Crater Drive, we did several hikes - one along the crater floor and another through a lava tunnel. After dark we hiked out to see the Kilauea Lava Flow. The volcano has been erupting continuously since January 1983. Not fiery explosions, but gentle (as lava goes) oozing lava flows.

 

Big Island
Big Island

Traditional Hula Show at Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park in honor of Pele, Goddess of the Volcano. They only have shows there four times a year so we were lucky.

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Big Island
Big Island

The crater of Kiluaea Volcano, home of Goddess Pele.

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Big Island
Big Island

Kiluaea Lava Flow from the Chain of Craters Road

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Day 5: Kona

 

We moved on to the Kona resort area for historical Hawaiian activities. We visited a royal residence, the first Christian church in Hawaii and a National Historic Site known as Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the place of refuge at Honaunau. The place of refuge was where ancient Hawaiians tried to reach if they broke a kapa, or rule.  Hawaiians took their rules seriously and anyone that broke one was hunted down and killed.  Why?  Becuase it was believed that breaking a kapa angered the gods, and if the person wasn’t killed, the gods would instead try to kill him by sending tidal waves, erupting volcanoes, or hurricanes, killing many more than just the rule breaker.  However, if the kapa breaker managed to reach Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, they were cleansed by “medicine men” and were free to return home. It wasn't easy, though, as the place of refuge was heavily guarded by soldiers by land and sharks by sea.

 

Big Island
Big Island

Kiis or Images at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

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Day 7: Hilo

 

The final day on the Big Island was very low key. We did a couple of short hikes in the National Park, then headed back toward Hilo for our evening flight to Maui, our final destination. Along the way we stopped at the Panawea Rainforest Zoo, the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory (lots of free samples, YUM - much better than visiting Hershey!), and two state parks to see waterfalls and a giant Banyan tree.
 

Big Island
Big Island

Namaste, the white tiger, at Pana'ewe Rainforest Zoo

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Big Island
Big Island

Rainbow Falls

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Big Island
Big Island

Giant Banyan Tree

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