North Hilo and the Hamakua Coast

Yesterday (Tuesday) me and Sarah started our day with a 2 hour Hawaiian massage that we book at Banyan Massage Hale (absolutely wonderful). It was such a treat and a wonderfully relaxing way to start our day. Of course from the moment we stepped out of the spa and back on to the side walk things went back to GO GO GO mode!

While we were busy getting our massage on, the boys were wandering around Hilo, eating shave ice (with Amelia) and waiting for us to get out so that we could drive North to check out many of the amazing waterfalls the rainforest has to offer.

We started at the North end of our trip at the World Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls.  The gardens were the only tourist site we have visited this trip that had an entry fee ($13 per person).  And while the gardens were lovely, none of us felt it was worth the $13 for the 40 minutes we spent touring the entire place.  Of course they want you to pay another $75 to rent a segway, or to try their zip line adventure (many of these in the northeast end of Hawaii).  We weren’t really interested.

I did see a few lovely plants (as I’d hoped to) and we were entertained for 10 minutes or so by the herbaceous maze.

Lovely colours, paper tree (though aren’t all trees technically paper…?), cool cactus:

Ray – working his way through the maze.  He made it through twice as fast as the rest of us.  Then again, Sarah was pushing a stroller and Chris stopped to take pictures and I was taking pictures elsewhere and started 5 minutes later than everyone else…

Kamae’e Falls.  This fall is part of the Botanical Garden, but actually 2km up the road from it.  Looked impressive – but that waned once we got to Akaka Falls (next).

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Once we finished at the Botanical Gardens we headed to Akaka Falls – probably the most famous of waterfalls on the island.  This waterfall is over 500 feet tall, and, according to the signage, apparently there are some shrimp and fish that are capable of swimming up the waterfall to spawn on the top (that is a lot of work to procreate!)

Akaka Falls (in its glory) (requires quite a few stairs to do the loop and get to this view point.  Probably wouldn’t have felt like so many if it wasn’t for the trip to the lava field the day before…and the day before that…), Ray – toting a passenger – with the waterfalls in the background and Photo of Me & Ray (I know they have been far and few between) + the baby we borrowed from Chris and Sarah.  Oh, and the waterfall.

After Akaka we came all the way back into the North end of Hilo to visit the Rainbow Falls.  Apparently if you go first thing in the morning it catches the light just right to see a rainbow…but we were there at 4:00pm, so no such luck.

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And of course this was a VERY common site on our trip (not just today, but for the past 10 days)

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Our last stop after the rainbow falls was up the hill at the Boiling Pots.  Ice melts and flows down Mauna Kea (the dormant volcano), and eventually ends up in the boiling pots – a series of waterfalls/streams.  The water falls so fast and hard over the edge that the water in the original pool looks like it is boiling – and it continually gathers in “pots” or tiny pools as it works downhill (it eventually flows into rainbow falls, then the river, and then into Hilo Bay).  The large waterfall here is called Pe’epe’e Falls.  You can see it in the far back left corner behind Ray.  The fence made it difficult to get the kind of angles we wanted, so you’ll have to trust me when I say it was beautiful.

waterfallday (13)On the positive side, though the waterfalls were not co-operating, there were a pair of (geckos) *green anoles * that were – including this one who was more than happy to show his throat to me (I’m sure there is a technical name – but it isn’t coming to me right now).  I probably shot almost 80 pictures of just the geckos – they were pretty awesome.

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It was an excellent and exhausting day.  I think given a longer period of time on the island I would have been able to shoot the waterfalls morning, noon and night (and depending on the waterfall, certain times of day are better than others).  But my time is limited and I’m grateful for what I have – so no complaining here!  Just another day to remind me what a beautiful place the world is!

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