March 29, 2016

more Hawaii travel ~ part 2

After spending a week in Maui, we headed on to the Big Island. It was an easy 40-minute flight with Hawaiian Airlines. A glimpse of the Big Island from the plane is shown below.

the Big Island as seen from the plane and a welcome drink on
board Hawaiian Airlines, a surprising treat for a quick flight
as we approached landing, the most amazing coastline
welcomed us
this quiet strip in Hilo was our home for a week
sunrise views from the rental condo veranda
fish dinner at Seaside Aqua Farm ~ conveniently located 
just across our condo building ~ fried aholehole
(a local fish) and furikake salmon with pasta shown above 

lava cliffs at Volcanoes National Park
A most fascinating combination of snow-capped mountains, active volcanoes and lava fields on one side, cool rainforests thriving with tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, the most amazing coastlines with black, green and red sand beaches, towering cliffs and unique micro climates. These are just a few things that best describe the Big Island of Hawaii.

the active Kilauea crater at Volcanoes National park

Kilauea-Iki crater
early morning hike across the caldera
lehua blossom and orchids ~ commonly found around the crater
inside the Thurston lava tube 
a lonesome survivor palm on the lava field
interesting signs 

At almost 14,000 feet elevation, Mauna Kea was one of the highlights of the Big Island. Just the drive up the mountain was a memorable experience for us not just because of the breathtaking "on top of the world" views but also because just moving around in that environment was challenging enough. Abrupt movement wasn't a very pleasant experience at all :-)

CSO (California Institute of Technology
10.4 meter space submillimeter) telescope (top photos)
and Gemini Northern 8 meter telescope at Mauna Kea
busy worker at the Keck Observatory

lunch at Honi Wai Cafe ~ Hawaiian tasting plate with poi,
kalua pork, pineapple, green salad, rice and haupia (top photo)
hot sauces, kulolo (sweet taro snack) and ginger beer
refreshing local drink with passion fruit
sweet and savory breakfast crepes at Le Magic Pan in Hilo 

tasty super loco and spam loco lunch from Cafe 100 
Nori's Saimin and Snacks lunch ~ off the beaten path
in Hilo ~ serving local Hawaiian food
to go breakfast boxes at Puka Puka Kitchen in downtown Hilo

New Saigon Vietnamese food along Kalanianaole Avenue
To be continued...more food and travel highlights in the Big Island :-)

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