Monday, March 25, 2013
Hello from Hilo
Our next stop was Hilo, on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii. This is supposed to be the rainy side, but we really lucked out. We got a great look at Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, the 2 largest volcanoes in Hawaii.
But wait! What is that white stuff up there? SNOW - in Hawaii! Well, they are way up there - 13796' above sea level for Mauna Kea and slightly less for Mauna Loa.
Since we only had one day here, and had some ship credit to use up, we decided to go on a bus tour instead of renting a car. Our first stop was Rainbow Falls. Didn't see any rainbows, but it was beautiful anyway.
This guy tried to sell me some insurance...
These African Tulip trees are all over the place, and blooming right now.
Then we went on to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We got a good look at Halema'uma'u Crater. It's been erupting off and on for 100 years, but since it's last big eruption in 2008, you can no longer walk to the rim.
Our next stop was the Thurston Lava Tube, which you can walk through.
It is lighted, so it's not too scary.
You just have to watch your head...
There are 2 main kinds of lava - this ropey stuff is pahoehoe, and the sharp jagged rocks are a'a.
We then had a couple of commercial stops. The first was an orchid farm.
I took lots of pictures -
But didn't buy anything.
Then we went to a macadamia nut factory. The assembly line sort of reminded me of something...
We got back on the ship in time for another lei making class. They brought in 20,000 orchid blossoms! This was several hundred just for Barbara and I.
Doesn't she look like an expert!
Of course we had to wear them to dinner.
After dinner, the ship floated past the active part of the Kilauea Volcano, where you can see the lava dropping into the ocean - the newest land on earth!