We were staying in a place right next to the park, so were able to return two nights in a row to watch lava dance in the crater and marvel at the number of stars overhead. The volcano spume was extremely active and the lava lake high, which even brought the locals out to watch.
We came to Hawaii for the beaches and volcanoes, and also for the tropical plants. Our Hilo B&B was right in the rainforest, surrounded by green. We visited the Hawaii Botanical Garden, and spent half a day ogling the anthurium, orchids, bromeliads, air plants, tropical palms, the lily pond, Cook’s pine. Everything so green, with palms and trees towering overhead and the sound of ocean waves beating on the shore.
It turned out Hilo had a guitar and ukulele store. Once I held one beautiful koa wood instrument I wanted it instantly. The Kanile 'a concert ukulele is now in my possession and inspiring me to become a better player.
Late in the afternoon, we still wanted to see the tide pools at Kapaho. Unfortunately, we got lost and took a wrong turn, and found ourselves at the end of the earth. Literally. In Kaimu Bay I was able to stand on land younger than me, something on my wishlist.
Big waves were crashing on the rocky shore and Rob and I watched a young red-headed girl approach them, seeming determined to jump in. She took a few steps and a wave hit her, knocking her down and tumbling her right into the water. She looked like a mermaid in the sea foam.