Big Island Recap Day 6

Wednesday was our big road trip. Yes, the Big Island is actually pretty big. It took us a couple of hours to reach the other side of the island to visit Hilo and the volcanoes. I wanted to go on Wednesday in particular because Hilo has a farmer’s market then (and on Saturdays).

Our first stop, however, was in a small town called Honakaa, at a restaurant called Tex Drive-In. I wanted to try their specialty, malasadas. According to the menu, they only had the barvarian creme filling that morning, so D ordered one for each of us. When we bit into them, there was no filling! I took mine up to the counter and was told that we had to specify that we wanted filling; otherwise they come plain. Well, custard filling is my favorite, so I had to try it and ordered one more. D and I were able to eat 1.5 malasadas each, no problem. They are so fluffy and light! You can almost convince yourself that they’re not that bad for you. Almost.

When we arrived in Hilo, k was sleeping, so D and I jumped out of the car to check out the farmer’s market. (D’s parents stayed with k). There was a lot of interesting produce. However, we just bought a couple of musubis (spam and salmon) and a couple of cheap souveniers on the way back.

We kept driving on to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. First we saw a short movie on the volcanoes. Then we drove around the park, making only three stops since we knew k wouldn’t be able to stand any more. Our first stop was the Steam Vents:
Steam Vents
These were pretty cool. There was some scientific explanation posted, but I didn’t really get it.

It was windy here, making k’s hair even crazier than usual:

The next stop was the Kilauea Caldera:
Dude, where’s the lava? Just kidding, I didn’t actually expect there to be lava spewing right in front of our faces, but I thought we would be able to see some red stuff, even if it was far away and you needed binoculars. We were told that the lava that was flowing that day was only accessible by helicopter. Too bad.

Our final stop was my favorite: the Thurston Lava Tube. You walk down a paved path surrounded by lush greenery. It really sounds like a rainforest, and it was nice and cool.

Then you walk through the lava tube, which is a big cave. Again, don’t ask me for the science behind it. It’s pretty dark, and there’s puddles inside, but it was fun.
lava tube

Afterward we ate a late lunch at Ken’s House of Pancakes, a Hilo institution. D ordered his first loco moco. It was OK, but not something we’ll crave anytime soon.

k slept some during the trip, but she also cried. A lot. I’ve never seen her so upset in the car!
Poor thing was blowing snot bubbles. It didn’t help when they were cutting trees along the two-lane road and we had to periodically stop for a long time.

We were debating whether to make one final stop at Waipio Valley. It is a famous tourist stop, and we figured we might as well get it in since it was sort of on the way back. You can take tours to the bottom, but we just snapped a few pictures from the top:
Waipio Valley

That was a long day. We didn’t feel like going out to dinner, so D’s parents was nice enough to bring food over and made a prawn salad for us. It was nice and refreshing and a low-stress way to end the day.

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