Hilo is the largest city on the "big island" of Hawai'i. It overlooks Hilo Bay and within its bounds are one active volcano and one inactive one.
Waterfalls and Local Scenery
We've been to HIlo before, and the last time we were there our time was spent exploring the volcanoes. This time we thought an opportunity to hike up to a couple of the better-known waterfalls would be a great way to spend the day. The most convenient way seemed to be to use the HAL tour since we'd read that at least one was showing a lack of sufficient water overflow and weather that we wouldn't necessarily know about if we rented a car and went on our own could make part of the trip disappointing. As it turned out we traveled some backroads we wouldn't have seen on our own (see Serendipity, below) so we were glad that we were accompanied by a "local" even if he'd lived in Hawai'i for only a couple of years. The group was small as only smaller vans are allowed on some of the roads we traveled. The waterfalls at the state park were splendid and well worth the "hike" (more of a stroll along paved, up-and-down paths, although there were many, many steps; 163 I believe the guide mentioned).
Upon our return to town the guide suggested that we might want to explore the local farmer's market that was open that day and take advantage of the shuttle the market offered (free) to return to the ship. All of our small group chose to do that, but it turned out that our guide was unaware that the market closed in the early afternoon and the shuttle stopped running even earlier. No matter; we joined with another couple from the tour, met another person from the ship who had lingered past the last shuttle and was ready to leave, so with the 5 of us, a local taxi was an inexpensive way to get back to the ship.
Our "official tour" was to see a couple of well-known waterfalls, but we were fortunate to get as a tour guide a young man who lived in the vicinity of Hilo Bay. Before setting off in the direction of the waterfalls he drove us through many back roads of his own neighborhood, stopping so we could take pictures of the flowers, sample the fruits growing along the road, and check out the small lizards living on the tree trunks. It was a fabulous extra opportunity!
HAL Shore Excursions Waterfalls Spectacular
Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde