On a cold December day, in Northern California, it is nice to look back on the photos from Hawaii. And believe me, even though it’s California, today is cold – well, cold for me a complete climate wimp! My Mum, visiting from Ireland, even agrees with me and she is much hardier than me.
Today’s post is really just a photo gallery of what we saw when we left Volcano and decided to drive to Kona the long way round the Big Island to get a quick look at the rest of the Island.
Our first stop was the Hawaii Tropical Botanic Gardens, North of Hilo. It’s included in the top 100 things to do in Hawaii State and well worth the visit. I don’t know the names of most of these plants, though there were some labels in a jumble of vegetation, so it was hard to decide which beauties they referred to. I did recognize a whole lot of house-plants. In fact, it was like house plant heaven – now I know where all those house-plants go when I accidentally kill them!
My Mum used to have this vine as a house plant. We didn’t realize that it was a giant vine – here it is growing to the top of a high palm tree. The one we had took over our dining room, and in the end, Mum gave it to a hospital or someplace with a large foyer area.
By comparison my ficus is 18inches tall.
I loved how this vine pressed itself so flat against the tree.
I have one of these (above – angel wing begonia) and, actually, mines bigger – yay!
And I have one of these (above) but mines puney.
I also have a peace lily, though not as glorious as this.
Two glorious hours flew past as we visited the Botanic Gardens. Our next stop was Akaka Falls State Park. A quick loop hike takes you through beautiful rainforest and past stunning waterfalls.
Further north we stopped to have our picnic lunch overlooking Waipi’o Valley. Even if we’d had more time we’d not have ventured down into the Valley since it is all private land. Beautiful to look down upon though.
From here we traveled through the Kohala Mountains, still moving North. We gained altitude until we were looking down on the clouds.
We traveled through many climate zones, the one below reminding us of Ireland.
Pololu Valley is another lush and beautiful fold in the mountains. This one can be hiked into though we were running short of time.
As we hit the West side of the Island everything dried up and the view reminded us more of where we live in California.
It was dark by the time we made it to our hotel – Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.
I was looking forward to breakfast on the beach and a morning swim. This hotel was in the perfect location for a mermaid like me!