Hawaiian Vacation
February, 2009

Why is the Big Island the only one with a non-Hawaiian name? Actually, it's official name is Hawai`i which can get confusing as the whole state is Hawaii. Hence, the nickname. And the nickname fits. It is the biggest of the islands. And it's growing! Lava flows continue to add land area, although you wouldn't want to build your home there.

For our stay on the Big Island we rented a cottage at Deep Hawaii. It's in the middle of a rural subdivision, built on an old lava flow on the eastern side of the island about 15 miles south of Hilo. There are four cottages on the two acres, along with native fruit trees, flowers and shrubbery.

Deep Hawaii
Big Island Cottage

We followed the instructions and went to this cottage at the end of the first driveway. (Our car was another Cobalt, this time in white.) We weren't sure if this was the right cottage as the owner wasn't there and there was no office.

But when we walked up to the door we knew it was the right one. We couldn't miss this sign! The door was unlocked as the key was inside. We took our shoes off to go inside. The ground here is lava gravel and the sharp pieces, stuck to your shoes, can damage the tile floors.

Welcome Sign
Side Porch

This is the side patio of the cottage, complete with a small grill. This was a good place to sit and relax as long as it didn't rain. When it was raining we used the front porch which has a covered patio. And it rains here almost daily. Never very heavy or long and most often at night. It never hampered any of our sightseeing.

The one bedroom cottage had a complete kitchen. The owner had it stocked with some food, but mainly two gallons of water. People use rainwater here, but you can't drink it unless it's treated. But using bottled water wasn't much of an inconvenience.

Deep Hawaii Kitchen
Deep Hawaii Living Room

The livingroom had TV with cable plus great views. We didn't watch much TV; too much else to see and do.

For first full day's adventure we took a drive to some of the many waterfalls on the Big Island. This falls, just west of Hilo, is Rainbow Falls. The stream runs down to Hilo where it enters the ocean.

Rainbow Falls
Boiling Pots

A little upstream from Rainbow Falls is this area which is called the Boiling Pots. That probably refers to the many churning pools below the small falls. It was interesting, and you could hike right down to the pools.

After Rainbow Falls we went back to Hilo and headed north. Our guide was a folder written and provided by the owner of our cottage. It described a scenic by-way just north of Hilo. We took it and it was spectacular as it wound through a rainforest. This falls, while not big, was unexpected.

Senic Drive Rainforest
Lava Tube Falls

A little further on the scenic road went over a wooden deck bridge and this unusual falls. It looks like it's coming out of a rock, but actually that's an old lava tube. When I climbed down closer I could see the light where the water entered on the other end.

From the scenic drive we continued north to the most spectacular falls that we saw. This is Akaka Falls, 442 feet high, plunging into a small pool. The observation area is at the end of a one mile paved trail through a rainforest of bamboo and ginger. The hike was as enjoyable as seeing the falls.

Akaka Falls
Kahuna Falls

A side trail leads to Kahuna Falls, not as tall but interesting because of the many steps the water hits before landing in the pool. When we were there they were still working on a trail between the two falls.

The whole trail to the two falls, in fact the whole park aside from the parking area, is in a rainforest. There are many seeps from the rock walls and small brooks like this one along side the trail. It was a beautiful end to our "waterfalls tour".

Babbling Brook

From Akaka Falls we headed back to Hilo and a little grocery shopping. (I don't think you need another picture of a Safeway.) After that we headed back to our cottage for supper, a llittle TV (CSI), and with a gentle rain falling on the tin roof, a good nights sleep. Tomorrow we visit the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Visit with us by clicking the right arrow below.

No Link
Big Island, Page 2