A Beautiful Day, Nani La 'Ao
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For the second day in a row we got up and anxiously looked out the window, trying to see if the clouds finally went away. And today, they did!!! The blue Hawaiian sky greeted us for the first time as the sun was rising from behind the trees! We squealed with excitement!
We started off our Christmas day with a wonderful breakfast cooked by our AirBnB hosts, which we enjoyed on their patio. Paula and John have been so much fun to stay with. Paula not ...
The highlight of our day today was supposed to be a sunset tour of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on earth when using the height of the mountain from the seafloor up (rather than from sea level). However, the rain that we encountered yesterday had apparently continued on today on the mountain, and the road between the Visitor station (at ~9000 ft) and the summit (~14000 ft) was closed. Our tour company graciously offered to still try to take us up there today and give us 50% back ...
Today was a very, very long day. On the upside, we've already traversed the southern part of the island!
We arrived on the Big Island just after noon on Tuesday, Dec. 23. We disembarked our plane (no sleeve - just stairs directly down to the tarmac) and we walked a few feet across to the terminal, which comprised of nothing more than a few huts with benches - I am not kidding! It is basically an open air terminal! The hustle and bustle ...
... br> We had a great day anyway. Went to the park visitors centre and then to the Jaggar museum. We could see smoke and steam from the ground in many places and from the crater.
After that we drove south from the visitors centre through vast areas of lava fields of varying ages. It was very interesting. At one point we did a short walk to see petroglyphs (ancient carvings on the lava rocks).
Dinner at a local restaurant where we had a huge rib-eye steak.
... up Mauna Kea and then down. We went through clouds, rain, and even some sun. The Big Island is known to have 11 of 13 climate zones. I don’t know how many we drove through today, but it seemed like we hit at least 7 or 8.
It was about 6:30 when we started to descend Mauna Kea. Since we were heading west, we saw the sun set and it was spectacular!
It was hard to chose photos - Marty shot over 300, so I had to narrow them down.