We managed to sit separate from the Inn crowd this morning, but were soon joined by this little fella.
Today we checked out of our lovely Kona-side cottage and headed for the other side.
We took the Saddle Road over the top and between the 2 big volcanoes - Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa
Mauna Kea has a visitor centre at around 9,000ft. And a slew of telescopes at the peak.
The visitor centre has a bunch of signs saying you need a 4WD to get to the top.
Our guide book said that’s not true. And our car’s a rental so we gave it a go. We probably voided the rental agreement doing so, but as long as nobody catches us it’s all good!
It’s about 8 more miles drive to reach the 14,800ft summit, and 5 of them are unpaved.
As we set off up the last part of the volcano, Roadhouse Blues came on. And as Jim Morrison says, “Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel”
I won’t lie, it wasn’t the easiest drive in a Hyundai Sonata, but the view from the top was well worth it.
The breathlessness of the altitude is incredible. I cannot imagine mountaineers in the Himalayas being twice as high.
We’re not exactly memento people, but that was worthy of a coffee mug purchase!
Next we headed for Hilo. The guidebook and my dad both said it wasn’t anything special, but we arrived during the world car parking championships. I’ve found spaces quicker in London and San Fran than Hilo.
We took a quick northern detour to the Akaka Falls. Very nice, although I did manage an ‘out loud’ expletive when a couple walked past us as we waited to use the small viewing deck of the Kahuna Falls.
And then we headed for Volcano City and our home for the next few days.
The cottage is huge, but it’s irritating me in so many ways.