Postcard from Hawaii - VII

One more day in the paradise of Hawaii on "The Big Island." Time to drive along the coast, to hike around Rainbow and Akaka Falls and time to see what's above us via the Mauna Kea Observatory.

Back to Oahu tomorrow for a couple of days in Paradise on Waikiki Beach!

Rainbow Falls outside of Hilo in the Wailuku River State Park.
On bright, sunny days, there is usually a large rainbow, but
this day was overcast so no rainbow. Known in Hawaiian as
Waianuenue (rainbow water), the falls are 80 feet tall and
flows over a natural lava cave, the mythological home to
Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess.

442-foot high Akaka Falls
In Akaka Falls State Park along the Hamakua Coast is a
0.5 mile walking trail through a rain-forest filled with
wild orchids and groves of bamboo and ferns.


Waimanu Valley. Known as the Valley of Kings because it was
once home to many of the Hawaiian kings, it has both historical
and cultural importance to Hawaiians. Before the arrival of
Captain Cook in 1778, about 4,000 people lived in the valley.
In 1946, the most devastating tsunami in Hawaii's history
struck the valley covering it with water 4-feet deep. Many
people were killed and nearly all the survivors left afterwards.
Today only 50 people live in the secluded valley which has no

roads in or out and no modern conveniences such as electricity. 
One more stop on our itinerary was the astronomical
observatory on Mauna Kea. Very interesting and well worth
the trip up the mountain. What we didn't count on though was

while it was in the 80's along the coast, at the top of the mountain,
it was in the mid-30's with a strong, very cold wind blowing.
We bought jackets at the gift shop and still almost froze!

Looking at the moon through one of the telescopes at the
observatory on Mauna Kea.
Our last stop for the night was for a very late supper at Ken's
House of Pancakes, a legend in Hilo and one of the very few
24-hour dining establishments. It is owned by the family of
"The Rock," Dwayne Johnson, a professional wrestler and now
a budding movie star.