Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

Hilo…continued…

on August 11, 2013

Rainbow FallsHi’ilawe Falls (and it’s twin, Hakalaoa) are the tallest waterfalls on The Island (not the tallest in the State (Olo’upena Falls, which is  2,953 feet (900 meters), but it is the 138th tallest in the world.

Nowhere near the tallest (it’s “only” 80 feet tall (24 meters) but estimated to be one of the most photographed waterfalls in the world, is Rainbow Falls (Waiānuenue, which means “Rainbow Water), in Hilo.UpRiver from Rainbow Falls

The Falls is really beautiful, but probably the main reason that it’s photographed so often is because the parking lot goes right up to it, so it’s very easy access.

There’s a nice little walk upriver from the parking lot, and if the water level is lower, you can climb along the rocks shaped and carved by the swirling water.

Nearby, are The Boiling Pots and Pe’e Pe’e Falls.Pe'e Pe'e Falls

First of all, it’s pronounced something like: “Pay-ay Pay ay”, just so you know.

Fed by the Wailuku River, Pe’e Pe’e Falls is runs along, finding its way through and around old lava tubes, creating rapids and careening through pools that make the water look like it’s boiling.

Which brings me to the “second of all”: the Boiling Pots aren’t hot – they are more “roiling” than “boiling”.  (Just thought I’d clarify, since there’s so much volcanic activity – thought it could be a No Swimmingsurprise to find out that the water is cold.)

There are warning signs and swimming is not allowed… that being said, the first day I went, I witnessed this:
Boiling Pots
TERRIBLE Idea – but people do it. There’s a bunch of things to keep in mind (in an effort to talk you out of it): Depth of the water (or lack of depth), speed of water, the fact that this pool dumps over a steep cliff immediately, into another deep, fast-moving, pool, and the fact that there’s more than one ledge you have to clear, even before you hit theMy Cronies meal water…

We always kick off our Hilo-visit with a trip for lunch at Cronies Bar and Grill – I get popcorn shrimp and a Hilo Hula drink every time.  I’m always really hopeful that someone else will order their Bucket of Onion Rings, and then be willing to share, because they are SO GOOD!!

Cronies is right on the main strip alongside the wharf, near the farmers market, the Kava bar, and Cafe Pesto.

Cafe Pesto is YUMMY! And entirely different atmosphere than Cronies – they serve such foods as Smoked Salmon Pizzette, Wild green salad, and chicken and wild mushroom risotto.  (I think that’s what I had – can’t find my pictures…)

Awa JuiceKava Bar

If you go to Hilo at the right time of the year (April), you should go to the Merrie Monarch Festival.

The Festival is a week long, celebrating Hawaiian arts and culture. It includes art exhibits, performances, a parade!Merrie Monarch Exhibition and a 3 day hula competition!  Tickets to the Competition are hard to come by (and by “hard to come by”, I mean “almost impossible”), but there is also one day that is a hula exhibition that is free to the public.

However, it’s so popular, you have to line up hours in advance (we, fortunately, had a friend who was willing to sacrifice his day to stand in line – thank you Don), and then hope that you can get in! (There’s limited space, so chances are – you could stand in line and still not get in…)

The seats are REALLY uncomfortable (concrete bleachers), and the show is really, really long, so maybe bring a pillow or something to sit on.   (I was sad we couldn’t stay till the end…. no pillows… next time!)
Merrie Monarch Exhibition 1Merrie Monarch Exhibition 2
If you meander down Kalanianaole Avenue (starting at Ponds Hilo Restaurant), there are many snorkelling and kayaking and beach opportunities – we’ve only driven by, but will eventually give some of the places a try.  We were told to go to Richardson Beach Park, but there’s also Leleiwi Park, Wai O’lena Beach Ponds EntertainmentPark, Carlsmith Beach Park, Kealoha Beach Park, Onekahakaha Beach Park, Reeds Bay Beach Co Park, and Keaukaha Beach Park… Seems like a good selection!

Ponds Hilo “Restaurant on the Edge” is on the corner of Kalanianaole Avenue and Banyan Drive, which I discussed in my last Hilo blog.  For years, I’ve been wanting to go there for dinner, and finally made it this year! Not only was the food DELICIOUS!! but they also had live entertainment – jazz, the night we were there.
Tiger Shrimp FettuciniAlmond Joy maybe?

Check out Hilo – I think you’ll love it! Kalanianaole Ave

Next week, Hamakua Coast.

 

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