Thursday, October 7, 2010

Touring the Big Island - Day 1

We finally took a break from shopping to make plans for a quickie tour of The Big Island.

Touring the Wet Side of the Big Island

Our next door neighbors in Radio Bay had rented a car for about $40/day, and that seemed pretty reasonable, especially when split between two boats. But when we went in to their rental company to book a car for a few days, they told us that all the prices were higher now. Apparently there's an Ironman Triathlon going on this weekend in Kona (on the west coast of Hawaii), and all the cars were booked.

So I went online to try to book a car with our USAA discount. The first 2 big companies I tried--Avis and Budget--were all sold out. So when Hertz came up with a car for 'only' $49, we grabbed it. And for only $7 more, Dave upgraded us to a nice mini-van, when he picked up the car.

Dave and Sue

Our first stop was the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was raining when we left Hilo, and still raining when we got to the Park. And still raining when we left the park. We saw a nice volcano video, and drove the crater rim road. There is no active lava there now, but lots of old lava, live steam vents, and lava tubes. We also stopped at the Jagger Museum in the park, with more displays, and some active Seismometers.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Steam Vents

Lava Tubes

The Kiluaea Crater

Monitoring Seismic Activity

The next stop was the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. The big attraction here was... black sand. But also, something I've never seen before, green sea turtles sleeping on the beach in broad daylight. Apparently they come up onto the nice warm black sand to warm up. They were sleeping so soundly they looked dead, but we did see them blink once or twice.

The Black Sand Beach

Hawaiian Green Turtles on the Beach

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