Big Island

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We stopped at two ports on the Big Island; Hilo and Kona.  Probably our best land excursion was at Hilo, where we hiked the rim of the Kilauea Iki volcano and visited the Akaka Falls State Park.  From Kona, we took a tour van to Pu'uhonua O Honauau National Park, the site of political and religious sanctuary since ancient times.

At the volcano trailhead, we explored a lava tube - a tunnel that formed when the lava flow solidified.

The now dormant Kilauea Iki crater erupted as recently as 1985.  The much larger still-active Kilauea Caldera nearby was spewing steam.  We couldn't get close.

Resting along the trail.

Our guide, Kaoke, led a group down to the crater floor, 400 feet below the rim.  Kaoke is a native Hawaiian - one of a small percentage that remain from the first settlers of the islands.  Being isolated, many died from diseases brought by centuries-later visitors. The original Hawaiians had no written language and they communicated their history in stories and chants.

Kaoke performing a chant for us at a stop along the trail.

 

 

After hiking the crater trail, we visited the Akaka Falls State Park,  where we viewed the spectacular 440-foot falls from several angles

 

 

Orchids in an old churchyard.

Poinsettias growing along the road.

Palms on the beach