Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Hawaii #2, Big Island

Let's see, we pulled into the Nani Mai Botanic Garden, last posting. Since we only had 40 minutes there, and I was determined to see it all, I split out of the gift shop entry point at a rapid pace. I hit the orchid house first, then headed out into the gardens proper. At the end of a loooong pergola walk, I spied a mound with a Japanese temple bell, surrounded by Japanese garden. I started in that direction at a trot, also determined I was going to be the first to sound the bell. Something red-orange flashed across my path. It was a Hawaiian honeycreeper! It's nice to see one of the remaining native birds. I made it to the bell and sounded it twice. Nice deep resonance. Heading down, I walked through the somewhat overgrown Japanese garden and cut through the bamboo woods. From the far walkways, you could see an emminance with a viewing area lookout. I figured I would check this on my way toward the northern end of the garden. For now, I checked some ponds to the east. I hit up the lookout, and then headed north, going through an area of food plants of the islands. I kept seeing little weasel-y animals. They were mongeese! Probably looking to chow down on some of those remaining native birds, sigh.

Back on the bus, we hit the road again and were on our way to Volcano House for lunch. Volcano House sits on the edge of Kilhuia Crater, and is a long-time landmark. There were lots of jokes from our driver about who was going to be sacrificed to Pele, and how you might not get a "winning" lunch ticket. We were nominating the guy who almost got left behind, back at Rainbow Falls. Actually, the owner of Volcano House found that she really seems to favor gin, which is rather more civilized. Lunch was a buffet, and I really liked the cocoanut curry mahimahi, which was like a taste from my childhood. After lunch, we hit the gift shop (not much interesting) and wandered along the trails by the rim, taking pictures. Then it was off to the Volcanos National Park interpretive center!

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