After a big sleep post our Mauna Kea adventure, it was time to pack up and hit the road. Big Island has a few highways, and we were going to drive around in a big loop down the western and southern sides of the Island until we reached the Volcano National Park.
I was sorry to say goodbye to this view from our lanai!
Such blue, blue water.
The wildlife we saw on Big Island was so pretty - I adored these friendly little yellow birds.
The lava pool was fun to walk round - the tiny jet-black lizards which scurried to and fro were so cute!
For lucnh we did try to go to Roy's, the restaurant whose advert we'd heard roughly 256 times on our flight over....but they don't do lunch. Instead we got fresh, delicious fish and chips and ate it at a table on the edge of this lake. Then it was time to head off!
We made a couple of stops on the journey - one was to the black sand beaches to the south of the island. So beautiful.
The waves were awesome on this day - lots of people were there to surf or boogie board.
I actually like this picture of the two of us - smack bang in the middle of the honeymoon. We were so relaxed!
The black sand was a little tricky to get one's head around - I think my brain thought it would be like soot, due to the colour, but it's sand that just happens to be black. So cool!
Matthew and our trusty steed! It was Matt's first time driving on the other side of the road and he rocked it!
We stopped off at a coffee plantation to buy some treats. So many flavours of coffee to try (vanilla macadamia was my favourite). The change in weather as we travelled around the island was amazing - hot sun, cool clouds, a brief shower, light winds. It was like a much, much warmer version of Scotland's 'four seasons in one day'.
Eventually we made it round to the Volcano National Park and rocked up to Volcano House, where we'd be staying for three nights. The hotel is amazing, with brilliant access to the volcano and fantastic views across the crater. We were very exciting to stay on the edge of an active volcano! As we had dinner reservations later in the evening we had time to kill, so we went for a little hike around the sulfur pits and the steam banks.
It was so green and pleasant, with unusual flowers and ferns in abundance.
The sulfur pits were amazing.
They looked like something out of a sci fi moving in the glow of the setting sun.
We also looped round to the visitors centre to check some timings, and were reminded to look out for and look after the Nene. These geese are the state bird of Hawaii and they are so sweet and pretty. We spotted some later in our visit and it was so cool to see them at close-ish quarters.
The steam banks were amazing - there are chasms, caverns and little outlets for steam for miles.
After our wanderings (including an unexpected mile of hills in the rainforest after a wrong turn, ha!), we washed up and headed to the restaurant for a delicious meal, genuinely gourmet food cooked masterfully! We had heard good things about the restaurant but were blown away by the quality of the food - it would easily stand up in London. And it has views of a VOLCANO! I didn't take any shots of the crater over dinner as I was in a world of food love, but fear not, the next post in this series is crater-tacular!
Ahi Poke Stack - amazing, with so much delicious tuna!
Curried squash soup.
Swordfish (so good M was straight in there before I'd snapped a pic - ah, the trials of being a blogger's husband!).
Happy, full, and shattered, after dinner it was time to turn in. What a brilliant day!