We flew over the volcano Kilauea April 4. It was just coincidence last week’s post was just as new fissures and eruptions were threatening homes outside Hilo. After reading reports, I believe the lava in my photo “lava lake” suddenly drained causing earthquakes which in turn caused the new fissures.
Hilo, with a 2010 census of 43,260, is the second largest town in the state of Hawai`i and the largest town on the Big Island, Hawai’i. With an average of 127 inches of rain a year, it is one of the wettest towns in the world.
After our helicopter ride, we took a taxi from the ship into town. Along the way we passed Liliuokalani Gardens where the original town was located. In 1946, a tsunami caused by an earthquake near the Aleutian Islands washed through killing 160 people. In 1960, another earthquake near Chile caused a tsunami that claimed 61 lives. Low lying areas near the bay were turned into parks, and the town expanded inland in the 1960s.
We spent several hours just walking. We visited the market. By chance, it was Wednesday, their biggest day.
Then, on the advice of a woman in the market, we sought a restaurant favored by locals. Not getting the name correct, instead we ended up in a tea room behind a gift shop. We were the only patrons at the time, and we enjoyed talking to the clerk, a student at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. We saw more students later. I can’t imagine a better place to study marine sciences, volcanology or astronomy.
Passing a community center, we saw a sign for a display of contemporary Hawaiian quilts and went in. Out of all the passengers on the ship, I suspect we were the only two that saw the quilts. But the volunteer staff were very helpful and the quilts were spectacular. It will be the subject of a future post.
We stopped in a local market. I wanted to buy some Kona coffee for my sister but all they had were beans, and she does not have a coffee grinder. “Oh, we’ll grind them for you,” said the clerk — and they did.
Click on photos to enlarge.