My vacation website

Hawaii 2006

The first 2006 update. This trip to Hawai’i was for Rex and Rita’s wedding. The wedding was on a Sunday but some of us arrived early on Tuesday. Me, my brother Kevin and Rico took a short island hop to the big island to see Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park.

April 18th

Even from Phoenix it is a 6.5 hour flight to Honolulu. Rico and I arrived in Honolulu around 12:30pm. Kevin came from Chicago on a 9.5 hour flight. We all had the same island hop flight to Hilo. Our flight was slightly delayed due to bodily fluids in the airplace aisle while we were boarding. Apparently, someone bled all over the floor badly enough that they had to stop boarding. Rico and I laughed as they sent an airport employee onto the plane with a broom and dustpan. He came out a few minutes later and returned with a mop and bucket. The island hop was a short 45 minute flight. Soon we got our rental Jeep Wrangler were on our way to Volcanoes National Park.

We stayed at the Volcano House Inn which is located inside the National Park. We had the luxurious 9×9 room with no AC and a small heater. After unpacking we immediately headed out to Crate Rim Drive to go see where the lava is flowing into the sea. It’s about a 20 mile drive and a short 1/2 mile hike to the first viewing spot. It was about 6:45pm and there were so many people that we had to park 1/2 mile away from the start of the hike! Hiking on lava at night is pretty scary since the lava is black, it’s sharp and literally rock. The trail was marked with yellow reflectors that are literally taped to the rocks. From our vantage point all we could see was smoke and an orange glow.

April 19th

The next morning we hiked the Kilauea Iki trail. This short trail takes you along the top of the rim and down into the Kilauea Crater. It was overcast and drizzling when we started the hike at the overlook point. Most books say to hike this trail counter-clockwise, but we chose clockwise and in hindsight it seemed to be the right choice. Coming from the other side you would have to turn around and look back to see the views while in the crater. The first part of the trail was mainly rainforest along the top of the southeast rim. The trail then goes down into the crater and is marked by a well worn path that goes straight through the center. You can see the trail in the main picture above.

After the hike, we had breakfast and then headed back out to see the lava by the sea, this time in daylight.

Next it was a 2 hour drive over to Kona to do the Manta Ray night dive. I had made reservations the week prior at They said that during the past two weeks that they were getting between 15-20 manta rays each night. Manta Rays are the largest type of rays. Rays are a flatten fish that are closely related to sharks. During this night dive, divers and snorkelers each carry a flood light which attracts the plankton. The rays feed on plankton which makes them swim up towards your light and doing acrobat flips with their mouths open. Manta rays can get up to 29 feet in width and weigh several tons.

April 20th

The next day we went to the Napau Trail. Rico and I hiked to the Mauna Ulu hill lookout. After that point Kevin continued on the trail while we headed back and then went to the Hilo zoo and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory. Then back to the lava flow by the ocean and afterwards we waited for Kevin at the trailhead and got in some tanning time on the road.

April 21st

We decided to take an early flight back to Oahu to meet everyone else who was arriving for the wedding. So we did a quick drive around Crate Rim Drive and took a quick run (literally) to see the Halema’uma’u Crater. Then it was a quick flight to Honolulu and up to our condo on Waikiki Beach. Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera many places during the rest of the trip.

April 22nd-25th

During the next three days we spent time on the beach, attended the wedding, went to Pearl Harbor, visited the Dole Pineapple plantation and took surfing lessons.

More Pictures

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Posted in Hawaii and Hiking and Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
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