We left the Volcano National Park and made our way north to explore a side of the Island which we had not seen since our honeymoon thirty five years ago.
We started our exlorations at Ahalanui Thermal Spring Park. This is a park in a fairly remote area, accessed on a narrow road leading through a mango forest. It passes a national state monument as well which is a "grove" of lava trees, much like the ones we had seen on our walk the day before.
The nearby thermal park is frequented by local residents and is a partially natural, partially man made enclosure around a pool of brackish water fed by a thermal spring and incoming ocean water The water is delightfully warm and is constantly fed by the incoling ocean tides. Itwas a lovely interlude as we had been showerless for three days!
After a thorouh soaking, we made our way to Hilo to see Rainbow falls. These are huge waterfalls which are usually arced with a rainbow. Unfortunately we were not blessed with good weather and so we observed the falls under overcast skies. It was impressive nevertheless.
We continued our tour and were amazed that this side of the island is so lush and green-such a contrast from the other side which is an arid desert. We passed many lush valleys and rain forests along our way. We made a stop at the Waipio Valley where the craggy coast was in view.