Today we woke up early this morning. We had a lot to do.
First on the plan was to visit the two waterfalls nearby and the waipi’o valley in the northeast of the island. So we bought some snacks, water and some food for the day.
We started with the rainbow falls, which are 5 minutes drive from hilo center. The waterfall is really nice and due to the water particles you nearly always can see a rainbow.
Back in the car we drove to the Akaka Falls, which are located near Honomu.
In that park (entry fee 10$) you have a nice walk around and in the end you can see the Akaka Falls (135 m), which is really astonishing. I totally recommend it.
Next on the list was the Waipi’o Valley Lookout point. When we arrived there unfortunately the waether was not that good, lets say rubbish, fog everywhere. Maybe you could see 10 meters far and that was it.
Anyway we headed back to Hilo, where I picked up two other backpackers.But before we arrived at Hilo, we drove the Pepeekeo Scenic Drive, totally awesome. Do it when you can.
Our next destination was Mountain Mauna Kea.
We packed clothes, enough water and food and some courage. First I refilled my Jeep with pertol and we were ready for the next adventure!!!
But before keep in mind about the danger up there. High altitude, gravel streets, really steep, weather conditions etc.here are my recommendations:
- Your car must have real 4 by 4 better said a good engine break for going downhill without overheating your breaks.
- Stay at the ranger station some hours until you feel comfortable.
- Take enough water and food with you
- Enough fuel
- Enough clothes, it is really cold on the top
- Also listen to the ranger about the condition and weather
- enough money on you bank account when an accident will occur 😛
Our first stop was a the ranger station at around 2’800 m. We arrived there at around 16:00 as far as I could remember. You should stay there at least half an hour better one full hour to acclimatise to the altitude. The visitor is a goldmine of information about all kind of stuff of astrology and the summit itself, even there you can watch a movie about the summit.
After certain warining sings and danger warnings etc. the paved road changed into a gravel road and the steep increased dramatically for the next 8 miles or so, this part was full of fun!!!
After minutes of excitment we finally reached the top in the lazy mans way ;). I think I can say that I parked my Jeep on the highest carpark on the world.
After an astonishing sunset and some star gazing the ranger told us that we should slowly decend due to the darkness. The drive down was even more amazing, scary due to the limited view. We stopped again at the ranger station and they were starting to set up some telescope. I learnt a lot about astronomy also you could see Jupiter, Pluto, Moon and Venus I guys, unfortunatelly I already forgot all the interesting information about the stars, which are surounding us… and everything was for free, awesome.