First stop was the Niaulani Rain Forest at the Volcano Art Center. It’s a small old growth rain forest that provides examples of some of the different types of fauna on the Big Island. This was my rain forest I was looking for, but it was a bit frustrating. I wanted to know more about what I was seeing and even though there was signage, I felt like there was a learning/curiosity barrier.
Once I arrived in Hilo, I pulled off to a parking lot and called the helicopter tour company the couple with whom I spoke to last night had used. Availabilities today? No. Availabilities tomorrow? No. Shit.
“The only thing I have is a single,” she said. Somehow I didn’t manage to blurt out the sad truth “I’M SINGLE!” Instead, I replied that it was ok as I was by myself. (I’m not stopping to contemplate whether or not this is worse.) “You are in luck, last flight of the day.” OMG.
I couldn’t believe it. All of my anxiety about flying on a helicopter was no where to be found. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve: Can this day just hurry the F up, please!?
Then I headed north to visit the Botanical Gardens, where you might guess, has lots of plants. (It was amazing and gorgeous – who knew Orchids grew ON tree trunks?)
Lunch was at this restaurant and while I’m reading the menu, I’m noticing everything has pineapple in it – EVERYTHING. WTF? Then it dawns on me, the names of the place is Pineapples. Duh.
According to my the Kaumana Cave is an interruption of a 1.5 mile long lava tube that people can explore. Intriguing? The book does not really describe how it’s this big hole in the ground filed with lush greens and steep stairs leading down into it with a rusted-ass railing. Not to mention the signs outside saying, in effect: If you go down there, you will die, and we will tell you we told you so. Of course this doesn’t stop people, such as myself, from going down there. The caves were dark, wet (water dripped from the ceiling), and rocky. I went in as far as I dared, tried to shoot a few pics, and then got the hell out.
When I checked my app to find directions to my next AirBnB, I made a discovery and that is I am an idiot. At 43 years of age, you’d think I would have the simple stuff down; things like left from right, sauce then cheese, and days of the week. But no. What I thought was a reservation from that day was actually for tomorrow. In other words, I had no place to stay that night. Fuuuuuuugh.
A quick search revealed there were NO reasonably priced hotel rooms. I checked AirBnB and twenty minutes later, I was ok’d for a studio with an ocean view of Hilo Bay. AND I was her first ever AirBnB guest. I think she took pity on me because I explained my challenges with simple things like days that end in Y.
Travel is always an adventure with me.