Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

May 26, 2016 – One advantage of the Air BnB spot is we’re about 10 minutes from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  We arrived early and had no problem finding a parking spot by the Kilauea Iki Crater trailhead.  We started counter clockwise, and were almost immediately headed downhill.  After a bit of a walk through the rainforest we came to the crater.  The path across the cooled lava is clearly worn, but there are still active steam vents a few yards off the trail.  We enjoyed the walk across, and after a short uphill were back in the forested area.  By now it was starting to get a bit crowded, but we were fortunate to have a few minutes to ourselves to listen and watch for the tropical birds flying around the tree tops.

This chatty ‘Apapane was found around the Kilauea Iki Crater.

We headed out of the park for lunch.  Cafe Ono is located just down the road from where we were staying, and offers a good deal on vegetarian food.  We both opted for the vegetarian lasagna, with soup, fresh potato chips, salad or rice, and bread and butter.  The lasagna was good, and the soup (Asian mushroom) was fantastic. After lunch we headed back into the park.  This time we took a shorter walk along a paved trail, past some sulfur springs, lots of sulfuric gasses, and a bit of a trek through the woods.

Because the Halema’uma’u Crater is active, it is closed off to the public.

We had dinner reservations at Ohelo Cafe.  We were seated a few minutes after our reservation time, and had a table in the back of the restaurant by one of the large wooden supports.  We were glad to have reservations since the restaurant was almost completely full for the four or so hours they are open for dinner.  We started out with ahi poke, served with macadamia nuts and green onions.  This was some of the best ahi we’ve ever had, and we got some good chopstick practice in with the macadamia nuts.  Tony had a wood fired pizza with pesto and house made sausage, and Louisa had the short ribs with BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes and creamed corn.  Both entrees were also fantastic, and the restaurant also has a nice selection of HI beer. After dinner we drove back into the park to watch the volcano.  We parked near the small museum and had a nice view of the lava glow as the sun set.

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