After the volcanoes, we went to Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, where I once again spent way too much money.
Next was the Safari Helicopter tour of the volcano. I was afraid that the helicopter ride would be terrifying, but it was great fun. We only got a little glimpse of some lava – most of it is underground right now – but we got a great view of the huge amounts of steam being expelled from the crater. We also got to see the remains of a town which was wiped out by the last eruption. Several of the homeowners have actually rebuilt right on the lava flows. The surrounding countryside is beautiful. There are huge monkeypod trees everywhere.
We had dinner at a funky restaurant called Ken’s Pancake House. They had everything imaginable. I got the “small” bowl of wonton soup, which was huge and very tasty. Then we flew back to Oahu, and I pretty much crashed from exhaustion.
Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Milk is almost $8 a gallon in Hawaii!