From the fertile Waipio Valley we drove through Saddle Road and embarked on the climb to the top of Mauna Kea.
At 9,200 foot (2,800 meter) the visitor information station. A big orange sign says “4×4 Vehicle Recommended, proceed at your own risk”. We tried to hitchhike up with those with a 4×4 and one person told us the road ahead is steep but clear of ice and snow, so we should be ok to proceed carefully. So after some debate that’s what we did.
Past the sign for the first 8 miles are steep dirt road with lots of hairpin turns. There are no guardrails with extremely steep drop-offs, view is breathtaking.
We drove slowly and steadily and finally arrived at the summit at 13,803 ft (4,207 m). I
Some of the biggest telescopes in the world are built near the summit.
Thanks to this car that took us all the way up!
We took a short hike from the parked cars to the official summit. Can you spot the sedan?
Amazing sunset, a little bummed out that the sky was overcast.
The next day we drove around the Western coast to see some notable sights and visit local shops.
We had a lot of fun browsing in an antique shop called “Glass from the Past” in Honomu near Akaka Falls.
Short hike out to the coast near the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
Spotted a cool chameleon near the roof of our guest house.
Spent the afternoon roaming around Hilo. It is one of the bigger cities on the big island but still very quiet and friendly.
It is interesting to see the strong Japanese influence in their decor and artifacts.
And that is the end of our journey in Hawaii. We still laugh at some of the adventures we went on and hope you enjoyed it as well!