My boyfriend and I just got back from a wonderful trip to the Big Island and Oahu. It was our first time to the Big Island, and fourth to Oahu. Apologies if this report is a little long,
We arrive in Hilo at 3pm after an uneventful flight and layover in Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines are great, the holiday starts straight away with them. Plus you get POG! We pick up our rental car (Chevrolet Aveo from Dollar rentals) and put the details of Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, plus our hostel into the GPS. We tune the radio to KAPA FM (soon to be a staple of this trip) and we're off!
Driving along, it's a great surprise when our GPS starts talking- there is a tour guide function we didn't know about. It's unobtrusive with just the right amount of information, a bit of history and Hawaiian mythology, awesome!
We arrive at Boiling Pots and park on side of the road. The boot of our car is uncovered so our suitcases are visible but its a decision we make. We see the giant banyan tree and briefly walk through forest down to Rainbow Falls. It's then that we see the proper carpark where we should've parked, oh well! Rainbow Falls is certainly not a bad first impression of the Big Island! After a few photos we walk back up to Boiling Pots. I put my hands in the water, refreshing but not cold. Ben walks out to rocks to try and look over the edge.
We head into town and to first night's accommodation, the Hilo Bay Hostel. It's quite cute, very centrally located and our private room is basic but comfortable (mini-fridge, bedding and towels are provided, there is a ceiling fan but no air-con, although we didn't find it hot at all). Plus free wifi and coffee in the morning; great value.
Our host Terry recommends a place called Pineapples for dinner, on Fridays there's local music, plus its only 2 blocks away. We were going to head to Ken's (a bit further out of town) but this sounds great.
Out for a quick exploration about 5pm. We check out Pineapples- it looks popular. Across the road is a KTA, we pop in to get some water and check it out. We see where the farmers markets will be tomorrow and walk down to the water. Hilo seems like a very sleepy town and whilst it looks like it's seen better days it has a nice vibe.
Then it's back to the hostel to shower and out to Pineapples. First order of business - a pitcher of Kona Brewing Company's seasonal beer, Wailua Ale (lilikoi flavoured). The musician starts to play one of our favourite Hawaiian songs, 'No Ke Ano Ahiahi'. We smile and Ben says "This is it, we're here". It doesn't get old, every time we arrive we relax from the moment we hop off the plane. It's something magic!
We enjoy some pupus - the gringo spring rolls, shrimp tacos and a pulled pork sandwich with amazing mac salad, all quite good and really reasonably priced (for us Aussies anyway).
We head back to hostel, put in our earplugs and crash- it's 8pm!