On a previous trip to the Big Island we paid for an "excursion" to the observatories on the top of the mountain. That was an awesome experience, but this time we drove ourselves. We were staying in Kona-Kailua and had spent the day driving to Hilo, so we drove up to the Visitors Center from Hilo. Saddle Road was excellent. We arrived a bit too late to catch the sunset but in plenty of time to get settled for the stargazing. The gentleman who explained the constellations and shared interesting background information about them was excellent. Seeing Saturn through the telescope looked too perfect to be real. It does get cold, though! I was the only one out of our group of five who stayed outside for the whole explanation of the night sky. There was no cost for this experience, either. Saddle Road back to Kona-Kailua must have just been paved - it was smooth and well marked with reflectors. Whether you are into stars or not, you will see more stars than you thought imaginable! Don't miss this out of this world experience.
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