Arriving in Waimea from Kona, there is a hill that literally changes to brilliant green as you move from the dry to wet side of the Island. Once you pass through Waimea (which is actually chilly at night), you drive along the Hamakua coast with cattle in lush green pastures and tall Eucalyptus trees on both sides of the road. You can stop for a meal at Honokaa with endless views of the Ocean. After this, there are not a lot of places to eat or take a bathroom break on the way to Hilo. The views are the best on the island on this drive, which continues on through Laupahoehoe. There is a small park with waves crashing on the rocks. The memorial here honors the lives of the students and teachers who died in the tsunami of 1946. As you drive on in to Hilo, there are 3 or 4 gorges that are breathtaking--but only passengers can really absorb the view since the driver has to really watch the road here. As you arrive in Hilo, if it is late in the evening, the chirping of the coqui frogs pierces the air. Coconut Island and Hilo are just ahead.
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