May 27, 2016 – Happy 10th Anniversary to us. We started the day with breakfast at the room – bagels, fruit, granola bars, juice, and coffee. Today’s plan was to drive into Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This time we followed the curving Crater Drive down to the ocean. There’s a small parking lot, and it’s possible to walk along the road through the old lava flows. It’s much warmer in the midst of the black lava than it is at the higher elevations in the park.
We also decided to brave the one way road towards back country parking. We only saw a few other cars, including one that was flying down the road. We also saw something big and black; Louisa wondered if it was a cow, but no, it was a wild pig. A pig and a few nenes later and we were at the parking lot, with a great view of the water and the rolling hills.
Devastation Trail was quite crowded by 11am, so we followed the old road instead. We saw another pair of nenes and the gasses rolling from within the active crater. We also took a few minutes to walk through the lava tube; quite crowded, interesting, and best if you can time the trip for between the tour groups moving through it. Then again, how many places can you walk through a lava tube?
We wanted to try something different for lunch, so headed out of the park to the Tuk-Tuk Thai food truck. The Thai iced teas were great, and the noodle dishes were good (but not as good as the Thai we had in Hilo). After lunch we went back to Volcano National Park for a stroll along the rim trail. It was a nice way to see some steam vents and really appreciate the size of the crater.
For dinner we made reservations at Kilauea Restaurant. The restaurant was very cute inside, and they gave us helium balloons (purple and blue – our favorite colors). We both ordered the blackened tuna entrees. The tuna was fantastic, very fresh. The appetizer soup and salad were also good, as were the in-state beers we enjoyed with dinner.