Setting out into torrential rain once again, we drove north to the Waipio valley outlook. A fortunate break in the clouds enabled us to look down into the valley – the road down is famously steep, and tourists are discouraged from going any further.
Valley duly admired, we squelched back to the car and headed up and over the island to the west side. An accidental detour took us onto Route 190, which afforded an amazing view up to Mauna Kea summit and its telescopes.
Driving down to the coast, the road winds through old lava fields. It’s basically a black craggy desert, with occasional stunted trees or patches of sad-looking grass, but as you look towards the sea you notice groves of palm trees marking the fancy beach resorts which dot the coast in this part of the island.
We stopped for a brief walk through an historic site, where signs of earlier habitation are visible amongst the lava, but the temperature (90F) drove us towards the lovely Under the Bodhi Tree cafe and lunch. After that we found and checked into our hotel and spent the rest of the day enjoying the resort – walking on the beach, swimming in the pool, sitting on our balcony (or lanai), drinking happy hour cocktails at the bar. We vaguely contemplated going to the luau (a pit-roast pork dinner accompanied by music and dancing), but in the end we opted for the crab-and-steak buffet served on the terrace, which was excellent (and half the price).