We took a couple of days and drove over to the other side of the island to see some waterfalls. Hilo is the seat of government for the island of Hawaii, and is located on this, the rainy side of the island. It gets more than 180 inches of rain a year, and is the rainiest city in the U.S. So, there are waterfalls for a reason. We watched the weather forcast, and picked a couple of days that had a chance of rain of only 70% and 80%, instead of the 90% that it had been for the past week. The first half of the first day, on the drive over there and up to the top of the island where the Waipio Valley is located, it was dry. But, as soon as we got over onto the middle of the rainy side, and before we could see any of the waterfalls, it started to rain, and rained continuously for the rest of our time there.
We bought a couple of over-priced flimsy ponchos from one of the botanical gardens that I wanted to see, and waited for the rain to slow to a drizzle, and walked through the
gardens anyway. It was kind of fun, in a different sort of way. We also got out of the car and walked to the waterfalls and took pictures, rain and all. At least it wasn't really cold.
The hotel we had was right on the bay, on Banyon drive, and we were upgraded to an ocean-view room, and it was pretty cool to sit on the covered balcony and watch the ocean and the rain, but not get wet. The rain slowed enough for us to walk across the street to walk through a beautiful Japanese garden, and to get a look at the Banyon trees that give this street its name. They were planted by famous people, and the plaques in front of them tell who planted them. I have included a picture of the one planted by Franklin D Roosevelt. We ran over to the restaurant next door, and were lucky enough to be able to enjoy some live traditional Hawaiian music and watch a hula dancer. This lady was older than me, and closer to Steve's age I think, and not a small lady, but she was so graceful that she was just mesmerizing. This was
the traditional kind of hula where the hands tell the story, and even though I didn't understand it, it was beautiful to watch. The steel guitar, a 6 string ukelele, and a big stand-up bass was the band, and the sounds that they could produce were so very pretty. Two of them sang as well, in harmony, and often in the Hawaiian language. We sat there for hours after we finished eating, just listening and enjoying.
So, although wet, and although we didn't see some of the things we had wanted to see because of the rain, our trip to the rainy side of the island was a good one.
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