Hilo, Hawaii

I am sailing on the Holland America flagship, the Rotterdam, on a cruise through Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. After four and a half days sailing from San Diego, we arrived in Hilo today just before noon, our first sight being the Mauna Kea Volcano sitting in the clouds (photo).  The weather on our crossing was cool and cloudy and rain was predicted for Hilo.  However, the sun came out as we arrived and it became quite hot during the afternoon.  Hilo is the second largest town on the big island of Hawaii.  It has been rebuilt twice after tsunamis destroyed much of the waterfront area.  After the second tsunami, a buffer zone was established which is now only parkland.  Near the waterfront is found the Liluokalani Gardens (photo) named to honour Hawaii’s last monarch.  It is a Japanese style garden and was built in 1917 to recognize the colonial era Japanese immigrants, most of whom worked in the sugar plantations.   I took a tour to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.  It is found on the scenic and very wet Hamakua Coast.  The gardens were started in 1978 by a retired California trucking company executive and his wife. They are a non-profit venture and contain plants from all over the world including endangered native Hawaiian species.  You are given a map on entry and do a self-guided tour through the dense tropical rain forest. The gardens stretch right down to the ocean. There are many different species such as orchids, gingers, heliconias, palms and medicinal plants. It takes about two hours to cover the entire area of these excellent gardens. I attach several photos of the gardens including some of the more colourful plants.  Our next port is Lahaina, Maui.


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One Response to Hilo, Hawaii

  1. Wonderful to read your 1st blog of what promises to be another fabulous voyage, Leslie! And your description of your visit to Hawaii just reinforces our wish to get there some day…(The Japanese references help!).

    Do tell about the Rotterdam at some point.

    Buen viaje,

    David, in Lima

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