Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hilo - Volcano National Park (1)

We decided, many months before the cruise, that we wanted to tour Hilo and the Big Island of Hawaii with Mary Lou's tours.  We got a lead on this couple here on CruiseCritic and immediately contacted them.  Because of our early decision we had a car and guide (Mary Lou herself) all to ourselves.  Thus we were able to spend the time we wanted at the stops we wanted.  We were not subject tot the wishes of others and thus were able to go to just the places we had hoped to see.

We found Mary Lou extremely knowledgable and wanting to please.  If I was to return I would not hesitate to take this tour again. Nnow, having said this, we did leave with a little disappointment.  We, all 4 of us, had stated the one thing we each wanted to see specifically.  Mary Lou, in her attempt to ensure we all got some of what we wanted, modified our wishes.  By this I mean that one of us had stated Akaka Falls was the highest on their "want to see list".  While we did not get to Akaka Falls we did get to see Rainbow Falls, so we did get a waterfalls in during the tour, but it just wasn't Akaka Falls. 

We did get a tour of the waterfront area of  Hilo and we got a tour of a coffee mill (photos to come) but would have gladly given this up, along with Rainbow Falls, should we have been able to go to Akaka Falls.  Now, let me state clearly here, I do not know Hilo and the routes necessary to travel to get in all our "wants", so perhaps time was the greatest issue and Mary Lou, knowing better, decided any water falls was better than none, or better than getting to Akaka Falls but missing the ship's departure.

Let me state clearly that we found Mary Lou Tours to be extremely professional and concerned about your comfort and enjoyment..  If you are looking for a personal and comfortable private tour of the Hilo area do not hesitiate to go with Mary Lou Tours.  I know that should we have said nothing was more important than getting to Akaka Falls and would give up eveything else in order that we get to see this site, she would have ensured our wish was fulfilled.

So, having stated this, our first destination was Volcano National Park.  This park has a number of "smaller" destinations so I am going to break up my posts to ensure all is convered appropriately.

This post is about our drive around Crater Rim Road.  Words can't begin to describe the views, I only hope my 3D photos do something to allow you to experience what we saw.

CLICK ON PHOTOS for larger views

With having waited for over 2 years for this cruise and subsequently our visit to a volcano, it was hard to believe it was over so fast.  I know we got to spend as much time as we wanted but as we departed it was hard to believe we had been there.  Thank goodness something else was just around the corner.

Next post:  The Steam Vents of Volcano National Park

Questions and comments always welcome

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