After staggering back from the lava flows, sun-burnt and exhausted, we were elated to spend the night on a mattress with access to hot running water and a continental breakfast waiting for us the next morning.
We crashed at a Hostel in Hilo, where the owner exclaimed to us, “American Travelers! We don’t get many American travelers…” Initially baffled, we later reasoned that most of the occupants of the hostel were foreigners, and the fact that we opted to spend our vacation hopping mostly between campsites and hostels must have set us apart from the run of the mill tourist. I was secretly a little bit proud of this distinction. Anyway, after enjoying our continental breakfast, we embarked upon just about the most run-of-the-mill-touristy day of the entire trip. We hopped in the car and rode around to see some sights. In truth, after all of the hiking, biking, diving, camping, kayaking and cold showers, sightseeing was pretty much all we had left in us. We started in Puna and skipped our way back toward Kona where we would stop at the Kona Brewing company for some post-vacation victory beers and pizzas, before starting the long flight home. Here’s what we saw along the way.