18 October 2010

Hawaii Day 5: Mauna Kea

The great thing about staying on our hotel, the best off-beach snorkeling was right next to our hotel. After having the hotel breakfast, we would go down and snorkel. It was a feeding ground for the green sea turtles. We bought an underwater camera, and it was fun to take pictures. Not all turned out very well.

In the afternoon, we went on a tour to Mauna Kea. The whole idea of the trip was to drive up and see the sunset on top of the world. On the way up, the van we were in broke down. That was a bummer. We waited for the new van. It was super hot, because the replacement van was driving up so quickly to get to the broken down van.

We stopped off at an old sheep farm to eat dinner. We saw our friends, Lindsay and Steve, who we meet on our 16 hour tour to the volcano the other day.

Unfortunately, instead of getting above the clouds, we were stuck in the middle of them. The view was not great. Here's what it looked like most of the time - this is a photo of Lindsay and Laura.

We didn't quite see the sunset, but here's a pretty good picture before all the clouds covered the mountain.

The tour company was pretty good, because they refunded half of our money, because they realized that it wasn't a great experience. So, we do recommend Hawaii Forest & Trail. The cloud cover finally cleared, but we were off the top of the mountain - they only keep you up there for a few minutes to avoid altitude issues. They set up microscopes at the visitor's center site and, for the first time, I saw the andromeda galaxy through a telescope, and the moons of Saturn. Pretty cool.

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