Hawai'i One-3, Day 9: A'a, Nene, Mahi Mahi
It's our ninth day in Hawai'i (eighth morning), and on our books for for today is our trip down the Kona coast to Volcanoes Park. We didn't get to Volcanoes on our last trip, so it's about time to visit Pele's playground and pay our respects to Kilauea; plus, we have a scheduled hiking tour of the park with Native Guide Hawaii's native Hawaiian guide Warren Costa. We're supposed to meet him at the visitor center at 09:30, and it takes more than 2 hours to get there from Kona, so it's an early morning wake up for us.
We start off slightly behind schedule, but thanks to what may be my driving a tiny bit over the posted speed limit we end up down around the south point of the island a little bit ahead of schedule; so we decide to make a brief stop at the Punalu'u Bakery ("Southernmost bakery in the USA!")... but we pull into the parking lot before they're open. This is almost becoming a theme for our vacation, but like with Kai Lanai yesterday we just shrug and decide to come back later. We get to Volcanoes National Park (now open once again, after the temporary government shutdown) and meet up with Warren right on time (he's actually a few minutes late, but that's just Island Time, which is fine.)