One of the things that is way cool about the Hawaiian islands is the diversity of the environments on any given island.
On one side, it can be sunny and perfect with cloudless skies and a light breeze, while on the other side can be experiencing a complete downpour, strong winds and a total blanket of clouds.
It was one of those unexpected things for me the first time we visited Maui. We were soaked for the two days we camped in Hana and we were hot and dry for the other two days we stayed in Wailea.
Same goes for the big island. We stayed on the dry side (ie. Kona), but ventured to the Hilo side to check out the volcano and sniff out a waterfall or two. And there were moments that the place felt just like Maui. Even the drive back to the Kona area from Hilo felt windy enough in parts to remind us of Hana – minus all the single lane bridges.
After feeling the steam from the fissures in Kilauea’s caldera, and wandering over to smell the sulfur banks (bigger, deeper cracks spewing more steam and a stinkier air), we got a nice, light rinse at Akaka Falls when the clouds finally dropped the rain they had been accumulating.
It was just right. It should rain in the rainforest. Duh. And besides, the waterfall – even at 400 feet tall – wouldn’t have sprayed us from the overlook. The sky was the only way we’d get wet.