Another bright sunny day was inspiration to take our dog, Valentine for a walk and to see more of Hilo. We started out at Wailoa State Park downtown. The park has darling little "rainbow bridges" arching over the fishing ponds. After taking a picture of Vali with the gold guilded statue of King Kamehameha, we ventured on. We saw a flame on some sort of monument and went to see what it was. It was the Viet Nam War Memorial and has an eternal flame on top.
From there we rambled over to the Wailoa Center which focuses on artists from Hawaii. Unfortunately, it was closed so we could not go in, but we do plan on making another visit soon.
Then we saw another memorial, actually from our point of view it was a large mound of lava, but going around to the other side, we discovered the Shimachi Tsunami Memorial, where hundreds of residents were killed in the 1960 Tsunami here at the Shimachi district of Hilo, which is now mostly parkland. The memorial has a beautiful mosaic of the world in the center. There was a couple with a 5 month old baby there with a professional photographer taking pictures of the baby crawling on the "world".
We also saw some of Hawaii's protected and treasured native geese, the Nēnē. This is the world's rarest goose. In 1952 there were only 30 left in the world. Now there are about 1000. Let's just hope that they do not increase in population like their cousins the Canadian Geese which were also protected and now have become a real nusence on the mainland. The ones pictured appear to be a cross breed of some kind, maybe with ducks???
We saw an outrigger rowing club practicing and they yelled out to us. This is a common sight in Hilo, both in the river/ponds and in the bay. We ofter see them out in front of our house past the break water.
We walked back to the car and then went to find a "secret beach" that our friend Kelly had shown Wes a few days before. We found it past the port area and breakwater. It was beautiful, secluded and a few families were there enjoying the day. A few others had dogs with them too, so Vali met some new friends. Surf was up and the whales were spouting in the area. One person told us there was a whale breeching moments before, but we missed it when we were hiking over the lava.
All in all, it was a lovely little outing and a delightful way to spend a few hours walking and seeing more of our new hometown.