A (not so) hidden gem

We’ve now lived here four years. The island is about 250 miles in circumference.  Big as Hawaiian islands go, but still not so big that we should “miss” something special.  Especially since there is really only one main road around the island:  Highway 19 starts in the middle of Hilo and goes north, ending on the west side in Kona.  Where it ends, Highway 11 starts and runs south around the island, ending back in Hilo at the junction of highway 19.

So, when going anywhere, we pass…..everything.  So how could we have overlooked the Pana’ewa Zoo, just a couple miles south of Hilo on Highway 11?  We pass it every time we head up to Volcano, or down the the Kapoho tidepools.  We always just sped on by….

…..until Friday.  We’ve had terrific rains here this week, and that makes for “brown water”  (the mud runs off into the ocean)….not ideal for snorkeling.  So on my one day off this week I wanted something different.  The Zoo!

What a treat it was.  Beautiful tropical gardens with a small zoo featuring animals found in the tropics.  Monkeys, lemur, kinkajou. Parrots, toucans and peacocks. Coatimundi  and Skink.

Oh, and Namaste, the Bengal Tiger.

Simon and Garfunkel were right! It’s all happening at the zoo!