Monday, November 19, 2012

Road Trip on the Big Island

On Tuesday, November 6 we started out early on our trip around the island. The first place we stopped was  a little fishing village called Milolii. It had been wiped out by a lava flow in the 20s and the beach is all volcanic rock. The little village was rebuilt in the lava field with very little vegetation still. The beach was beautiful and we searched for and found some lovely little cowrie shells.

Next stop on our trip was Punaluu where we had our picnic lunch and bought some wonderful donut-like custard filled pastries. They have a name, it escapes me at the moment. Oh there it is in the photo, malasadas, I think.

At this point I was not doing so well as my fragile neck had been battered on an ill-advised trip down to a secluded beach on a really rough dirt road. After 2 of the 6 miles to the beach I was in serious pain and had had enough. I'm still in considerable pain almost 2 weeks live and learn I guess.

Finding Whittington Beach Park made everything so much better, it was glorious! The color of the water was amazing, from clear aqua to turquoise to deep gorgeous blue.

Next stop, black sand beach and a visit with some Green Sea Turtles:
More gorgeous beach scenes, black sand and the turtles enjoying a lazy day at the beach. The photo on the top right is a favorite, I timed my shot to get the waves crashing on the rocks. The white is not low lying clouds but the amazing surf on this part of the island. Al especially liked the sign that read "Turtle Etiquette". The turtles must have read it because they behaved themselves very nicely! :)

At Volcano National Park we took some time to check out the still steaming Kilauea Volcano and take a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. It's a cave created by the lava boring a whole through the hardened surface of recent lava flows. This one was created hundreds of years ago and was discovered in 1913. This part of the island is usually very cold but this day it was very blustery and just a bit chilly. I picked up a few unwanted souvenirs here....legs full of bites from hungry mosquitoes. They are still red and angry. Apparently I was very tasty because I was the only who was feasted upon in our group. The funny thing is I didn't even notice them until I was on the plane home 3 days later.

On to Hilo:
On arriving in Hilo we stopped at Cafe 100 for a local favorite, Loco Moco. Al enjoyed this concoction of rice, hamburger patty, brown gravy and fried egg, I took a photo then kept my distance.

I think that is the worst photo of me ever (taken at Rainbow Falls, which was barely a trickle)....we didn't get much sleep in our Hilo hotel room. It was election night and a political party had set up a tent across the street for their victory celebration, needless to say it was loud and obnoxious all through the night. I can't blame it all on the revelers though, my neck was very cranky that morning.
What did make me happy was my breakfast of buttermilk pancakes with macadamia nuts and guava syrup, oh so yummy!

On the road back to Kona we stopped in a quaint little town:
I loved the colors on that metal barn, reminded me of a patchwork of worn denim. I had to chuckle at the name of the shop, "Same Same But Different".  Andy and Kellie (our son and DIL) told us that is what the shopkeepers say in Thailand when trying to get customers into their shops.

I took more beach photos at Laupahoehoe:
This beach was the site of a tragedy in 1946 when a tsunami wiped out a whole school and most of the children and teachers. There is monument to those who died and the area is now a park. I found that on this part of the island they don't rebuild after tsunamis destroy towns. The ocean was beautiful and powerful here and we all got quite windblown.

We finished our road trip with a short stop in Waimea (no photos here, I was under the influence of pain meds) and another at a lovely little beach on the Kona side (which we visited the next day and just relaxed). Notice how calm the waves are on this side compared to the Hilo side. The day was capped off with a beautiful view at dinner on the patio of Sam Choy's restaurant in south Kona.

I'll leave you with a couple of last looks:

For all you Iron Man Triathlon fans this sign is on Ali'i Drive just a short walk from where we stayed:

 I know it's everywhere, but I just love the creamy colors of Plumeria blossoms:

And our last beautiful sunset in Kona, aren't those colors amazing?

Thanks for making it to the end of this rather lengthy travelogue. We will be back to our regular programming tomorrow :)

PS- if you are planning a trip to Hawaii in the near future, you may want to check out Hawaiian Airlines. We got an excellent price on our tickets (not direct to Kona from LAX but the airports in the islands aren't a bad place for a short layover) and get this, they actually feed you a meal- a complimentary meal! On the way home we even had a glass of wine with our dinner included. I definitely recommend Hawaiian Airlines and would book a trip with them again. And starting in March 2013 they will be flying to New Zealand and Australia according to their magazine.
(Totally unsolicited opinion, just passing on my thoughts)



  1. I loved seeing these photos and taking a trip with you! On my bucket list to go there some day. Glad you had a wonderful trip.

  2. Wow!! How awesome is your road trip, Nancy! I felt that I was right there with you! You looked so happy and blessed! God is good! HUGS!

  3. Love all these photos, Nancy! Especially the last two - Plumeria are not "everywhere." As a matter of fact, I rarely see them and am swooning over that photo! And you are correct - those sunset colors are amazing! Thanks for sharing your fabulous trip! Hugs! :)

  4. Hi Nancy, thanks for sharing your holiday photos! I so hope your neck is improving, I know how painful that can be! Blessings!

  5. Wow these vacation photos are awesome, thanks for sharing Nancy!

  6. Wonderful pictures, Nancy! So sorry you had neck problems part of the time.

  7. You captured the beauty of the islands.....our favorite place on the planet. So happy you did this and thanks a bunch for sharing. Aloha!


Thanks for your comments, I love hearing from you!