Sunday, February 13, 2011

Big Island Wrap up!

I would have liked to have posted every day while in Hawaii but we didn't always have internet access. This is a wrap up of a wonderful trip...

We got to swim with turtles! We saw this guy at Kiholo Bay, along with several others:

We got to tour a private garden in Kona with our host at Tiki Island Hawaii. This 8 acre property was a tropical paradise:

The second place we stayed was the Adventurous Lava Rock Hale: This was a unique experience! It was waaaay off the beaten path, off the grid and very tranquil.

Champagne Pond is a geothermally heated tide pool accessed by a rough lava road. It is a mixture of salt and fresh water that was about 90 degrees in some areas. The mixing of salt water, fresh water and different temperatures made for some psychedelic underwater viewing...every time you passed into a different water field the water was wavering as if you were in the Matrix!

This was the closest we got to the current lava flow. The lava in the foreground is about 2 weeks old and still too hot to walk on. The steam in the distance is rising from the lava flowing into the ocean.

We saw several waterfalls, this one is Rainbow Falls:

One of the most amazing snorkeling experiences was at Kapoho Tide Pools. The picture doesn't do the place was acres and acres of large and small tide pools with crystal clear water and many, many beautiful fish and corals just waiting to be discovered.

On the last full day we stopped at the end of the northern road at Pololu Valley Lookout and hiked down to the beach below:

Altogether a fabulous trip!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big Island - Day 2

Started the day out by snorkeling at Kahalu'u Beach Park. Swam with turtles and saw so many varieties of fish! I wonder if one could ever get tired of seeing the incredible variety of sea life and landscapes and colors under water?

Next we headed North hoping to find a good swimming beach. Stopped at the Old Airport park to eat and hike to a potential snorkeling spot. Turns out the lava was too crazy for the shoes we were wearing to make it to the snorkeling spot. Flip flops aren't the best shoes for lava walking!

Then we headed north in search of Kekaha Kai State park. Traveling North of the current airport, we turned off onto a road that was paved at one time. Now it is a roller coaster of bumpy lava...luckily we have a jeep, because this road wanted to jiggle the teeth out of your head! We couldn't believe some people had taken regular cars out there!

The beach was worth the jolting though...a postcard perfect beach, with thick white sand, shade trees, palm trees. lava in the distance and turtles! But not so great for swimming.

More exploring tomorrow...!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Big Island 2011, Day 1

So here we are on the Big Island, a mere 2 hour time difference from home, and weather pretty similar to home. We met some people last night who had barely made it out of Maine (via Boston) to get here, a true paradise for them!

We haven't planned anything in advance for this trip beyond our lodging. Our first 5 nights are at Tiki Island Hawaii,, a one bedroom apartment which is the first floor of a two story house on the hill above Kailua Kona. It's filled with tiki decor, a view to die for, a pool and lush gardens outside our door. We are a short 10 minute drive to the beach.

Day one, we visited Place of Refuge, ancient Hawaiian ruins, and snorkeled just around the corner at Two Step. It was an amazing snorkeing experience, we saw a turtle, many, many colorful tropical fish, many types of coral and I saw an eel. Then a picnic at the gorgeous, quiet, and somewhat secluded Place of Refuge picnic area.
Place of Refuge picnic area

In the evening we drove down into the tourist area of Kailua Kona and witnessed a beautiful sunset over mai tai's at Don the Beachcomber. I'm not too impressed by the tourist zone...but you can't beat the location:

Sunset at Don the Beachcomber's