Sunday, March 1, 2009
Hawaiian Road Trip - 4th Post
OMG - I can't believe I actually got up at 3:30 am to board a bus for the airport for a flight to the big island. I really hate getting up early. Oh well the trip was worth it. We boarded our plane and left Oahu at 6:15 am. It was a smooth and uneventful flight. We meet our bus at Kona airport on the big island I was at once impressed by the different land scape on this island. It looks barren and desalate. Jagged rocks, blue skys and blue waters of the ocean. Breathtaking.
We had to go to several resorts on the big island to pick up other passengers and then we where off. We began driving toward Wiamia and onto the Parker Ranch. This ranch is one of the biggest in the United States and has been owned by the same family since the early 1800s. As we where driving toward the northeast I noticed the snow on the mountains, here we where in the middle of paridise and warm temperatures and there on the top of the mountain was snow. It was so pretty.
We made one stop for a quick breakfast at a local rest area for some of the best donunts I've had, hot malasadas yummy. It reminded me more of a beignet than a donut. What ever you call it, it was really good. Continuing across the ranch we made our way to the northeast part of the island toward Hilo. We stopped at one of the many falls here on the island of Hawaii, the easiest to reach was called Rainbow falls because of the rainbow at the base of the island. Here we stopped at Big Island Candies and I had some of the best chocolate covered coffee beans. I wish I had picked up a bag while I was there. It was really good. We then went to an orchid shop and I got some great picutres of the various beautiful flowers growing in the store.
Back on the bus so we can continue on to Volanoes National Park. This was so cool, walking on an active volcano was really amazing. The smell of sulfar was noticable and I can hear in my head Shreek talking about brimestone and gases...
We had lunch at the Valcono House, with all the buses on sight we didn't have enough time to have a sit down lunch and still walk around the house, so I opted for a quick meal so I could get out and take more pictures.
After lunch we drove past some active steam vents and then made our way to a volcano tube. Here you had to walk down a steep winding path to the bottom of the cliff and then we walked through the tube. Luckily it wasn't raining that day so we didn't have to wade through a river of water, just a couple of puddles. The climb up to the bus was realitively easy and it was all at a gradual slop so I had no problems with the walking. It was really something to behold. I'm so glad I made this journey. This was probably my only chance of getting to the big island.
After the volcano park we continued around the eastern side of the island and worked our way back to Kona Airport. Another cool spot for a quick stop was on one of the many black sand beaches on the big island. It was amazing to be able to walk along the beach with my walking boots on and not having a problem. These beaches are known for having sea turtles sunning themselves. We where fortuneate to see one of these turtles on the beach Back on the bus and by this time I was ready to depart. We spent the entire day on the island and arrived back at the hotel in Oahu around 8:30 that evening. I stopped for a drink with some of our other travellers then it was up to bed because I was so tired. Tomorrow it's off to Maui.