Sunday, May 11, 2014

Big Island- volcanoes, beaches,luau

It rained almost daily the week that we were in Big Island, Hawaii. Kinda dampened the mood a little. Didn't get to see as much as I'd like especially the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Managed to walk the muddy trail of Kilauea Iki Crater, explored the Thurston lava tube and caught a glimpse of the lava flame at night. All done in the rain under shivering temperatures and freezing winds. We were in t-shirts and shorts as we started out from the northern part of the island where the temperature was in the 80's F. By the time we reached the park, temperatures had dropped into the 40's. Ended up having to buy long sleeve shirts from the gift shop. Should have listened to myself when I had originally planned to stay a night at the park but, vetoed by my husband. It took us 7 hours to get to the park as we're making stops along the way and another 2.5 hours back to the house.

On the way to the Volcanoes Park, we stopped by the beach at Kona Paradise. Beautiful black stone beach. Remote and just a couple of locals around. Mind you, these eye pleasing stones are hot. They are smooth stones speckled with green mineral and once pulverized will produce green sand.
A view of the South Point tip- the southern most point of the USA. From this viewpoint, it's another 30 minutes drive to the location itself.
Hawaii has a diverse landscape. We passed through lava grounds, ranches, and farmland along the west coast on the way to South Point. Curious horse approached the fence as soon as we stepped out of our car with our cameras.
     Blow hole at South Point. A mini waterfall formed as the wave crushed into the hole.
Shorelines of the South Point looking north. We didn't get to the southernmost tip as we're running out of time to get to the Volcanoes Park.
                                     One of a few daring souls jumping off the cliff.
The Green Sand Beach. A very bumpy 30 minutes ride in a rickety SUV driven by a local will take you to this view. If you want your insides rearranged, this is the ride. Worse than the ATV ride that we took in the rugged terrrains of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There were folks that prefer to walk the 3 miles to this beach under the hot sun. Is it worth it? I'd say it's not a must go beach as nicer beaches with easier access are not hard to come by in Hawaii. I can barely make out the green color in the fine sand but, that's what it is called. Crystal clear warm water but rough waves.
                        Kilauea Iki Crater in the fog and rain. Was hoping to spend more time here.

The white sand beach at Mauna Kea Resort. Rows of beach chairs lined closely together- not for me. Prefer our own beach at the rental house.
Par 3 of Mauna Kea Golf Course. The kids did nine holes on the lovely course. We kinda got lost on the way back and wandered into the next door Hapuna Prince Golf Course.

              Imu ceremony. Digging out the whole pig from the fire pit before luau dinner.

                                                       Succulent and aromatic kalua pork.
Wonderful luau venue, surrounded by the tree groves, ocean views and spectacular sunset. It drizzled a little and was windy that evening. Thus, whatever the wind picked up went into our drinks and food as well.
Buffet dinner was better than expected. Came with complimentary mai tai and juices. A nice spread of lomi lomi salmon, ahi poke, poi, wild fern, purple potato chips, shrimp cocktail, kalua pork, laulau pork, sushi, salads, desserts and fruits.
Entertainment of the night- King Kamehameha and his courts, followed by acts from Tahiti, Samoa and the Hawaiian Islands depicting the history of Hawaii. An enjoyable evening, overall.

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