We had to get up early to drive from Hilo to Kona airport, which is on the opposite side of the island. Before that we packed a package to send home the stuff that didn’t fit into the backpack anymore. Then it was time to say goodbye to the rainbow state of Hawaii. At 1:16pm we left for Honolulu and then New York.
Today we tried two more beaches at a pleasant 24 degrees and at Punaluu I saw Seaturtles directly, live and in color.
It is a dark-black sandy beach and underwater there are warm currents. We snorkeled with and next to them. It was just great. The turtles can move so easily in the water and they also swim right up to you.
We then continued along the west coast through Kona to Harpuna Beach. This was the contrast to Black Sand Beach. White sand, very shallow, with picnic areatoilet and shower. (Harpuna Beach costs 5 dollars parking fee.) Snorkeling was rather boring there because only a few fish were to be seen. At Harpuna Beach you can have fun with the bodyboard. We watched the beautiful sunset and then drove back home. In the homestay we baked Belgian waffles and exchanged with two German women, new guests.
Today we planned and researched for quite a long time! It was a bit stormy outside, so you could not go swimming so well in the sea! We booked several flights and accommodations! In the afternoon we went to the coast in Hilo and looked at the waves.
A cruiser, the “Proud of America” was just in port and left . We also looked at a beautiful waterfall at Wailuku River State Park.
In the evening we baked up some pizza, but it wasn’t that good. We guess caraway or fennel in the dough.
Today we drove to the Volcanoes National Park, which is about 30 min away by car (25 USD per car/7 days ticket). In the visitor center you can find out which parts of the park are currently open or closed. We could walk from several directions to the edge of Kilauea and see the huge crater. You pass steaming holes, lava fields, and closed roads destroyed by the eruption and earthquake. It was quite stormy and cool today.
Glowing lava is nowhere to be seen. The crater is several kilometers in size and has grown a lot due to the eruption in August 2018. During the eruption 2000 people were evacuated 700 lost their homes. Our host Diana told us that only one man had to go to the hospital because of the eruption. She works at the hospital and was on duty. A lava boulder hit him and he broke his leg. The Road Chain of Craters leads through the park 16 km directly to the sea. A natural bridge has formed there. Tonight we cooked curry pan with rice and had dinner with the other guests. Ana and Fran from Argentina we had met yesterday. They got married last year and are honeymooning. Fran lost his ring while snorkeling at Twostep Beach. They are traveling back to Cordoba tomorrow. Kim is coming from South Korea and will fly on to Oahu the day after tomorrow. Diana joined them later. It was a very nice evening.
Our flight to Kona /Big Island we got without problems and also the luggage traveled with us! Just under an hour flight and already at the airport you realize that you have arrived on an island with an active volcano. Lava characterizes the picture.
Until we reached our accommodation in Hilo we had about 2 h drive across the island. Our Hawaiian Ohana Home is in a wonderful house with rocking chairs on the terrace and view to the sea. Late in the afternoon we drove to Kalapana until we were not allowed to continue at a roadblock. A desert of lava. And there are already people living in small wooden houses on stilts. The black beach at Pohoiki was formed only last year by the volcanic eruption. Very impressive!
In the evening we used the kitchen and prepared a salad with bread and mozzarella.
We left before breakfast today to catch the sunrise and possibly dolphins and sea turtles at Makua Beach, west coast. For me the pull of the surf was too strong, so I quickly got out of the water. Reiner ventured further out and swam with a turtle for a long time!
Although overnight camping is prohibited, many mostly young people sleep there partly in tents and hammocks 5-6 per tree.
After snorkeling, we first had breakfast at Subways and then headed back towards Honolulu to Ko Olina. There are four man-made lagoons there. Very romantic, very “Disney Land”. After that we went to Pearl Harbor. You can visit a part of the military area that was heavily bombed in 1941 during WW2. Sunk ships can still be seen there. There are guided tours, a museum and shuttle buses – and ferries to the wrecks. We just walked along the harbor once and read through the plaques. After Pearl Harbor, we were at Waikiki – Beach.
There is not such a strong surf there and so I could snorkel again. We saw lots of colorful fish in a reef just offshore. The beach is beautiful, but also full of people. Parking cost for 1.5 h 12 USD. After a long snorkel we let ourselves dry and went on to the east coast to Chinaman s Hat. This is a small uninhabited island, about 500m off Oahu, which looks like a Chinese hat. A little further up the coast there is the Kualoa Ranch. You can go horseback riding, take a tour to Jurassic Park locations, biking or high ropes course, … . Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time for that. To end the day, we shared a Ben + Jerry’s ice cream and cooked pasta again in our AirB+B, because sauce was over. There was even time to go to Carcassonne. I defended my lead.
We had fried egg and cereal for breakfast. Freshly strengthened we drove to Manoa. The track to the waterfall only took about an hour, but was a little slippery in places. Scenes from Jurassic World were filmed here and you can really imagine meeting a dinosaur there. Rainforest with giant ferns and huge trees with vines.
Pink flowers, birds chirping and mountains shrouded in mist. Just “Jurassic Park.”
The waterfall itself was very nice, but closed off around the pool. You could not jump in! Then we wanted to check out a few more beaches. Electric Beach is known for having turtles swimming around there often. Today, however, it was a bit rainy from the afternoon on and there were many surfers in the high waves. Also megainteressant to watch them surfing. In between we got a call from Hawaiian Airlines that our luggage arrived in Honolulu. We went to the airport to pick it up again super happy. Now I just have to submit the receipts for our purchases for reimbursement. For dinner we made penne with salad.
By the way, we went back in time and experienced 1/23/2019 minus one hour twice. Weather Today: 80 degrees Fahrenheit = 26.6 degrees Celsius. We drove a bit along the southern tip of the island after breakfast. We only took a quick look at Kailua Bay Beach. – beautiful! Then we drove to the Hanauma Bay Underwater Park on the recommendation of Amanda (hostess AirBB). She also kindly lent us her snorkeling gear and a beach towel.
It is a great bay with coral reef. Well organized, with 3 lifeguard houses, toilet and kiosk. Costs USD 7.50 pP entrance fee and very nicely laid out. Each visitor first watches a film on how to behave in the reef, for the protection of nature and own safety. Then it goes down a road and into the sea. It is like a huge aquarium only not fenced. We saw whales in front of the bay. I had to get used to diving goggles and fins first, but then it was really great. The corals in about 1-3 m depth with lots of colorful fish.
Whales and fish in the sea and on the beach birds and mongoose (mongoose) entertained us. Totally cute, look like meerkats. Our backpacks have not yet reappeared. Therefore we went shopping again. At “Ross – Dress for less” and at “Walmart”.