May 19, 2012: Final Installment of the Aloha Diaries
So our amazing trip is coming to a close….back to reality soon after a quick stop off in Chicago to visit Oma and Tony!
When we left off, we were getting ready to head to the southeast part of the Big Island where we stayed on the coast for 2 nights in a lovely little cottage. The first shot here is the coast right across from where we stayed. On our first night here we went to see the lava flowing from the current volcano that’s erupting, but you can’t get close enough to actually see it very well unless you hike in for about 2 hours (and you need a guide) or take a helicopter ride, so we settled for watching its glow at night (pics didn’t turn out well enough to attach). This part of the island is very strange since it’s a dichotomy between really barren/lava covered, and then really lush, like where we stayed. The second picture is a house that’s been built on top of the latest hardened lava flow. Apparently you can buy lots for under $10K here, but the state has declared the land uninhabitable, so you need to be self-sustaining. So there are a handful of houses built in this little ‘subdivision’ which is spookily dark at night, and in the day looks like some kind of moon landscape. We also went snorkeling near here in a tide pool area – no beach, just lava ‘decks’ that we sunned on and pools formed in the lava in the ocean that coral has grown on and you can see tonnes of wonderful fishies down there in the really clear water. After 2 nights in this area, we packed up, and headed back to the west side of the island by driving north and then westward. The east side of the island is very wet, so the rainforest is very lush and there are lots of very steep ravines. We traveled inland a few kilometres to see this waterfall called Akaka Falls that is 420 feet tall. Luckily we just beat the tour buses there, so had a nice peaceful viewing before the masses rushed in! As we drove across the inland portion of the island, we were driving through ranching/cattle country- it felt in some spots like we were in a foothills town in Alberta.
This is our 2nd and last night in a resort area called Waikoloa – it’s about 30 min north of where we started 9 days ago. We splurged and are staying at a Marriott resort and have a lovely ocean view. Yesterday when we arrived we headed down to the beach to hang out with some sea turtles and then had a rest at the pool. Today was more of the same with some snorkeling with the turtles, but the water was pretty murky so it was hard to see anything until it was about 2 feet in front of you which isn’t very fun. The sunsets both nights here have been gorgeous, too.
So it’s been a blast – 2 weeks of rest, yummy food, sun, and lots of exploring….which island to do next?!
dpr and d2