I visited the Big Island of Hawaii with three very lovely Iranian
women, Mahin, Marjan, and my wife Juliet. Lucky me!
Day 1 - We stayed in Waikoloa. Our little slice
o' heaven was seven miles inland by a golf course. The greens were
tended daily by some special friends.
After a fabulous and lethargic day at Hapuna Beach we decided
to clean up and head to a resort for drinks. We saw a beautiful
golden twilight on the way.
We finally arrived at the Mauna Kea.
And we loved our tropical drinks!
Day 2 - We wanted to go for a hike, but kept
getting shutdown in all our attempts. We tried two differenct ways
to hike in Waipio.
We finally ended up driving all the way back and up over Kohala.
To find the Pololu Valley.
We hiked down the trail to the beautiful beach below.
The valley itself is magic.
The hike up the opposite wall was steep and hot. But seeing
Honokane Nui was worth it.
Back at the beach we cooled off in the shade and sand. There
might have been a small jellyfish incident, but we'll ignore that.
Our next stop was a visit to the spooky Heiau, Mo'okini. Tens of
thousands died on an alter here when a priest arrived from Haiti with
a new system of government and religion centered on human sacrifice.
On the way out we 4-wheeled through some massive mud puddles and
caught a glimpse of Maui in the distance.
We love the Big Island!
That evening Juliet and I enjoyed a golf course sunset...
Day 3 - Juliet and I woke up early and went to Waimea to eat breakfast at
The Hawaii Cafe. It was closed and we went somewhere nearby instead. Yes, that's
me with the waffles and Juliet with the loco moco.
We got back and packed up for a driving tour of the west side.
I had to figure out how to get my
surfboard on the rental car.
We drove to Kona and did some shopping, picking up Juliet's favorite coffee
and other little gifts. A nice lady in a back-alley flower shop made
me two leis to give as very special gifts.
Our next stop was the Kuemanu Heiau. Dedicated to the god of surf
and surfing conditions. There is no swell today, but in the distance
is an ancient stone breakwater that throws off a pretty decent wave.
There was a more conventional church next door.
Kealakekua Bay was Marjan's church. She didn't want to ever leave.
We met a new friend there, too.
We stopped at one more church, this one hand-painted.
Before heading to yet another church... Pu'uhonua O Honaunau... The Place of Refuge.
Hawaiians who were subject to death for violating kapu law or who
lost in war would be safe if they came here.
We found the 1880 trail and hiked it at twilight through
the ruins of a hawaiian village. A storm was gathering on the
mountain above. We sat on a cliff and watched the sun set over the place of
Bones of ancient Hawaiians are entombed in the cliff
walls, watching over this place. We hiked back in the darkness and
Day 4 - We took our time packing the next morning
for our trip around the island. We wanted to see the
volcano and spend the night in Hilo as we circumnavigated. We started up
the saddle road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
The landscape turned alien as we headed up Mauna Kea.
We stopped to acclimate at the visitor center, elevation 9000 feet.
Juliet dedicated her gift to the whole island.
We saw some kooky plants.
The Silver Sword only grows on the Maui and the Big Island.
At the summit we found the island's highest heiau.
Up above the clouds.
We drove to Hilo and checked into our motel. 15 minutes later we were
picking up sandwiches and heading to Kilauea volcano.
This area is incredible. We took Chain of Craters road past fissures
and down pali until we reached the fresh lava flow. We walked on the
new earth beneath the stars and glowing horizon before heading home
Day 5 - In the morning, we just couldn't motivate
to drive down to South Point. Surf Day!
That afternoon we drove the old highway back North past Akaka Falls.
If Akaka Falls in the woods...
Back on the old highway.
We see one final sight.