It's a long and miserable flight with a layover in Los Angeles for me from the east coast - over 10 hours of flight time. I just look at fly day as a day of misery and if nothing goes wrong, then it is a good day. My sister and BIL arrived 4 hours before my flight so they got the car and the hotel room set up and met me at the airport. Unfortunately, my sister was in the throes of one of her asthma attacks replete with lots of coughing and some wheezing. We were hopeful she would be getting out of it as the week went on. We stayed in the Waikoloa resort area in the Marriott - an OK hotel. It's in the north Kona coast on the west side of the island. The dry side.
|Spencer Beach - Kohala|
|Kamehameha I Heiau|
We continued on north along the very dry rusty old lava on the shoulders of Kohala. When the road bends to the east, there is suddenly green grass and by the time you get to Hawi, it is a lush tropical environment. We wandered and stopped at the Keokea Bay for awhile. My sister was feeling bad so she took a nap while my BIL and I enjoyed the beautiful bay. Up on the north shore, the land meets the ocean in sharp cliffs. The ocean in the bay looked treacherous. While we were there a (probable) native Hawaiian woman with a body board went out to the sea and surfed for a while. She looked like she knew what she was doing. But what I noticed was that her swimming garb was so practical! She wore some sort of sport bra under a light and loose tank top and loose shorts made of fast drying fabric. She also had some water shoes on to protect her feet from the rocks. Practical! This was a revelation to me. I don't look like I did at 20 and really don't care to go nearly naked in public exposing all my flaws. Men go swimming in modest attire. Why should women be expected to expose all our unlovelys if we don't want to? My next swim suit is going to be quick drying shorts and a tank top. Figures that the Hawaiians would have the perfect solution figured out.
|Northern tip of the Big Island|
We finished up at the breathtaking Poloiu Valley lookout. It is the westernmost deep valley with sharp cliffs formed after a good bit of the Kohala mountain collapsed into the sea. The collapse took some 3000' off the top of the mountain and ended up some 80 miles out to sea. Must have been pretty impressive. The copious rain on this side carved several lovely valleys accessible only from the sea and periodic tsunamis flooded the base leaving a flat base.
We stopped for lunch at Gils, a local place with great fish tacos. The Ono fish was very ono ! (delicious). They aren't quick, but it was fresh and very tasty. We drove back along the crest of the Kohala mountain. It is very green, lots of cows and I spotted the weather radar tower. Again, as soon as we crested the top, there was cactus and brown grass on the SW side of the mountain The microclimates on this island are stark in comparison.