Hawaii Day 9!

Saturday May 8, 2016.

Today we got up at normal hours to head south to South Point and the green sand beach.

South Point was neat because we got to take the rental Jeep into some back roads and barely trails areas which was fun. It was hot, sunny, windy and very dry.

This is the kind of area we drove through. Scrub land with dirt “roads” throughout. Some were so rutted you had to choose other paths. Not sure I would take a personally owned vehicle out there. 😉


We headed to green sands beach which is a small beach without easy access. There are locals that will give you a lift for $15 a person. I think the jeep could have made it but we would have gotten lost on the way! There were so many new paths because old ones got too rutted and had to be abandoned. So even had we tried, we might have been driving around for a while.

Kris got in the surf but I deemed it too rough for me. He did get beat up a bit and a wave took out his knee so he is feeling a bit gimpy this evening.

There were a couple kids body board surfing that were pretty amazing. I got some cool video of them jumping waves. 

All in all I probably wouldn’t go back there because the beach is small, the surf rough and the sand not that cool to see. It was a neat cove but not worth the trouble to get to IMO.

We went back to the hotel and got drinks and hung out by the pool. Kris planned this romantic dinner for two on a secluded patio for us at the hotel. A four course meal, drinks and the surf in front of us.

A lovely end to a fantastic week!

Hawaii Day 8

Friday May 7, 2016.

Today we got up before the sun to get ready and head out to Waimea for a horse back trip through Waipio Valley. The road down into the valley is a 25% grade and 4 wheel drive only.

The ranch took us all down in a 4 wheel drive van. It was steep, single lane most of the way and slow. The valley is pretty amazing though!

The ride was fun. We got to splash through creeks and try various plants growing along the road.

There was a tsunami in the valley several years ago and it destroyed much of the holdings down there. One thing that did remain were wild horses!

The folks moved back and they grow taro and other plants. Avocados, limes and various other fruits grow wild all over the place. Our guide kept plucking things from berries to flowers for us to eat. It was amusing. 🙂

The views were pretty spectacular too!

Then we went chasing waterfalls down the Hilo coast after a lunch at Grammie’s Diner in Honoka’a.

We stopped at Muamua Falls, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. Then went to the Boiling Pots location above Rainbow Falls.

Akaka Falls.

Rainbow Falls.

 At Rainbow Falls was this most magical glen. 

Then we went into Hilo and visited their street fair before heading off to a restaurant for food.

Kris did a fantastic job of driving us the hour and a half back to our hotel after a long day. I crashed out, which is why I don’t drive in the evenings.



Hawaii Day 7

Thursday May 5, 2016.

Today we had big plans to hit the road and head down south to the green and black sand beaches after hitting the Place of Refuge. After a couple returns to the room and loading the car with our snorkel gear we headed off to find breakfast. We stopped at this little cafe called Caffe Florian. It was quite tasty and we had geckos and a pretty bird as guests. 🙂

Then we stopped at Pu’uhonua O Hanaunau National Park, or the Place of Refuge. 


We walked the tour of the park via the pamphlet they gave us and walked some tide pools. 

 We saw some sea cucumbers and a baby eel! 

As well as lots of various fish. Then we drove over to Two Step next door to do some snorkeling. The small bay has a large area covered in coral and marine life. We saw a large eel and lots of different types of fish, Parrot fish, trigger fish and Moorish Idol fish. Some puffer fish and too many others to remember! It was lots of fun and it was the type of snorkeling I like to do, swim around and see stuff versus just float. There were lots of thermoclines where the water was warm and then all of a sudden cold. Weird but pretty neat.

We decided after having lunch when we were done snorkeling, to head back to the hotel versus trek down to the south tip when it was already 2pm.

We came back to the hotel and got cleaned up then took a walk around the hotel grounds.

We headed out to the Thurston lava tube we visited the other day and I made an offering of my lei.

Then it was dinner at a Mexican restaurant for Cinco de Mayo and back to the hotel for an early night.

Hawaii Day 6

Wednesday May 4th, 2016.

We got up at a lazy hour on Wed and started our day by getting dressed and heading over to Hilo. 

We went to a brewing company to try out some beer. Hana Nui Brewing and Mehana Brewing, same company but two lines of beer. It was pretty good beer and we picked up a few.

We had snacks in the Jeep before heading on our way to the next thing. We overheard a couple talking about an Orchid maze that was on the road to Volcano National Park, so we kept an eye out for it.  It wasn’t so much of a maze as a show room but it was pretty cool. They have some beautiful orchids! And some creepy ones. Some had blooms bigger than my hand! 

We continued our journey on to the only winery on the island, Volcano Winery. They had some interesting wines.  A couple we felt worthy of sharing. 🙂

Then on again to Volcano National Park. We arrived at the visitor center to get my stamps and then took a walk in the rain. The weather difference between Kona and Hilo is amazing. Kona is warm, humid and mostly sunny. Hilo is cloudy, cooler and rainy. The national park was no different. With our sunburns we were ok with coats and cooler weather. 

The national park is at 4000 feet and we walked along some sulphur vents and steam vents on the crater rim of Kilauea volcano. It reminded me very much of Yellowstone National Park. Rotten egg smell and yellow stained rocks. 

 The steam vents were just holes in the ground with, yup, steam coming out. No poisonous gases. 

The hike back to the visitor center had some small informational signs about various plants of which I took no pictures. I did take pictures of the plants though.


There was a really neat rock valley we had to walk through.

We then drove to the Jaggar museum at the crater rim to wait for nightfall. We looked at all the items in the museum and saw lots of different kinds of lava expelled from the volcano.

In daylight, you can’t see much more than steam.

However once the sun sets, it becomes amazing!!



We had dinner at the lodge where we could look out and watch the fiery glow. So we had dinner at the edge of an active volcano!!

Then it was start the long trek home. 

Hawaii Day 5!

Tuesday May 3, 2016.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 days. 4 on the island but 5 since we left Oregon.

Today we booked a dolphin encounter and snorkel trip. This involved a small ,inflatable solid hull boat ride out into the ocean. We went out to where the spinner Dolphins were coming in shore to rest for the day and when they were spotted, we hopped in the water. They swam right by us and it was pretty darn cool! We did that 4 times. Hop out of the boat, try to swim towards the Dolphins, watch them swim by, then back into the boat. It was pretty neat to watch wild dolphins swim by and below.

Next we headed out into the bay and spotted some pilot whales. They were just chilling, floating along the top of the water.

One of them kept spy hopping, which is where they stick their heads out of the water and look at us.

Then we kept going down the coast to a protected bay for some snorkeling.  All in all a good day on the water!

Wlexcept that we got burned. Kris worse than me but both on our backs. And yes we had put on sunscreen, twice. Apparently it wasn’t enough. Ouch!

We came back to the hotel where I napped by the pool. Not sure what Kris did honestly.

After doing that for a couple hours, we got ready for a Luau over at the Marriott. They put on a pretty fancy show!

Now we are both tired and once again in bed early