10.29.2008

Day 7 Honeymoon

I totally forgot to mention in the Day 6 post, that on Day 6 we officially went around the ENTIRE island in one day. We probably spent about 6 hours in the car that day. We seriously went from Waikoloa to South Point to Volcano to Hilo to the North Coast and then back to Waikoloa. And on our way home the GARMIN sent us down this road, with running cattle loose, one was seriously right nex to the jeep, this road was one lane, with cows anywhere, twisting and turning, only to bring us back out 20 miles BACK from where we started at. This is also when we saw our first random donkey just walking a long. Anyways back to Day 7, Day 7 we decided to head back over to Volcano and Hilo side, we really should of just stayed in this area for one night. Remember this is the side of the island where it rains a lot, everyday, on and off. So it was raining and we were low on gas, we the light was on for like 20 miles, I was so worried we weren't going to make it to a gas station, but we did! Anyways once we got to Hilo, we filled up and then went to find Rainbow Falls. If the water is just right and flowing the falls actually has a wishbone shape. But the day we were there it didn't. Also you can see rainbows, hence the name when the sun is out, but the sun wasn't out either. After this we headed back to Volcano and went to the Volcano Winery. It was a small winery but they had very good wines, we brought 3 bottles home with us. We can't wait to try the Mac Nut Honey Desert Wine, it tasted SO good there. After this we headed down towards to where we would be seeing the lava flowing. We got into the town of Pahoa, this is known as the Big Island's outlaw town, FBI outlaws, people who love nature and those who never bathe. Yep, this is correct. It was interesting. There were tons of houses half built. Anyways, we passed this place called Lava Trees State Park, they were HUGE trees some of them, we didn't go into the park, just passed by. We were on a time limit this day. After this we headed to a natural hot spring called Ahalanui. It's a spring fed and ocean fed pool with a manmade wall and an inlet that seperates it from the ocean somewhat, not totally. There's enough room for fish to get through, but nothing much bigger. The Kapoho eruptions of 1955 and 1960, let this pool be volcanically heated to around 91 to 95 degrees. Chris loved it, I on the other hand went in for about 2 seconds and got out. I wasn't feeling it, the water felt dirty to me and there were so many random people in it. The first picture is where it connects with the ocean. After here we headed to late lunch/early dinner since we would be at the lava flows for a couple of hours. The place we ate at, was called Black Rock Cafe and it was the worst food we had on the island. I'm not even sure what I ate, I ordered Fettucine Alfredo and it wasn't that. After this we headed down to the lava flows. This was about the neatest thing I have ever seen. It was truely amazing to be able to watch lava flowing from an active volcano. You couldn't really see the lava flowing until dusk, then you were able to see the red glow. You had to hike about a quarter of a mile to get to see the lava, and you have to take flashlights with you because when you come back it's pitch dark. Here are some pics and videos:
video






After this we headed back home for the 2 1/2 hour ride back home. Day 8 coming soon!

10.28.2008

Day 6 Honeymoon

This day we decided to head to the South Points of the Island and then shoot over to the volcano. Driving through the south point it's turns really green and hilly. A lot of this area is the flank of Mauna Loa. We passed lots, and lots, and lots of macadamia nut trees. If you didn't know mac nuts are very bad for dogs, they actually calls paralysis in a lot of speices. There were a lot of bays to stop at here, but we really wanted to get to the volcano. We stopped for gas in HOVE(Hawaiian Ocean View Estates), I bet you are thinking wow that sounds nice and are picturing these huge houses sitting on the ocean. Well guess again, it's nothing like that at all. In fact half of the houses you can't see the ocean from and most of them were shacks. There is about 11,000 one acre lots, the orignal lots sold of $995 and today you can buy a lot for $1500. They only use party lines and just recently got electricity. There is no school either. But the reason I said we stopped for gas was because of the people, wow is all I can say. They were of a different breed. It was the most red-neck town I've ever seen. People with no shoes, not shaven for years, beat up trucks, no shirts. It was a whole different world. I truely believe that families reprodcue with one another. exist here I'm sure of it, everyone board that I've read on Hawaii and book says that this are is largest repository from the federal witness protection program. Anyways after gas, we headed to South Point. This is the southern most part of the entire nation. A lot of people claim the Florida Keys are, but they aren't. This road is one lane but it's paved and in good condition for the most part. On this road you pass many, many horses, cows and farm. You also pass the Komoa Wind Farm, which is now the Pakini Nui Wind Project. The winds here were a little much, but it's because of the trade winds being deflected by the northeast. The waters here were BLUE as BLUE gets, it was amazing and beautiful. It's a HUGE fishing area. One fisherman was there and was telling Chris how they hook the fish and it was quite interesting. In this pic you will see a fisherman and his lines, if they catch something they bring their trucks to help pull it up:

There was a cliff here that you could jump off of and there was a guy doing it. There is an old metal ladder that you can climb up after you jump. Chris really wanted to do and tried to get me to talk him into doing it, but there was no way I was going to be ok with that. He made the right choice and didn't do it! Some pics:



After this we stopped for lunch at Hana Hou Bakery. It was a true Hawaiian place as well. You had to go outside to use the bathroom(they were indoors though).

Next we headed for the Kilauea Volcano. We headed into the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. First we stopped at the Jaggar Museum and snapped these pics:


After this we went to the steam vents:


After this we went and saw Halema'uma'u Crater. Then we stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube. This was neat, you actually get to walk to into and through the lava tube. It is lighted halfway, then if you want to go further you can. You need to take flash lights with you. Chris really wanted to go on the "dark side" but I was really scared, think about it a dark lava tube cave, but I did it anyways, there was a little girl and her father and she wasn't afraid so I figured I'd better go a little bit. So we did it was ok, couldn't see much cause it was pitch black.


We wanted to go see the lava flowing but we didn't have time because we had dinner reservations at the Volcano House, so instead we went another night. At the volcano house they have a whole glass window and you are right in front of the crater, so we got some awesome pics.



Day 7 Coming Soon!

10.27.2008

Day 5 Honeymoon

So this day we decided to hang around the house for a little, enjoy the pool, mai tai's and the sun and then head off snorkeling later on. Well that little wish came true. We got locked out of our bedroom door, so we had nothing, couldn't go anywhere. We had to wait around the house for the maintence man to come to let us in. First of all, no one understands why this house has locked bedroom doors with no keys to get into. So he finally came and we decided just to keep it easy and we went to Kiholo Bay. This time we actually went to it. There is a smooth gravel road that leads to the bay, so we took it. There is a trail that you can hike as well to get to the bay. First we drove to one part of the beach and decided that we didn't like that part, so we drove down the road a bit more and once we got there we decided that we didn't like that either, so we drove back down to the beach we were just at. The main reason we came here is becaues of the sea turtles. Here is just a shot of looking south of the bay.

We decided to walk over lava fields for about 2 miles looking for turtles. I'm not sure high high the lava was, but there was coral rocks that someone had made to show you the way to go. Now it was fun, then we were complaining! Nothing in Hawaii is easy to get to, you have to walk at least a mile or more to everything, and usually travel old lava fields. Here's a pic of standing on the lava:

We turned back around after 2 miles because we didn't see any turtles and Chris kept teasing me about the turtles but I was determined to see sea turtles, so we got back into the jeep and drove back to the second part of the bay we were at. And guess what? We saw sea turtles!!!!!!

There are two pretty big houses on Kiholo Bay, one is called the "Bali House" and it was built by owns Paul Mitchell hair products. The other house is called "Queen's Bath" and the guy who owns that invented the pacemaker.
After the bay, we decided to head down to Waialea "69" beach. It's a really small beach but tucked away under some trees and rocks, it's so pretty. It's called 69 beach because it used to be a telephone pole number 69, but now it's at 71. We just went into the ocean for a bit and then stayed to watch the sunset, Chris got awesome pics.





Friday night for dinner we decided just to head over to Queen's Marketplace and pick up some quick food for dinner. We were tired!

10.26.2008

Day 4 Honeymoon

Day 4 was a mini-painful day. Day 4 we went on a 2.5 hour horseback ride. Yep, our hineys were sore after this! Drivng to the place to where we had to go, we went through this town called Waimea, we seriously said to each other at the same time, are we really in Hawaii still? The tempature dropped about 10 degrees, we even turned the heat on in the jeep! Waimea sits at 2.600 feet. It was really odd, because you would see evergreen trees, but right next to it would be a cactus. It also rains here a lot, but it's not an annoying rain and as soon as your out of the little town the rain stops. It looked like a small town, like Boyertown. It didn't look like an island town what so ever! Where we went horse back riding, the town is called Waipi'O Valley. Ok so I said before we were on a scary road, by far this is the scariest road that one could EVER travel. I'll just show you a pic before I even try to describe this road. Just look at the top, and then the bottom where you see the ocean.


This whole valley was once washed away by a tsnuami and didn't start coming alive again with people living here until the 60's and 70's. Today about 50 people live down in this valley, and some of them, well let's just say they were characters. Only about 10 of those 50 people have power, water, sewage, etc.
Ok, so the road getting to the horses. First, you aren't even to drive on this road unless you have 4wd, and before you even drive down it, if you have 4wd you have to check in with a security guard. This road is ONE lane, is insane steep, with a 25% grade. It's a 900 straight down decent. The van that took us down a group of us was named big boy. The driver, Keylane(I hope I'm spelling his name right) kept hitting him and saying don't give out on me big boy. It was terrifying, scary, and almost want to make you pee your pants. Even the 4 men in the truck were nervous. I couldn't even look at some parts. I wish I had more pics of the road but I don't because we were all glued to our seats. You can't wear your seatbelts going up or down this road, because if you were to fall off the cliff, the seatbelt contains you to your seat and makes chances for survival a lot less. There is a huge angle to this road as well, so it felt like that back of the van was on top of us. Don't get me wrong the views were stunning. The company we used for our horseback rides, was called Waipi'o Na'alapa Trail Rides, if you ever go to Hawaii, use this company. My horses name was Sonny, and he was a bad horse! He didn't listen to me what so ever. He was in charge of me. Chris had a horse name Sally, and she was stubborn, Chris was able to get a hand on her though, after she tried to bite him! We went through some streams, a river and land. We were suppose to see Hi'ialwe Falls, but they had a 10 year drought and the waterfall was dry. Some pics:





After horse back riding, we decided to go check out the other side of the island. Driving down the highway we saw a random waterfall, so we snapped a pic. Then we headed to 'Akaka Falls. It's a plunge of 420 feet. There was a nice trail you could take around, it was seriously in a rain forest.

We drove down to Hilo after this, and had lunch at Cafe Pesto. On the way home we decided to take Saddle Road. This of course is a very interesting road as well. This road goes right between the island two biggest volcano ever, Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea. It's called saddle road because it's saddle between the valleys. The road crest at 6,578 feet. It was built by the military in 1942. This road was just recently paved all the way. There were a few different climates here as well, we went through a dry lava field, rolling green hills, and a fern covered forest. Once you get to the middle of this road you are really above the clouds. We got to Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is 30,000 feet above sea level. The base of Manua Kea is 17,000 feet above sea level. It got freezing the higher we got, we didn't go as high as those numbers I just posted. We really felt that we were on top of the world. The neat thing is that there is one lake, called Lake Wai-au at 13,020 feet. There is also an adz quarry called Keanakako'i. We stopped traveling up this at about 9,200 feet and stopped at the vistors center. Even if you plan to go up all the way, you have to stop at the vistor's center and stay there for about an hour to get adjusted to the climate/height. Across the street is Mauna Loa, we didn't even attempt to find this, just because it was starting to get late and they tell you not to drive on Saddle Road as dark approaches. We were actually going to come back up to the summit at night time to see a sunset and star gaze, but it was about 400 dollars to do that, and I really wasn't comfortable at that alitude.




That night for dinner we went to the Kamuela Provision Company. They have this desert you can order 24 hours in advance called Message In A Bottle, so I called ahead and got one for Chris. I thought we took a pic of the message but I guess not, but my message said "Chris and Jessica 10/11/08 till Forver. Awww. This was right on the beach and a very nice place to eat. It was located in the Hilton Waikoloa. This resort is so large they actually have a boat service and a train service to take you around the hotel. If we wouldn't of stayed in the house, we would of stayed here. Some pics:





End of Day 4! Day 5 on it's way!!

Day 3 Honeymoon

Day 3 we decided to head down towards Kona and check out the middle part of the island. Our first stop here was at mile marker 82 on Route 19. Here you can see this wonderful view of Kiholo Bay. This is a unique bay because while it's in the ocean, the lava tubes from previous volcanoes, have freshwater that flow threw them, which puts the freshwater on top of the saltwater. We actually went to this bay another day later in the week(you have to drive down a dirt road or hike, story to come) but first enjoy this picture.


Up the highway right near mile marker 91. There is a huge lava tube from the Hualalai lava flow of 1801. It has fallen apart on the ocean side of the road but on the mountain side of the road it has formed a cave.


We kept heading south on route 19 and got into the town of Kona. Kona and Hilo are they two major cities on the Big Island, it's very much like our towns. You will find Wal-Mart,etc. They have a road called Alli Drive here and it's like Philadelphia's South Street. It's loaded with places to eat, shops, and hotels. We acutally came back here our last day to do shopping. So we headed even more south and the weather suddenly changes from 85 degrees sunny, no clouds, to damp and drizzling. They call this area a "luxriant cloud forest." We stopped at this coffee shop called Surfin' Ass to pick up some donkey balls. Sounds gross right, well guess what they aren't!! It's any type of chocolate you want covered over a macadamian nut. Then we headed into the town of Kealakekua, once we got into this town we turned right onto a road called Napoopoo Road, this road leads you to many, many coffee farms. Chris was in heaven with the smell of coffee. I persoanlly dislike coffee, so this was all for Chris. We stopped here at the old Mauna Loa Coffee Mill and Chris got to sample some coffee, he even bought two bags of it(Peaberry Coffee) for guess how much? 60 bucks for 2 bags. Yup, expensive. From here we headed to Kealakekua Bay, this is where you can find the Captian Cook Monument.It's across the bay. They actually say that you can swim across the bay here, and its the best snorkeling site in the BI. They say it take about an hour each way to swim it, or you can hike it, or you can kayak and paddle it, we decided that we would just zoom in with our cameras and see it this way. By the way this road that led us here was one of the craziest, scariest roads we were on in Hawaii. With a moments notice you would be making a sharp turn and it you didn't look, you would go bye bye, right off the cliff. Not to mention the roads in Hawaii besides major highways only really fit one car. Fun stuff, huh? They say there are lots and lots of spinner dolphins that live in the bay as well, but we didn't see any at the time we were there. Some pics:



Next we headed down this road, it was so weird, there was NOTHING, but this road, one lane of course and the vegation was so high, that you couldn't see anything on the sides of you, it was like a road to no where, but it ended up in the town of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, here the Place of Refuge is located. Here you can pay 5 bucks to get into see this or you can drive just a second down the road and walk over some rocks and the ocean and snap pics, so of course we did that. Some pics:


We headed home after this and driving down our road, we were suddenly stopped, because some our random running friends were in the way:



We had dinner at Roy's, they serve Euro-Asian food here, it was awesome food. Plus we got our first honeymoon desert, for free!!



Day 4 coming up!