September 15, 2011
The next day on Big Island, Hawaii flew by. The place is so big, and there’s so much to see and do, we were always on the move to somewhere new. We had six night to spend on the island, so we had divided the time up to spend two nights near Puako, the next two nights in Captain Cook, and the last two nights near Hilo. So after our first two nights, we somewhat begrudgingly packed up our Jeep and headed out on the long drive to our next home, up high in the hills of Captain Cook.
Of course, we made many stops along the way. One of the first was the Mauna Lani Resort, where we hiked through some old lava fields and saw some pretty amazing lava tubes.
It was an easy walk, though hot…we were rewarded at the with a walk past a lagoon with fish splashing out every few seconds and then to the beach front, a quiet beach with some gorgeous views. We swam and enjoyed a lot of the morning in this area.
We continued driving through the fields of old lava surrounding us on both sides. No plants, no trees, just black, hot rock. Eventually we came to a small, rocky path leading off the highway, in the direction of the ocean. All along we had been taking these little detours, and finding some wonderful hidden beaches, so off we went. I can’t figure out what the name of this road was, or where we were going, but it was bumpy! We were tossed around the Jeep the entire, slow ride down. For miles and miles and miles on either side of us were dried lava fields, the rock under us crunching and popping as we drove through it. The heat was almost unbearable. We made stops to sit on the hot black rock and were pretty much in awe of this place. It pretty much looked like the end of the world.
Continuing on, we whipped through Kona quickly, knowing we would spend some time there the next day. After all that moving around all day, we stopped for our first plate lunch and loco moco experience. Both of these dishes are pretty unique and special to Hawaii. While Soli wasn’t particularly a fan, I enjoyed both meals…the loco moco is a hamburger steak on top of rice, covered with a fried egg or two, a salty brown gravy and a side of creamy macaroni salad. The plate lunch is almost the same…rice, macaroni salad, and your choice of one, two or three meats. We had some friend fish and teriyaki beef. I loved the starchiness of it all, the saltiness, the comfort-food feel, and I certainly wouldn’t have minded eating more meals like this.
The drive to the little room we had booked in Captain Cook was a long and fun one. We were going to be staying at an elevation of about 1000 feet, so as we left Kona and started driving up into the hills, it got cooler, and more like a rain forest. The road was right along the edge of the hill, making for some fantastic views. When we finally reached the place we would be staying, the day was ending. The home was almost at the top of the hill, looking down at a whole hillside of homes and gardens, right to the ocean. It was a gorgeous place, with an outdoor kitchen, surrounded by gardens, with a balcony that gave us spectacular views of the sunset and ocean and black sand beaches below.
And some of the amazing wildlife in the gardens surrounding the house:
I’m trying to keep these posts brief…but there’s just so many photos I’d love to share! Next up, our trip to Kona and the bank card mishap, a ukulele and the sea turtles!
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