Hawaii Day 6 – Journey to the Kona Side

We actually didn’t get to walk around Hilo too much, because neither Vin nor I was in the mood for a walk in the rain. It rained the morning we left Hilo:

[[image:hi64.jpg:Rain, rain, go away:center:0]]

So we hit the road, to the other side of the island where the mountains block the rain.

Going up the coast, it was still pretty rainy until we were pretty close to Waimea.

[[image:hi65.jpg:Blue skies, yayyyyy:center:0]]

There is the obligatory stop for malasadas (a portuguese donut, VERY yummy!! ono kine!).

[[image:hi66.jpg:Locals say only this place’s malasadas are excellent:center:0]]

Waimea is pretty elevated. It’s where the Hawaiian Cowboys are. You can see pine trees along the road here:

[[image:hi67.jpg:On the road at Waimea:center:0]]

There are plenty of pastures and meadows with cows, and horses.

[[image:hi68.jpg:Pasture with Kohala mountain in the background:center:0]]

Strangely enough, even this high up, there’s some cacti:

[[image:hi69.jpg:Teddy bear cactus along the road:center:0]]

Rolling down the meadow-hills would be a paaaainful thing to do! There was a scenic overlook:

[[image:hi70.jpg:Vin with the Kohala-Kona coast in the background:center:0]]

We decided to take a slight detour and head towards the north-eastern most point of the Big Island, Pololu Lookout. Apparently, one can spot Maui from there on a clear day. We actually saw Maui looming above the clouds while on the road, though. Take a look:


We get to Pololu Lookout, after driving through some very curvy roads, including one-lane sections at times. Fun and challenging. But not much traffic, so no real issues.

[[image:hi74.jpg:Pololu Lookout:center:0]]

[[image:hi73.jpg:Pololu trail closed due to earthquake:center:0]]

[[image:hi72.jpg:Pololu beach:center:0]]

It was a cloudy day, so no sign of Maui from here. But we did see it from higher ground, when we were above the clouds. No harm no foul. The trail down to the beach was closed due to the earthquake earlier this year, so we stayed up here and just enjoyed the view. It was, however, very windy. A little chilly. It was nice to get back in the car and head southeast to Kailua-Kona.

Once we got off of the Kohala mountains, you can see how dry everything is. Desert-like. On the same island, not even a 2-hour drive from Hilo, the other side of the island is a desert. Most of the rain falls in Hilo, where the mountains stop the clouds from going over to the Kona side, causing the desert on this side of the island.

[[image:hi75.jpg:Desert flora:center:0]]

We also see lava fields on both sides of the road. The black rock is all lava:

[[image:hi76.jpg:Lava, anybody?:center:0]]

We checked into our next hotel, the Hilton Waikoloa Village. There was a little train that took us to our building, Ocean Tower.

[[image:hi77.jpg:On the train:center:0]]

We were on the 5th floor, facing the ocean. It faces west so the pictures of the view of our lanai (balcony) will have to wait until morning. In the meantime, here’s what our room looks like:

[[image:hi78.jpg:The bed:center:0]]

[[image:hi79.jpg:Sitting area by the lanai:center:0]]

[[image:hi80.jpg:Wide screen TV:center:0]]

This is a Japanese restaurant on-site in the hotel grounds:

[[image:hi81.jpg:Vin by the Japanese restaurant:center:0]]

There are big koi in the pool surrounding the restaurant:

[[image:hi82.jpg:Ikan Koi:center:0]]

That night, we watched the luau from the comfort of our balcony. We had already eaten, and so we just enjoyed the cultural show. One of the things we really liked, and which photographed really well at night was the fire dancer. This guy was spinning and tossing these burning firebrands while dancing, jumping, and contorting his body.

[[image:hi83.jpg:Fire dancer performing:center:0]]

[[image:hi84.jpg:More fire dancer:center:0]]

Thus concluded Day 6 of our trip. Here’s some photostitching:

[[image:hi_st17.jpg:Kohala-Kona coast:center:0]]

[[image:hi_st18.jpg:Pololu Lookout:center:0]]

[[image:hi_st19.jpg:Pololu Lookout – Beach and Valley:center:0]]

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