We requested late checkout so we could enjoy ourselves on our final morning at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and we wanted to go snorkeling in the lagoon.
Look at the difference in the pictures between yesterday and today, due to the sun:
[[image:hi104.jpg:Fantastic hammock location:center:0]]
So until 2 PM Hawaiian time, we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest, starting with a bout of putt-putt golf (my first time and it was rather embarrassing, so no pictures OK?).
Time to snorkel! I took a bunch more pictures on the way to the lagoon:
[[image:hi102.jpg:Passenger boat on the canal:center:0]]
The hotel grounds covers pretty much this whole bay. You can walk from end to end in a big curve, or take the train like we did on our first day here, or you can also catch one of the frequent passenger boats that pass by and travel on the elevated canal here. It’s really pretty cool. In the above picture, that’s Ocean Tower, which is the tower we stayed in.
We’re getting closer to the lagoon now:
[[image:hi101.jpg:Bridge over the canal:center:0]]
[[image:hi103.jpg:Ocean and pool:center:0]]
[[image:hi105.jpg:View of the bay:center:0]]
[[image:hi106.jpg:Ocean Tower from across the way:center:0]]
We saw 2 green sea turtles (penyu in Malay, honu in Hawaiian) swimming across the bay, but they were too far away and the pictures did not come out at all clearly. 🙁
Here’s Vin, relaxing by the lagoon:
[[image:hi107.jpg:Vin at the lagoon:center:0]]
[[image:hi108.jpg:Waterfall at the lagoon:center:0]]
We snorkeled to our hearts’ content in this protected lagoon. It is connected to the ocean, so it’s full of tropical fish of the kind that you can see at Pulau Redang, so it was very exciting. I swam out to the waterfall. It was a fair distance away, but I swam out over there because there were very few people that far out, and I wondered what was over there. So after swimming around there, I found myself face to face with a Green Sea Turtle (remember the sign from Day 7?). Up close, he looked purplish to me, rather than green (and I’m making assumptions by calling him a “he”). I was so excited to see him! Too bad I didn’t have an underwater camera or I would have taken a picture of him, but I trolled the internet and found a picture that looks very close to my Mr. Turtle.
[[image:hawaii-sea-turtle.jpg:Green Sea Turtle:center:0]]
Mr. Turtle and I communed for a good 20-30 minutes. As instructed, I did not touch him (they are an endangered species and we aren’t supposed to touch them or in any way harm them). Although I thought he had a fondness for me as he kept coming towards me and being close enough to touch. I had to keep backing away from him so as to not violate the “no touching” rule! He was so gracefully flying through the water. But eventually I had to go back as we had to get showered and packed so we could check out by 2 PM.
Here’s Vin waiting for the train to take us back to the lobby so we can check out.
[[image:hi110.jpg:Waiting for the train:center:0]]
We decided to drive to Kailua-Kona, the big town on this side of the island. We ended up having a fantastic Thai feast in Kailua-Kona (sorry no pictures) and took some pictures of the flora right in town.
[[image:hi113.jpg:Another big tree:center:0]]
Kailua-Kona had the feel of Lumut about 15-20 years ago. Somehow, they have managed to preserve that small town feeling even though they added on a big pier to accommodate cruise ships. They did not tear down the old historic buildings and left all the big trees up (unlike what happened to poor Lumut). I felt a longing for the Lumut of my childhood, walking along these streets.
Then we drove back to Waikoloa. Look at these coconut trees growing out of a lava field. The blue ocean is in the background:
On the other side of the road, inland, you can see Mauna Kea:
We drove back almost to where we started our morning, and checked into our next hotel the Marriott at Waikoloa. 🙂 We were basically a short walk away from the previous hotel! But due to our travel arrangements, we had to change hotels overnight. It was a nice place. Here’s the view from our lanai:
[[image:hi116.jpg:Marriott Waikoloa lanai view:center:0]]
And the room itself:
[[image:hi118.jpg:Wide Screen TV:center:0]]
But the big thing to do here is watch the sun set at Anaehoomalu beach (say that 3 times fast, I dare you!).
[[image:hi120.jpg:Waiting for the sun to set:center:0]]
[[image:hi121.jpg:It’s getting close to the horizon:center:0]]
[[image:hi122.jpg:Don’t look too closely at it:center:0]]
[[image:hi123.jpg:Silhouette of Sila:center:0]]
[[image:hi125.jpg:Going below the horizon:center:0]]
It was really a very cool thing to watch. Now that the sun has set, it’s time to go back to the room – it’s chilly once it gets dark! One photostitched panorama to end this entry:
[[image:hi_st22.jpg:View from Marriott room lanai:center:0]]