Sunday, July 12, 2009


We had Friday off because we worked so many 10+ hour days this week, so I woke up and got my brakes tightened at Walmart. It was a very quick, easy process, and I’m glad I bought a bike there rather than at a use bike store because they were super efficient with the service and didn’t hassle me at all. While there, I talked to Tommy (the masters student at UH Hilo) and he mentioned that he was going to Kona with his friend if Jake and I wanted to go. I responded “YES!” because that’s the perfect way to spend a day off. He called back awhile later and asked if we minded extending the trip to Kona into an all-weekend road trip around the island, to which Jake and I answered with a very excited affirmative. I just can’t believe I actually met a local who’s willing to let me and Jake go on adventures with him!! AWESOME!!!

We left around noonish on Friday, delayed only because Tommy had to finish making a quische – that’s right, he cooks. We went to Waipio Valley first, and started hiking into the valley but realized it was a 25% grade slope all the way down, meaning it was also 25% grade hiking up. So we took some photos at a scenic viewpoint on the road and meandered back up to the car. Ronnie made us stop the car so he could pet a goat and take a photo with it, since his mom loves goats and they have some at his house. He also mentioned that his goat doesn’t know it’s a goat, and plays and runs with his dogs as if it were actually a dog. Funny mental image!

We drove around the northern tip of the island and stopped to get some Malasadas, a Portuguese pastry that is DELICIOUS. SO GOOOOOODDD!! I wanted to eat like 10 of them, but restricted myself to just one (for now). We then went over to the west side towards Kona. We stopped at Hapuna beach and swam around until sunset, which was GLORIOUS. It wasn’t a super clear horizon but the clouds and colors were amazing. Here’s a photo!

We camped at a site about 30 minutes north of Hapuna beach, so we backtracked a bit and set up a tent. Jake slept under a permanent structure at the campsite, Ronnie slept in the car, and Tommy and I kipped in the tent. It didn't rain on us, although it was super windy and sounded a bit like a tsunami around 3:30 in the morning!

Tommy also almost got mauled by a cat while he went to the bathroom. Luckily there was a glass window in the way, because it jumped at him and tried to scratch through the window! Later, the cat was stalking around the tent and I saw it staring straight at us, and then Tommy said it was coming towards us so I freaked out. Of course, he was lying. *sigh*


We woke up really early (think 6:30!!) and went straight to a beach a little past Hapuna. It had some beautiful trees but the beach was a lot more rocky so we swam for a bit and saw some turtles! See the photo. napped and read, and then headed back to Hapuna. I had a great time, but we had been up since 6:30 so of course I fell asleep and woke up super disoriented when we arrived at Kmart to get Little Ceasar’s for lunch. Oh Little Ceasars – the pizzas are $7 in Hawaii instead of $5, but it’s the same crappy and wonderfully delicious pizza.

We then drove past Kona to Magic Sands beach, which earned its name because sometimes there’s a lot of sand and sometimes there isn’t! It’s magic!! And has something to do with currents, etc… and there was indeed sand when we arrived. Ronnie and I mostly hung onto a boogie board and floated out in the waves, while Tommy tried to boogie board and avoid the rocks. It was pretty fun and we stayed there until around 3ish, then continued around the island.

We stopped at a coffee roasting place where they had tons of free samples of cookies, coffee, etc… which was a great rest stop! The coffee here really is delicious. We then drove to Green Sands Beach (where Jake, Devin, Tad, and I went a couple weekends ago) and I took my own photos of windmills, cows, and such.

There were some crazy local guys who were jumping off the top of the platforms, so I snapped a quick photo because it was too cool. They also jumped into the caves from above, which just seems dangerous but they survived! Crazy. We camped at Green Sands beach after Tommy and Jake jumped off the cliffs. I chose not to this time because it was cold out, and then we set up tents and hung out chatting for the rest of the night.


Woke up early once again and hiked to the Green Sands beach. The waves weren’t as big as when we were there before, so it was a bit nicer. We didn’t stay for too long, and headed back to the cliffs when I did indeed jump one more time. The tide was lower so it was actually a higher jump and it hurt a bit more. I tried getting out of the water through a cave, but was a bit short and Tommy had to haul me up when the wave hit just right. It took me 3 times to get it right – I kept getting buoyed up by the wave but then getting sucked back down when the wave went out, and have some sweet scratches on my legs and hands to show for it. But it was still really fun!

On the way back to Hilo, we stopped at the Southernmost Bakery in the US – Punaluu Bakery – and got some more Malasadas. The passionfruit one was so tasty! We drove back to Hilo, and considered stopping at Volcanoes but it was raining and there was a long line just to get in, so decided to keep going.

For reals, I can’t believe this weekend happened. It was amazing and I got to see so much of the island! Hopefully I can keep exploring since there are still some places I want to go, but this was super fun and fantastic and wonderful!!

Oh, and incase you’re wondering, I’m NOT super tan even though I’ve been in the water for about 3 days straight! I’ve been wearing SPF 50 sunscreen and it’s working. So maybe I will slowly become a brown Hawaiian girl, but that’s still a work in progress!

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