So we are on to part two of our honeymoon Hawaii adventures! Welcome. If you haven't yet read part one you can find it here.
Our next stop on our Hawaii island hopping adventure was The Big Island, the southern most of all the Hawaiian islands and the largest - hence the name! We headed to the airport from Waikiki Beach in the morning which was just a short taxi journey away. Of course we arrived there super early and starving so as soon as we got through security we headed to find some breakfast... and coffee! After boarding our plane and a super quick flight of 50 minutes we landed on The Big Island. Flying down into that airport is something that I will never forget - we landed on the Kono side of the island which is the west side - and landed in lava fields! Yes really, the runway strip was in an old blackened lava field - it was like landing on Mars. Or how I imagine it looks like at least. It was both beautiful and haunting all at the same time!
We picked up our rental car, whacked the address of our condo into Google maps and headed out. The roads were super quiet, not at all like the roads we had encountered on our previous trips to California and Florida, so we were there in no time. Our condo was in a huge resort filled with golf courses, pools and shops and it was HUGE! We were on the third floor of the block, which was the top so no high rises and had our own (large) balcony, kitchen, living space, bedroom and bathroom. It was perfect. We decided to have a super chilled afternoon picking up groceries (we had a kitchen so why not?!), exploring the nearby shops and had super yummy sushi from Sansei's for dinner.
The following day we awoke refreshed and ready for a day exploring the island. I have to say that I loved making a pot of coffee that morning and sitting on the balcony enjoying the view and the warm air, feeling perfectly happy and content. It's the little things! So after breakfast we headed out in our swanky (not so much) hire car and drove up the coast to a beautiful sleepy island town called Hawi, which had the most amazing coffee shop! Hawi is a town filled with craft stores and possibly some of the best coffee I have tried. It is the perfect place to pick up a few gifts for friends and family back home.
Heading back out on our road trip we happened across Hawaiian cowboy country and the most spectacular views!
Back on the road again our next stop was the Waipio Valley lookout point. It's a place where you can truly feel the magic in the air.
A little stop off at Hapuna Beach for yoga photos (of course) and sitting in the sand, enjoying the waves!
After a super quick change for warmer clothes we headed up the mountain road to Mauna Kea for sunset. Not to watch the sunset, I think we missed that somewhere on the mountain as we were travelling through the clouds, but for the star gazing. Firstly, yes it really does get as cold as they tell you so wrap up super warm. Secondly, yes the hot chocolate is the best thing ever when you are super cold! The star gazing was something which Matt really wanted to do but I wasn't all that fussed about BUT it was one of the highlights of the whole holiday for both of us. The moon glistening down, stars so bright and magic in the air. The guides gave us a tour of the night sky and set up powerful telescopes so that we could see the planets and the moon. Looking into a telescope and being able to see Saturn's rings is something that I will never forget. The star gazing is totally donation based so don't get sucked into signing up for a tour and is 100% worth doing.
The following day was Saturday and after a late night stargazing we still managed to get ourselves up early to head over to Hawaii Volcanoes Park. Oh my gosh this place was amazing and I felt like I was in a Jurassic Park film in places. We headed up to the volcano viewing point right away and were super lucky to see a whole lot of lava. The volcano was really active and in full action. We explored the crater drive in our car after a nice lunch driving right down to the coast where the lava meets the sea and we were blessed with the presence of a sea turtle. He bobbed up to the surface of the water and swam around for a bit before taking a deep dive back down to the depths! We felt super lucky to see him.
On our drive back home we decided to take the route around the bottom side of the island which was great fun until it got dark and a tropical storm hit! Thankfully Matt was driving or I would of had a full on panic, especially as we almost ran over a giant pig and entered a quarantine zone - banana quarantine zone - but I just saw the word quarantine zone and instantly imagined something straight out of the film Monsters. We can laugh about it now but it was darn scary at the time!
Sunday was a lot less adventurous. We headed out to Akaka Falls State park to see the waterfall and had a super yummy lunch at the Hilo Shark's Coffee Shop. Our day ended with a beautiful sunset at Hapuna Beach. Perfect!
Next stop - Maui!
xo -- Jayne
Photo credit – Matthew Squires apart from the Hilo Sharks Coffee photo which is my own.