Hawaii: The Big Island

Our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii is focused on the Ironman World Championship, but we still got a chance to see some sites. We made the drive south and east to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was a rainy day, but it was worth the trip. To see the crater and the lava tube was a neat experience. Other than seeing Mt. St. Helens from a distance, this was my first volcano sighting.

The park’s 11-mile loop road was only open part way because of high sulphur dioxide levels. The lush eastern side of the Big Island is quite different from the arid west coast. After our short trip to the park, we headed back towards Kona. We stopped at Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park, another not-to-miss spot. The surf was crashing against the rocky cliffs, the wind was blowing, and the colors were nice for photography.

If we had more time and if we weren’t lugging our kids, we would have loved to run/hike the trails in the park. It would have been epic to circumnavigate the crater. Still, it was a special spot to see.

We opted not to take the 12-mile road to South Point because of the damp weather and because of the lack of time. I want to get back there someday.

When we got to South Kona, we came across the best fruit stand that I have ever seen. We drove past, but I asked Deb if she wanted me to turn around. It was a good decision to do so. We learned a lot about the locally grown fruits and nuts. We spent 30 minutes chatting with the proprietor and filling our bags with the good stuff. We even had the special juice of the day.

We got back to Kona in time for dinner.

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