Hawaii – Hawaii – Aloha!

by brian on July 8, 2009

Loyal reader Caryn spent some time on the Big Island of Hawaii and sent in this report from the 50th State. Thanks Caryn!

Who says you can’t take good pictures from a moving bus? This photo of some surfers on a secluded pocket beach on the Big Island of Hawaii was taken while moving at 40 mph!

Hawaii+184 Hawaii   Hawaii   Aloha!

I have no idea why there’s a sign saying “Emergency Exit” on a bridge, though. Unless there was a bungee cord attached, I doubt anyone would be using it as an escape route!

I couldn’t resist taking this photo at the volcano:

Hawaii+158 Hawaii   Hawaii   Aloha!

There aren’t many places in the world where you’ll find a sign asking you not to throw objects into the volcano, but evidently it’s necessary on the Big Island. Some people still show their respect for Pele, the Goddess of Fire (and the volcano), by leaving offerings, but with people walking down trails into the crater this can lead to injuries to unsuspecting hikers below.

I was happy to discover that they had large plants growing on lava rock that had been blessed by a Kahuna and were therefore safe to bring home without any repercussions. It’s been said that strange luck befalls those who take Pele’s rocks without permission. . . .

The best sightseeing value on the island is the Grand Island Circle Tour run by Grayline buses. By purchasing the ticket ahead of time online, and utilizing a AAA discount, I was able to get a 12 hour guided tour of most of the island for only $78. There is no better bargain as far as I’m concerned. Below is a picture of me with “Cousin Greg” our driver, sporting the “hang loose” hand gesture that everyone seems to use. When I purchased the ticket, I planned on going alone but ended up meeting some friends that I weren’t aware were going on the trip. It ended up being a reunion of sorts. Everyone on the trip was so nice that I would have been perfectly comfortable had I been on this trip alone.

Caryn with bus driver “Cousin Greg”

Hawaii+114 Hawaii   Hawaii   Aloha!

The sunsets on the Big Island are quite spectacular, but since Hawaii doesn’t observe daylight savings time, they are also very EARLY.

Hawaii+006 Hawaii   Hawaii   Aloha!

Another thing to keep in mind is that, despite what people will tell you, there are bugs in Hawaii due to its tropical climate. As I traveled up the mountain outside Keauhou where I spent the week at the Sheraton resort and spa (no, this was not a budget trip), I was bitten by a couple of mosquitoes. I hear these are more prevalent in the rain forest regions as they didn’t bother me near the hotel.

The Sheraton is the perfect location to see the extra large manta rays for free. They have spotlights shining on the water and we were able to watch these creatures that are at least 10 feet wide feeding on plankton. I was unable to get a photo of the mantas due to poor lighting conditions, but it is an experience not to be missed if you ever end up in Keauhou.

The airport in Kona, Hawaii resembles a shopping plaza. Yes, it’s outdoors. This airport is so small you can be shopping 25 feet away from the gate. When flying into Kona, I was required to fill out forms stating that I wasn’t bringing any soil or agricultural products with me in my suitcase. Upon leaving, I needed to go through security twice, making it quite similar to going through customs when you return to America from overseas.

Caryn Connolly
Usui and Karuna Reiki® Master Teacher

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shobe July 9, 2009 at 8:11 AM

that was super cool! so have you guys been on top of the volcano????I remember one member though at http://baraaza.com/ where he mentioned that the volcano at hawaii almost ate him..I guess he was exaggerating? haha!

I'm glad you guys have fun. If you guys want a help some other time, you can simply connect at baraaza.comm, it is a great travel guide :)


Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Uh, isn't the "emergency exit" sign part of the window NOT the bridge? Just wondering…


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: