Three sleeps to go. Who says we are counting? The first thing we see this morning right out our window is a big cruise ship coming into dock. What a sight.
We pack up our backpacks again ready to move hotels. It is difficult to close and zip our bags. Everyone is loaded up. We have been really careful not to accumulate any extra stuff and to get rid of anything we dont need or are not using. When we left home our bags were already full and packed with near precision. Despite this, we still have managed collected a few things to upset the packing formation.
At our simple included breaky this morning we squirrelled away a few muffins and two egg sandwiches. Geoff and Bailey went to collect our hire car and off we set on our three day final hurrah to circumnavigate Big Island. There are some things on our wish list like swimming with dolphins, snorkelling, star gazing observatory, volcanos and black sand beaches. Let see if we find what is sold in the glossy brochures. The kids have become savvy to sales and advertising and know that things are only true when you experience it for yourself. Another useful life lesson from travelling.
By now the whole world knows the American Government is busy calling each other names and in shut down mode. So because of this all National Parks are closed. This effects us directly because the Volcano National Park is shut. It was a disappointment because we could not drive the volcano loop road. Once again grateful we made the decision to helicopter yesterday otherwise we would not have seen any live activity.
Our first stop then was Black Sand Beach. This is a famous beach to visit on Big Island because of course it is black, and the giant Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are here. And there were plenty to watch closely eating seaweed. They clamber right over the reef and position themselves in what seems very awkward positions just to get in the right spot. They are just so tame and will come out to nap on the beach. The black sand is actually fresh lava washed onshore where the lava enters the sea from the lava tube we seen yesterday. What is interesting is that the sand is not broken down lava rocks. Its created that way when it flows into the ocean it fractures directly down into small particles. Bailey searched for small pieces of the semi precious volcanic green glass called Olivine. It looks like Peridot.
As we drove further south the landscape was awesome. People living on old lava flows. It is a very harsh unforgiving environment. The rocks themselves are jagged and sharp as glass. Very old flow sites have some vegetation returning while other areas remain stark and barren. It really is a pretty amazing sight. Plus the fact people move back and carry on living. Lava has eaten up homes, whole towns and roads. And back they come and build again.
The whole area we travelled through was surprisingly dry. Again we are shocked by the real Hawaii. It not what we imagined at all. The extremes in landscape are unexpected. Later our host Miles explains the diversity and complexities of Hawaiis weather.
We arrived in Kona and are staying above Kealakekua Bay near the little villiage of Captain Cook. It is the bay where Captain Cook was killed in 1779 by Hawaiians during a failed attempt to resolve the theft of one of Cooks smaller boats. Cook was killed on the beach and a large monument now stands in his honour. This is also a famous bay for snorkelling and swimming with dolphins. We could see bright yellow fish through the water.The sunny day closed in with the late afternoon storm clouds arriving quickly so we headed for our B and B. We followed the directions through a skinny winding road across the steep lush mountain overlooking the bay. If it wasnt for the old lava and rocks poking out you may forget it was once a lava wasteland. Now its a tropical oasis. Our B and B is on a working coffee plantation. The kids were happy to spend time swimming in the pool, even in the warm tropical rain falling on their heads.