It’s difficult to be precise, appropriate and simple at the same time, but the person who named “Hawaii” island to avoid confusion with the entire state got it so right. “Big island” is such an appropriate name for an island which has a surreal complementing contrast in climatic zones and diversification of natural wonders between the west & east side.
Describing a place as “paradise” is such a cliche, but what makes Big island an uniquely amazing wonderland are these contrasts. So as a sharp contrast of crystal clear blue water and pure white sand beaches we explored on first two days, the day 3 had Active Volcanoes with molten lava & Black sand Beaches in store for us, yes in the same Island just around 90 miles away…isn’t that amazing!
So after enjoying glorious sunny days now its time to get prepared for overcast weather and occasional showers. Just to give an idea of the structural map of Big island, first 2 days we stayed in the sunny western coast Kona and the base location of day 3 was in the far east, a picturesque town called Hilo. It is one of the wettest towns in the world with an average rainfall of 129 inches.
There are multiple routes to reach from Kona to Hilo. We chose the route through Waimea as the first stop of day was en route,a gorgeous beach named Kaunaoa Bay popularly known as Mauna Kea beach . It’s a very well maintained probably by the Mauna Kea beach Hotel adjacent to it. It’s an incredibly beautiful beach and it deserves a whole day.It’s the most gorgeous beach I have ever been to..
From Kaunaoa Bay beach we drove straight to the bed & breakfast we booked for the day. The name of the place is “Holmes Sweet Home” owned & maintained by a beautiful caring old couple John & Charlotte Holmes. As a safety measure we had heard a lot about not to leave luggage in the car unattended, so we just went there to drop those over there before starting for Volcano national park.
Already occasional heavy rain welcomed us as soon as we entered in Hilo area. Rest of the day had a lot of to & fro driving as we did the following,
a) Drove around the Volcano National park(around 32 miles from Hilo) for an hour, saw volcanic steam vents, fuming vent in Halema`uma`u crater from Jagger Museum
b) Drove back 30 miles to Hilo International airport for Helicopter Ride over the volcanoes
c) After the Helicopter tour(which was incredibly exciting) again drove 60 miles towards south crossing VNP en route to see the Punalu‘u Beach(its a jet black colored sand beach with coconut palms and green Sea turtles, basking on the beach)
d) After spending an hour drove back again towards Volcano national park(around 30 mile). By this time the sun has already been set and we witnessed the incredible never before sight of lava glow through the fuming vent in Halema`uma`u crater in pitch dark.
Well I agree it was a little hectic afternoon & evening but when you are in that wonderland, like a child you can’t help but try to absorb every drop of beauty & incredibility around. And I must confess that I am blessed with a equally spirited & enthusiastic wife 🙂
P.S: Holmes Bed & Breakfast is awesome & highly recommended. They are very nice & warm people, John is a thorough gentleman and Charlotte makes amazing muffins.You sleep with sound of crickets in the night & wake up listening to bird chirping…It was a so peaceful & lovely…
I will publish the photos in the next post, Stay Connected