We had another lazy morning and then before checking out, we decided to explore the historical Kona hotel that we stayed at. It’s an old plantation building built in the 1920s but has since been a hotel for generations.
The lady who ran the place told us to go around and check out the back. I just giggled when I found that at the back there was just the most amazing loo with a view.
Here’s our cute lonely car in front of our very pink hotel.
Once we turtled our way through checking out we headed down to the Kona coast. We had heard a lot about ‘The Coffee Shack’ located in Captain Cook. Shame we were absolutely starving as there were so many small old towns with antique stores that I would’ve loved to have checked out. We ended up stopping at this big one, and maybe it was a good thing I was hungry as I probably would’ve spent more going to all the other ones.
I ended up walking away with this amazing Western belt and gorgeous silk kimono piece. The belt had $16 marked on it and the kimono had $129.. which was steep but understandable as it really was beautiful. So I batted my eyelashes and put all my weight and attitude on one hip as I walked up to the counter. With his American accent he goes “Oh no young lady, you’re going to give me a hard run, aren’t ya?”
I smirked and said “Let’s talk!” to which he asked me to give him an offer he can’t refuse. I stared at him blankly not knowing if I should go with the low ball figure of $85 that was in my head. The silence was broken with him saying to me, “How about $60 for all?”
WOAH! HE HAD LOW BALLED HIMSELF. I tried to act as coolly as possible and agreed to the price. But he seemed to be stoked and said that it was a good day for him. Paige picked up a belt and a film camera as well for a nice price too.
We then finally made it to the coffee shack. Kona is very well known for their coffee beans so Paige ordered a latte. I tried a little bit of hers and boy was it delicious. My body is unfortunately, or fortunately, hypersensitive to coffee so it’s something I avoid drinking. We also ordered sandwiches for lunch, which to our surprise, was a ridiculous pile of roast beef, horseradish, garlic mayo, provolone cheese, lettuce, and more roast beef. My homemade ‘luau’ bread was a delicious combination of macadamia nuts, carrot, pineapple and coconut. Yum! It was pretty difficult to take a bite though.
The Coffee Shack also sat up high overlooking the coast line. We chose a poor day to head south exploring the coast as the day was pretty glum and overcast.
We then kept on driving south until we hit the slopes of Mauna Loa. At one point it was a godforsaken landscape of endless destruction. It was obvious that the lava probably came through a long time ago, or it was new land as there was some form of life coming through. It was so crazy just seeing miles and miles of just.. this.
Then the wind picked up like crazy until I was no longer able to stand so I went into rockstar Bono mode. A few of the photos from today’s blog features Paige’s snaps as well. Happy to introduce Paige’s boss camera, please all make it feel welcome.
Here’s that beautiful kimono piece I picked up!
We then turned right to chase the end of a cliff face that seemed to be so far away. We wanted to get to South Point – the most southern point of the USA.
Funnily enough, this inelastic chunk of magnificent coastline was for cattle to enjoy. There weren’t any homes or hotels at all. Suddenly, we felt ourselves in English countryside rather than the tropical reputation of Hawaii.
South Point also is known for hosting Green Sands Beach. Due to volcanic activity, in Hawaii you can find beaches with black sand, white sand or green sand. We parked our car and went for a bit of a hike. It’s a popular 4WD zone as you can drive out to the green sand and along the coast line to then return back inland. We didn’t have a 4WD zone so we had to do what most people have to do and hike (as again like Mauna Kea, rental car companies don’t like their 4WDs out on this terrain).
And the skies cracked a fit and let down buckets of tears. It was cold, wet and windy but we were determined not to let that stop our mission of finding green sand.
Before finding green sand, there was a lot of washed up coral. I spent a while looking through the different bleached pieces. There’s just something so alien to the shapes and designs of coral.
It was a gorgeous landscape of green pastures, erosion and succulents behind me. Then sand and blue waters in front. But again, the showers were making it a gloomy and dirty trek.
But then I finally found the green sand!
And I found someone’s work of rock art.
I was busting. And there were no toilets around. So I had to do a nature pee. Though, I didn’t know what was more exposed – doing it up on the cliffs where perhaps a passing 4WD might catch me out or doing it on the beach with the chance that another hiker might have caught up to us. It didn’t seem like anyone was about because of the weather so I chose to tuck myself up against the cliffs and face out to the beach. It was the most open nature pee I had ever done. The sound of the waves made me panic that there were people about but the wind coming from the land was a soothing pat on my back or bottom that it was a job well done. Anyway, you’re wondering why I’m describing this moment so descriptively. It was only until later on tonight that I realised that I had marked my territory on the most southern point of the USA and I was in a fit of laughter with that thought. It made that nature pee special.
We then made the hike back to our car to now try and beat the sun falling to get out of those rural roads.
Doesn’t look like this car actually survived the road to Green Sands haha.
We then drove to the plaque celebrating South Point. I was lazy and had my shoes off because they were soaking wet so… I strategically parked the car for vantage point.
And this was the photo I took. Haha.
SO. Driving around these islands, I kept seeing these weird critters cross the road or creep out of my peripheral vision. I knew they didn’t look like reptiles and I knew they weren’t quite a rat. BUT I FINALLY CAUGHT ONE. We had a bit of a stare off but he was hundreds of feet down at the bottom of the cliff face, while I was at the top. Anyway, I believe they’re a species of mongoose. I’ve never seen one before! But they’re an introduced species to Hawaii and are apparently a problem.
Our car looks like it’s posing for an ad “Das Auto.”
On our way back, we stopped for a little bit to observe a herd of cow hanging around this rundown shed. The shed sounded like it was home to a whole flock of birds as the sound was ear-piercing. Anyway, the next second after this photo I had scared so many cows away from the shutter noise of my camera. They ran out and behind the shed. I was sad at first as I wanted to enjoy them up close a little longer.
But then.. it provided me with the opportunity of taking one of my favourite photos ever. After running away from me at a distance, they then formed a line and continued escaping from the shutter-noise-monster at an orderly pace.
The sun was quickly setting and we were only halfway to our next destination ‘Volcano’ where the Volcano National Park lies. The town is actually called Volcano too, to make it confusing. We drove up for over an hour to reach a high elevation of 4000+ ft. On the highway, we saw a crazy lava glow from the summit of Kilaulea. I was gobsmacked. I’ve never seen anything like it – it almost looked like a bush fire and we were willingly driving towards it. We had dinner at a quaint cafe where I was researching for tomorrow’s activities. There are 3 active volcanoes in Hawaii – two where we were at right now Kilaulea and Mauna Loa and one called Loihi which is underwater just off the southern shore of Hawaii Island (where we are as well). KIlaulea has been continuously erupting since 1983. I also saw this map that showed the coastline that has extended since Kilaulea started erupting since 1983. It’s crazy to think that the new extension of land is due to this volcanic activity. Like stuff I’ve learned at school is actually true haha.