Page 6 of Dawn and Steve Travel Blog Posts


North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui April 2nd 2010

Once we arrived and got settled in our B&B, we set out to check out the beaches. West Maui is supposed to have the most beaches of any of the islands. The beaches in Kihei, although highly recommended by our hosts, proved to be less than we expected. There was some sand but only a narrow strip, and some waves with mostly rocky bottom, but we didn’t find them very inviting, although, in the right light, there were some nice photo spots. Farther south, towards Wailea (where the fancy hotels are at that we couldn’t afford to even think about staying), there are nicer beaches for both swimming (Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, and III), and for snorkeling (Ulua Beach Park), and many others that we spent a bit of time at. The snorkeling, while ... read more
02 Narrow Beach in Kihei
03 Beach in Kihei 2
04 Kamaole Beach Park

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui April 1st 2010

Maui is the island that draws the most visitors of all the Hawaiian islands. We have heard and read so much about the beauty of Maui, with its endless beaches, extinct volcanoes and scenic roadways. Yet, our first impression was of a hot, dusty, windy flat plain. That is because Maui was formed by two volcanoes whose lava flows overlapped, forming one island with a flat central plain. Consequently, each end is a mountainous peak, with the flat, fertile valley between them becoming a wind tunnel due to the strong trade winds. Narrow, twisty roads hug the sides of both the mountains, with the famous ‘Road to Hana’ winding round the west side, and an even narrower (scary!) road traveling high above the roiling ocean on the east side. The most densely populated areas are along ... read more
02 Haleakela
03 Populous west side of Maui
04 Molokini from the air

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island March 31st 2010

Well, sorry it has been so long since we have updated the blog. We have seen 2 other islands already (in real time), but I don’t feel that we have done the Big Island justice yet, so will post a final entry on this beautiful island before moving on. The beauty and diversity of this island is hard to describe. At first, from the air when we were flying in, the land looked black and flat - without much interest. That is because the airport is built on an old lava flow. It takes hundreds of years for the lava to cool, and for wind and rain action to start to crumble the hard molten rock into earth so that the plants can gain a foothold again. When you look closely, you will see ferns and ... read more
02 Old cinder cone
03 Conder cone with new growth
04 Saddle road is built across an old lava flow

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island March 27th 2010

We took a tour with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures up to the top of Mauna Kea to see the sun set above the clouds and to look through their telescopes at various star clusters. It was a great tour, with the tour guide providing lots of information about the island all the way up to the visitor center. Then we had supper at the visitor center, partly to spend some time there to acclimatize to the height (around 9,000 feet). Then it was on to the summit of Mauna Kea, at over 13,000 feet - the highest point in Hawaii. We were above the clouds and it was a beautiful night - no snow, which often they have here - at around 0 degrees C (freezing) and not much wind. We had heavy parkas and gloves ... read more
02 Us above the clouds
View of Mauna Loa
03 Steve at the observatory

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island March 26th 2010

We went back to visit Volcanoes National Park again since much of it was closed due to high levels of sulphur dioxide gas the first time we were there. Part of Crater Rim Drive is still closed, and will remain closed for quite a while due to the activity of the Halema’uma’u Crater which is within the Kiluea Caldera. We were able this time to drive around the north part of Crater Rim drive, and see the steam vents, the visitor centre where we got up-to-date information about the volcano’s activity, and the Jagger Museum which has a great viewpoint looking down right into the Caldera and the steaming active crater. At night, they say you can see the red glow from the lava which is about 20 meters below the surface. It was an impressive ... read more
Steve at Jagger Museum overlook
Dawn at Jagger Museum overlook - just a lot of hot air!
House in lava field

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island March 25th 2010

One day we took at trip down to the south part of the island, starting at Puuhonau O Honaunau National Historic Park (Place of Refuge), then further south hoping to visit both the green sand beach at South point (or Ka’Lae), and the black sand beach at Pulaluu. Place of Refuge was the place where native islanders could go to pray and be forgiven after having done something that earned them a death sentence from the King. They had to swim there, and if they survived, they had to pray and meditate and whatever else, then they were allowed to live. Anyway, it was interesting, with the wooden statues restored and with remains of fish ponds and other buildings. We also saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal resting on the beach there. The drive to south point ... read more
Dawn at Place of Refuge
Statue at Place of Refuge National Historic Park
Steve at Place of Refuge

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona March 24th 2010

We went to a Luau at the Royal Kona resort. It was so much fun! They unearthed a pig that was cooking in an earth oven all day, and it was so tender that it just fell apart. It is called Kahlua pork (spelling could be wrong here). Besides that, there was so much food, and it was all wonderful. We tasted poi, the starchy staple of the Hawaiian people (tasted very bland, and had the consistency of baby food, but was OK mixed with other stuff). Lomi lomi salmon, which is raw and delicious, chicken in coconut and spinich sauce, beef, another cooked fish that was also delicious......I can't remember the rest. What a feast! And the entertainment was very well done. Dances representing many of the Polynesian islands were performed by both men and ... read more
The pig wrapped in leaves
The meat just falls off the bones
Some of the buffet table

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Hilo March 22nd 2010

We took a couple of days and drove over to the other side of the island to see some waterfalls. Hilo is the seat of government for the island of Hawaii, and is located on this, the rainy side of the island. It gets more than 180 inches of rain a year, and is the rainiest city in the U.S. So, there are waterfalls for a reason. We watched the weather forcast, and picked a couple of days that had a chance of rain of only 70% and 80%, instead of the 90% that it had been for the past week. The first half of the first day, on the drive over there and up to the top of the island where the Waipio Valley is located, it was dry. But, as soon as we got ... read more
02 Dawn overlooking Waipio Valley
03 Waterfall in Waipio Valley
04 View of Laupahoehoe Point from the road

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona March 18th 2010

The Island of Hawaii or “the Big Island” is the biggest island in this chain of volcano-formed islands, and is also the most diverse. One resident we met on a black sand beach told us that of the 13 different climate zones, the big island has 11 of them (Steve wonders what the other 2 are?). We are staying on a coffee plantation on the Kona coast - the west side of the island which is typically the driest and sunniest. Well, like everywhere else we have been so far, they are having non-typical weather, so every day has been a mix of sun and cloud and rain. And, just the mile or so up the mountain where the coffee is grown and where we are staying, it cools off noticeably from the coast. Every day ... read more
02-Tide Pools
03-Outdoor Market
04-Shave Ice Dawn

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Kailua-Kona March 15th 2010

Our flight out of Puerto Vallarta was delayed, and then even once we got to LA and taxied to the gate, they didn't open the doors for us to get out for almost half an hour. Once we found the shuttle to the hotel and arrived, and along with the one hour time change, it was late and we were tired. Still, we had to sort through our luggage, take out what we had bought in Mexico for gifts etc, and gather up our Hawaii stuff like snorkle equipment, and re-pack. It was a late night, and we had a very early flight, so we were up by 5 am. But, once we got on the plane, all was great. American Airlines was very comfortable. Steve loves to take pictures out the plane window, so I ... read more
Maui I think
Welcome to Honolulu
Our little island hopper plane




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