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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kekaha Kai State Park - Big Island of Hawaii - Day 1

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We were very late in planning our first few days on the Big Island, extra days we slipped into our schedule to enjoy some R&E (Rest & Exploration) before our responsibilities at an organic coffee farm near Honaunau would begin.

Something about shoving a house/garage/barn full of crap stuff into two three storage units and delivering farm animals to locations in three different states set us about, oh, 3 days behind schedule in leaving MN to deliver a Suburban full of cats to Papa Bear's folks in WY, where we were to rest and catch our breath for a few days, settle the cats into their new home, and plan our first weekend on the Big Island.

A hurried search on VRBO Wed. morning, the day before we were to fly to Kona, miraculously produced a private, affordable, perfectly adorable cottage 2200 feet up the mountain outside of Kona near the artists' community of Holualoa.


From the comforts of this private sanctuary perched on the side of the mountain with distant views of the ocean and complete with three uber-friendly rescue canines, we tentatively planned out our weekend.

My first reaction was to plan a circle-tour of the island, hitting all the hot spots like volcanoes {no pun intended there} and mountain peaks.

Then my spleen spoke up and reminded me that I'd been abusing it with stress and insomnia for the last 6-weeks of our move and it needed some place to crash for awhile, not zip around the island like a crazy tourist.

Heeding my spleen's advice, we decided to lay low around Kona for the weekend.  There would be plenty of other weekends to explore around the island.  We didn't have to fit it all in now.

We also decided a slow stroll on a nice sandy beach would be just the thing to kick off our weekend of relaxation.

A tip from a local directed us to Kekaha Kai State Park just north of the Kona Int'l Airport. We were warned about the rough road down to the beach but were reassured even our rented Malibu would have no trouble making the journey.


We were not warned about the 20 minute "jiggle-your-guts-apart" ride down what used to be a road but then seems to have been run over by a lava flow, then resuscitated into what might almost be considered a passable road again.

We were also not prepared for the lava rock landscape around us as we drove. It felt as though we had landed on the moon (which might also account for the lack of a passable road I would imagine).

But the suggestion was spot on - if you can stomach the drive, the beach is truly lovely, a real sand beach dotted with lava rock outcroppings.


One of the more interesting things we noticed on our drive north to the park was the lava graffiti, words and pictures spelled out in white coral pieces against the black lava rock on either side of the road.  The beach also contained quite a few examples of this, messages spelled out in white and black rocks against the sand.

The sun was hot and we were careful not to stay out in it too long {since we both look like something that just crawled out of a rotting log}, but we did go for a quick swim in the surf very close to shore, and even at that safe distance were quite impressed with the power of the waves.


A picnic lunch with an ocean breeze completed our time at Kahakai, and somehow, the bumpy road back out to the highway didn't seem to take nearly as long as the journey in.

A perfect first day in paradise.

Aloha ~

2 comments:

Jess said...

I love how you describe everything in such intoxicating detail. Hope your rest time recharged you well and I cannot wait to hear about the farm. A farm is a farm no matter the climate, that is something I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

You escaped the mid-west just in time. I am freeeeezing all the time... (as I have a heated rice-filled sock hanging around my neck)

Victoria Strauser said...

Sorry to hear about the cold - it is the primary reason we're trying to escape! But the trade-offs (hot running water, showers, flush toilets) are not a lot of fun either... but we're adjusting!

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