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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Big Island, Hawaii [Part 1] - March 2013


Ah and I went to Big Island to celebrate our first anniversary and Ah's birthday. We got an amazing deal on Alaska Airlines. We took a 5 day trip, with a day specifically for travel. We took an early morning flight on a Thursday and were in the Island by 10am. 

DAY 1: We got ourselves a cool Mustang convertible and after grabbing a quick breakfast went straight to Hapuna beach state recreation area. After a quick nap on the beach, we went driving northwards towards Waipio valley. The landscape changes drastically along the drive. As we started, it was all Volcanic land with very sparse greenery. As we went up the hills towards the valley, the landscape changed from rocky black to lush green. It got colder and with the top of the convertible down and the wind blowing into my hair, it was absolutely amazing. 



Arial view of the island

At the airport
The big island airport is really different and beautiful. It is an open air airport, with each gate having a sheltered seating place. The rest of the airport has no roofing. 


Hapuna Beach


Sunset at Hapuna beach. Source: Flickr - patricksm

We had decided to just spend the day around Waikaloa, have our Anniversary dinner at Roy's (an amazing restaurant that I had tried earlier in Oahu) and then set out for the hotel. But all plans changed, as we had not considered the time change. After spending a day in the sun, all we wanted to do was to get to the room and hit the bed. We stayed at the Sheraton Kona resort and spa at Keauhou. It is a beautiful resort and the location is amazing!! 


Source: Sheraton Kona



View from Sheraton lobby
DAY 2: The next morning we went snorkeling at Big Island's best snorkeling spot - Kahalu'u beach parkIt was very close to the resort - a 2 minute drive and has the prettiest sea-life I have ever seen. The water is clear and we had schools of fish swim right past us. Also seen were green sea turtles, eels, surgeon fish, trigger fish, needle fish, box fishes, flat fish,  Parrot fish and goat fish . There have also been humpback whales breaching about 1/2 mile offshore but we did not see any. Not that we would have noticed, as we had our head in the water the whole time. Wear sunblock as the sun is very strong in HI. The best place to spot turtles is near the rocks close to the shore and you can swim with them. We got our snorkel gear from an organization called ReefTeach that rents them and educates people about safeguarding the reef. It's $13.50/day to rent gear regardless of how long you snorkel. You can also exchange flippers for a boogie board. They are costlier than others, but are most convenient and it feels good giving your money to an organization that puts it back into protecting the reef. If you rent gear from them, ReefTeach makes you watch a 15-minute video that drives home these two points about reef etiquette:

1. Try to stand on sandy areas, not on the coral. Standing on coral can kill it.
2. Don't feed the fish. You may be upsetting their ecosystem.

I bought an underwater camera specifically for this trip, but about an hour into the water, the camera got flooded with water and died. Luckily I could retrieve the few pics that we took. 








Adding a few pictures from other sites to show you the wonderful marine life we saw:


Source: www.letsgo-hawaii.com

Source: homeaway.com

Source: www.letsgo-hawaii.com

After snorkeling we went to try Poke at Da Poke Shack. Poke is a raw salad made with fish. Usually served as an appetizer, we got ours as a meal with spiced rice and sides of spicy California crab and garlic soy beans. We tried ahi, yellowfish tuna and octopus. There were also some cooked poke and we tried the cod which was our favorite.


Source: Yelp


Source: Yelp
 We also visited a refuge park called Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in Honaunau which is about half-hour drive south of Kailua-Kona. You can see lava rocks and as you walk along the shore look out for turtles in the water and crabs on the rock. You can't get into the water here as it is fenced, but to the right of the historic park is a great snorkeling spot where there are lots of turtles. We skipped snorkeling there, as we had just finished 3 hours in water at the other location.

Source: Norwegian cruise lines


Source: Waymarkings.com







There was a beautiful beach with picnic tables next to the historic site. The views were breathtaking. 



This post is getting too long. Stay tuned for Big Island part 2.

- Dee

9 comments:

  1. good and keep going and posting.
    happy hawaii

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  2. Good pictures dude I guess it was bad luck with the UW camera though but for others UW cameras with pro features are required they are the only solution if one wants to go to greater depths. I GUESS YOU SHOULD SUE THE COMPANY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mac,We just got unlucky. We got the camera from Amazon after checking out the great reviews. Missed out on taking more pictures during snorkeling, but am very happy with Amazon's customer service as we got a full refund back. Next time, I will definitely go for a higher end model.

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  3. The big island is definitely one of my favorite places, so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Freya. I absolutely loved the place.

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  4. Very good pictures. To make your travel to Hawaii unforgettable you may find best snorkeling in hawaii big island which will prove to be the best part of your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good pictures. To make your travel to Hawaii unforgettable you may find best snorkeling in hawaii big island which will prove to be the best part of your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  6. y doubt it is one of the best adventure sport and the best place to experience it is Hawaii. It is important to hire the professionals and someone who knows what to do and where to do. Happy Traveling :)
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