I woke madly at 01:22 fearing a cockroach was crawling over me. I checked to see that the plastic tumbler hadn't moved. I was safe. I continued to sleep until 07:20, then 08:20, then...
As we left the hotel room and checked out I removed the tumbler from its position over the large cockroach and saw that he had overturned himself. I'm sure he will correct himself now he's free.
A brief drive around Kailua-Kona revealed a tourist hotspot, a very sunny coastal town that was reminiscent of Byron Bay and Noosa Heads in Australia. We didn't stop but continued to follow the coast road south and having followed a detour to a dead end we stopped and watched some yellow billed cardinals, mynahs and bright yellow birds enjoying showers from the irrigation sprinklers on the lawn. There was a mongoose running about dodging the water and evading my camera lens also.
We found our way back to highway 11 and then descended again to the shoreline. We missed the turning for Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and were found to be travelling along a narrow single lane road. 4 miles later, much to our amusement, we emerged at Kealakekua Bay and stared across the bay to the place where Captain Cook died. Black crabs were clinging on to the side of the rocks as the surf threatened to carry them seaward. The black pebbly beach and the way the surf and undertow were playing with the pebbles reminded me of the beach entry dive we did at Lipah Bay in Bali, and indeed all of the beach entry dives in Bali, including Ian's memorable fiftieth dive!
Having turned round and retravelled the single lane road we reached Puuhonua o Honaunua only to find that there was a fee to enter the park so we drove straight out again and looped the village of Honaunau and Keoneele cove. From there we could see the ancient royal compound, the Place of Refuge.
We continued our journey south. After passing by Manuka Natural Area Reserve we turned off into a road not represented on any of our maps. Ian's curiousity got the better of him and he drove on only to find that there was a complete network of long straight roads criscrossing over each other over the undulating lava fields. We turned round and continued our journey on highway 11.
The journey to Ka Loe, South Point, took us through green fields with cattle and horses and passed a wind farm and the road ended at the shoreline frequented by fishermen. Ian spotted the confluence in the choppy waters just offshore and then saw a pod of dolphins performing an acrobatic display as they swam east along the coastline. The sand here was very golden in colour yet the surface at the car park was brick red. It was a stark contrast. At South Point we were at the southermost point of the United States of America. A few miles east we found ourselves at Kau Lana Bay, near Green Sands Beach. The cove was very pretty and the sane was riddled with lime green elements here.
Back on highway 11 we passed Naalehu, the village where a man killed his daughter last weekend and the house we passed was now a shrine of flowers in memory of that little girl.
Time was moving on and so we travelled non stop to the site of the 1868 Devastation Day, whereby an earthquake, a volcano eruption and a tsunami all hit this region of Kau in one day. The lava field that was in front of us was immense. It spread for miles. Somewhere beneath it all lies the village of Kahuku. It was quite eerie.
When we reached Hawaii Volcanoes National Park we progressed straight to Kulanaokuaiki campground to make the most of the remaining light and to gauge the conditions of the campsite and the weather. I was less keen on camping now than before we had started staying in bed and breakfast lodges and hotels. There was no one else camping here which made me a bit weary. However, the toilet, albeit without flowing water, was in a clean state, indicating that no hooligans mistreated it and we were at least 12 kilometres off the main highway into the national park. It was very quiet. The campsite itself was great. It was situated on an old lava field that had ohia lehua bushes growing around it. It was very picturesque. We erected our tent and trotted back out to the village of Volcano, to dine and to give the tent a chance to fall down or blow away.
Following our Thai meal in the village we returned to the campsite and as I was getting increasingly nervous about our isolation I was pleased to find that some other people had pitched a tent. We used the facilities and made our tent our home for the night, filling it with mattresses and sleeping bags.
The sky was lovely and clear, littered with many bright stars. We turned off the torchlight at 20:30 and snuggled up in our bags at an elevation of 3,000 feet!
We had driven 189 miles today.
Copyright 2003 Helen Fuller. All rights reserved.