Category Archives: Hawaiian Adventures

Escaping The Rain – A Big Island Road Trip

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the rain forest! Let’s be realistic, though… Days on end, trapped inside without the faintest ray of sunshine can really dampen the spirits. Fortunately, we live in a very unique place where a difference of only a few miles can completely change your climate and surroundings.

Our side of the mountain had been under days of torrential rain, so we decided to drive up and over the volcano and dry out for a spell.

First stop: Pahala & The Kau Coffee Mill

Not only is the Pahala countryside breathtaking, but it’s also home to several farms, including macadamia nuts and my life blood – coffee. The winding road to the coffee mill is lined with dense, vine tangled forests and beautiful flowers.

Next stop: Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u is a gorgeous, black sand beach, perhaps best know for the Honu [Green Sea Turtles] that frequently climb out of the ocean and rest upon the warm sand.

Opposite the ocean lies a lily filled pond and the ruins of an old restaurant that have been swallowed by the jungle.

Naturally, we needed some “us” pictures, too:

After our visit to Punalu’u, we headed up the coast, stopping in the little town of Na’alehu to hit the Punalu’u Bakery for their super delicious malasada sweet rolls. Sadly, it was a busy day and they were sold out. Learn from our mistake and be sure to get there early! You really don’t want to miss out on these. We decided to grab a loaf of their taro sweet bread, anyway, an hit the road again.

We then proceeded to visit our other “lavastead” in HOVE [Hawaiian Ocean View Estates]. Most people would find the vicious a’a wasteland to be ugly and daunting, but we get excited about it, knowing its true potential.

On the way back, we stopped briefly at Whittington Beach Park then hit Punalu’u once more so Izzy could play in the water for a little bit. Then, it was back over the mountain to the rain and drizzle, but feeling happy and recharged.

Thank you for joining us on our adventures!

Aloha!

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Big Island Hawaii: A Stroll Through The Volcano

Sure, strolling around an active volcano sounds pretty daring, but Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is largely benign and full of intriguing flora and fauna.

When we arrived at Devastation Trail, we were met by this friendly little Nene – Hawaii’s state bird, endemic to the Hawaiian islands. Over the past couple of centuries the population of the rare Nene had been decimated by hunting and the introduction of predatory animals. Through conservation efforts, the nearly extinct bird has been making a comeback.

Nene

At first, the meandering trail did not seem to live up to its name. It was a lovely, paved pathway through green forests of hapu’u fern and ohia trees adorned with red lehua.

Rather abruptly, however, the trail ahead opened to reveal the true desolation beyond.

In spite of the harsh conditions, numerous interesting plants had made a home of the dry, foreboding cinderscape.

As we continued along, the trail once again dipped into green forests, which ultimately deposited us at the Byron Ledge trail head. Proceeding onward, the paved pathway gave way to trails of crunchy, glassy cinder. As we continued along the pocked cinder terrain, the trail suddenly turned steep, dipping over the crater rim into another unexpectedly green forest some ways below, standing in contrast against the barren floor of the distant caldera.

Approaching the base of the hill, the trail once again entered the forest canopy. We continued walking trail for some time until we reached the Kilauea Iki trail head which would take us deep down into the bottom of the crater. Unfortunately, that hike would have to wait for another day, as we were running out of daylight and had a long walk back.

Even so, the journey continued to yield beautiful vistas and very interesting flora.

I’d best wrap this up until our next journey! I hope you enjoyed following along.

Thank you and Aloha! 🙂