Land Cruising the Big Island of Hawaii

Aloha!  We are currently on a mooring in beautiful Lahaina, Maui.  We just sailed in yesterday from La Perouse Bay, where we stopped for two nights after running the Alenuihaha Channel from the windward side of the Big Island.  We had a great overnight downwind run through the channel with winds around 20 knots and waves 8-10 feet.  We timed it well and the conditions were relatively pleasant compared to the horror stories we have heard about the channel.

We spent about 10 days anchored in rainy Radio Bay, Hilo.  We set Ellie’s anchor hard, paid the extortion fees to the government and went in search of a rental car.  We found a good deal from the airport and rented a Town & Country minivan.  All the seats fold into the floor so we took some cushions and mattress pads out of the boat and turned the back of that van into a little camper!  We spent an awesome week circumnavigating the Big Island counter-clockwise.  We spent way too much money on good food and good times but it was a great way to see the amazing sites, soak in the natural beauty of the island, unwind and reacquaint ourselves with life in the good ol’ US of A.  

Here are some pics from the road trip:

IMG_0374Picturesque Waipio Valley

IMG_0354Akaka Falls 

IMG_0360 IMG_0366The wheels / land yacht

IMG_0378Exploring the inside of a lava tube

IMG_0396 IMG_0397 IMG_0401Hiking down to gorgeous Polulu Valley

IMG_0402 IMG_0405Our attempt to camouflage the van while parked down a dead-end dirt road in Kohala.  Didn’t work because a local stopped and stared intently for 5 minutes before figuring out it was just a couple cheap white tourists boondockin’ it…  

IMG_0411Awesome beach on Kohala coast where we enjoyed breakfast

IMG_0427Bet you didn’t think you could take a miinvan offroad did ya?

IMG_0428 IMG_0431Opulu Point.  Northern most point of Big Island.  Token hottie

IMG_0433Hike to Kamehameha birthsite and the eerie Mookini Heiau

IMG_0439Mookini Heiau.  The flat rock is where they sacrificed 10’s of thousands of Hawaiians as offerings to the gods or because they violated a Kapu (taboo).  A lot of blood was shed here.

IMG_0450Inside the walls of Mookini Heiau

IMG_0454The grounds of Mookini Heiau

IMG_0458Minivan glamour shot

IMG_0459Exploring a 600 year-old native fishing village on the NW side of the island

IMG_0472 IMG_0473Pu’ukohala Heiau in the background.  Kamehameha the Great built this (OK thousands of Hawaiians built this) amazing structure to appease the Gods and allow Kamehameha to conquer and unite the entire island chain.  They sacrificed people throughout the building just for good measure.

IMG_0478Hammock time

IMG_0488 IMG_0493We took a grueling hike down hot lava fields to visit and pay homage to the Captain Cook memorial on the shore of Kealakekua Bay.  It was here that the great explorer and circumnavigator was hit in the head with a club and then stabbed to death by the Hawaiians after a misdeed by one of his men led to retaliation. 

IMG_0494 IMG_0495 IMG_0496 IMG_0501 IMG_0502 IMG_0512Volcanoes National Park.  That is the active vent on Kiluea.  It is currently erupting lava and flowing down on the edge of Pahoa Village.  Unfortunately the Nanny State won’t let people near the flow.  Thank God we have the State to protect us from ourselves.  What a shame that we could not see the lava up close.  

IMG_0514 IMG_0515

Thank You

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