We drove South around the island, then north to Hilo and all the way around the island back home to Kona. It was a long day with lots of adventures.
Make a left just after the Turtle building,
And go to Punalu'u Sweet Breads bakery. We stopped and bought a few treats - Jeff got an apple danish and a yellow cake malasada, and I got a coconut danish and an apple malasada... We had our danishes at the park and saved the donuts for later.
Then drove south to the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. The black sands of the beach are natural, created by hot lava flow crashing into the ocean water, cooling it instantly. The surf then breaks the cooled lava into tiny pieces, creating sand that is naturally black. And it is jet black.
arriving at the beach
walking around the beach.
There are lots of tutles here, I got to take pictures of 3 of them:
Me & Punalu'u Beach
The natural freshwater pond just behind the palmtree line behind the beach:
Back on the road.
There are a bunch of cute tiny churches all over the island. Apparently I take photos of them a lot.
This side of the island is totally different looking. First of all, there's grass, and tropical trees and plants everywhere. It looks more like california than the Kona side does.
Overlooking part of the harbor.
In Hilo, we drove around Banyan Drive, named after the many Banyan trees planted here, as you can see in the pictures below:
Me at one of the Banyan Trees:
We then stopped at a park and ate our danishes from the Punalu'u Bakery:
Me at the park:
Really big bamboo:
Then we drove to Rainbow Falls:
Walked up the trail behind rainbow falls and walked around:
above/behind the waterfall
Jeff and the Banyan Tree at Rainbow Falls:
Me, climbing a bit in a different Banyan.
Out front of Rainbow falls, when we where about to leave, these women sat weaving on the grass.
Back on the road:
Cannabis ministry - which I promptly texted Brandan about.
Hilo-Hamakua Coastal overlook
We took the Scenic Drive, which paralleled Rt. 11/19 for about 4 miles and was really worth it and beautiful:
Driving through the Sugar fields to Akaka Falls:
At Akaka falls park
Being cutsie at the fall:
More walking around:
The Akaka Falls waterfall:
The leaves in the background are the same in the print of Jeff's aloha shirt.
.... And then we went home, by way of Rt 11/19 around the top of the island and back to Kona.
It was a very long day, but we got to see some awsome sites and had a really good day.