Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hawaii Day 7 - Snorkeling, Beaches, and Ironman

Breakfast with the geckos
Breakfast at the B&B was provided by our hosts on the lanai everyday. Mary served some delicious fruit to start, then banana pancakes. So we ate while Bob happily gave guests recommendations for things to do and places to go. While we ate, we noticed a few geckos scurrying about on the lanai, on the chairs, on the tables. After we finished our breakfast, the geckos got more brave and joined us on the table and to Mom's horror, on the plates to get a lick of the delicious syrups or the cups to finish our juice. As cute as they were, Mom was skittish as all get out every morning.
Kona Boys

We wanted to go snorkeling, so Bob sent us up to Kona Boys beach supply rental. If you are on the Kona side of the island, I'd definitely recommend this place for reasonable supplies, boards, or cameras.

As always, Jack makes a new friend wherever he goes.
Snorkeling at Two Step
Near the City of Refuge, there is a nice area for snorkeling nicknamed Two Step because you take two rocky steps to climb into the water.

The area is beautiful for seeing tropical fish (and Jack saw a turtle). The coral is lovely and we were told you could see spinner dolphins near the shore on good days. I'd recommend this spot probably third of our beaches to snorkel, because the problem with coming out of the water is the steps at Two Step are RIDDLED with sea urchins hiding in holes in the rock. One wrong grab and you are a human pincushion.
Lunch with Donkey Balls
After a couple hours of fun and sun, it was time for lunch, so we made our way up to a restaurant along the road called Keoke's.

They serve a nice hot, grilled to order meal, but the real draw are their delicious Donkey Balls, chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Mmmmmm! Again, Jack found new friend, Boots the cat.
Hapuna Beach is Perfection
We couldn't come to Hawaii without visiting the #1 beach in the country, Hapuna Beach. Once we arrived, we would never disagree. It. Was. Beautiful.

Without question, this is a stretch of beach unblemished by nature. Wide enough to accommodate large crowds, but during the week is empty enough that every spot is a good spot. Do not miss it. Snorkeling is good. Swimming is good. Sunbathing is fantastic!

Ironman is THIS WEEKEND?!?
Quick note: part of the reason we ended up at the B&B is EVERY hotel in town was booked for the Hawaiian Ironman. After lunch, we drove north through town and discovered athletes training for the competition. Crazytown!

Motorhiking with Jack Up one side and Down the center
Bob recommended a great scenic drive up the northern coast and down a mountain pass near Mauna Kea. We drove past the Ironman bicyclists on the road through a major lava flow, up to Hawi, down through the Kohala Mountains, thru Waimea. We passed ranch land, desert, and tropical rainforest. The road dropped us back on the coast where we watched the sunset from the beach.

Dinner at Manago
Tired from a LONG day of activity, we wandered back for dinner at Manago, then picture downloading and rest before our last full day in paradise.

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