Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Return from Paradise - An Overview

I apologize for the lapse (over 1 week) in writing.  I guess when I arrived in Paradise last week, I never realized how fully I would decompress and relax.  It's hard not to do on the Big Island, Hawaii or any other Hawaiian island, for that matter!  I can't think of a better way to start the snowy season.  Yes it's snowing outside as I write!

I have to admit, I was slightly hesitant to visit the "Big Island" only because we are so fond of Kauai, the lush and tropical "garden isle".  You cannot base your decision on first impressions, though!  As we landed near Kona the landscape was similar in every way to the moon or what I would imagine the African Serengeti to be.  Crunchy looking black lava fields dotted with an occasional tuft of grass for miles to the North Kohala coast.

Going through lava fields near airport

We chose to stay in a hotel/resort, the Hapuna Beach Prince because of its proximity to the largest crescent  shaped walkable beaches on the island.  We were not disappointed as the view was breathtaking.  Every morning we wandered onto the beach to walk or snorkel.  What a way to start the day!

Some days we jumped into the car and took off in a different direction to get a better sense of the island.  We LOVE to explore!  The big island is very diverse in landscapes and micro climates.  If you want to go into the tropical jungle it's a mere 20 miles away.   Upcountry Waimea town is an area where grazing cattle roam the rolling green hills of the largest cattle ranches in the US, Parker Ranch.

Lush Hawaii on the Hilo side

A few more miles to the East and you're on the other side of the island, the rainy side, with the lushness of Kauai.  It also seems more native and old Hawaii style, no resorts to be found.  Heading south from there you continue until you arrive in Hilo, a large, but quaint, town. 

Not to be missed was the volcano region of Kilauea, classified as very active.  We hiked the crater rim trail (partially) for about 3.7 or so miles, an easy walk.  Another interesting sight nearby was the lava tube trail and rain forest area.

Active volcano

Busy Kailua/Kona was south of the airport, a funky shopping mecca and haven for nice fairly reasonable restaurants.  If you like to shop, this is the place.

Stay tuned for my "best of" picks while we were on the Big Island.  Aloha!


  1. I hope one day I will be able to visit these islands that are so far away from Greece! Your pictures really made me dream!

  2. Hope your dream comes of mine is to go to Greece!