The Big Island of Hawaii (June 29, 2012)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Kris decided to disgust me this morning by frying and consuming 1200 calories worth of SPAM for breakfast. It looks like canned cat food. Why would anyone eat it?





Then we were off for a long journey to the Kona side of the Big Island. We decided to take the long route down to the southernmost point of the United States. Since we were heading that way and the skies were quite clear, we stopped by Volcano National Park to see the Kilauea overlook without the cloud cover. It looked a bit different than the day we hiked it.





For most people, this clearer view is probably more exciting, but I think I liked doing our hike in the fog. We were truly surprised to see the landscape when we got down to the bottom. It added to our experience - although others would likely argue it is more fun when you aren't hiking in the rain.

We also walked through the Thurston lava tube.

















I had read that you can often see resting sea turtles as Punalu'u Beach. I was delighted when we stopped to find four sea turtles snoozing on the beach.













We spent a bit of time exploring the black sand beach too. It was a spectacular day.













Hawaii is a pretty dog friendly place. I always enjoyed seeing the puppers hanging around. Dragon was a pretty laid-back pooch.





Kris was pretty full from the SPAM, but I had eaten a normal breakfast and was feeling like sustenance. I saw a sign for the Southernmost Bakery in USA and made Kris pull over.

We drove up to the bakery while a group of old car enthusiasts were there. We spent at least ten minutes walking around looking at the old mint cars.









The Punalu'u Bake Shop wound up being a very tasty and affordable stop. We got burgers on amazingly sweet Hawaiian rolls, and I bought an incredible cinnamon swirl sweet bread with icing for breakfast in the morning.









There was a pretty little garden around the bakery.





Next up...the Southern Point of the USA (also known as Ka Lae).













Technically, you aren't supposed to go to this point (per the rental agreement). I don't understand this, as the road is completely paved. You can't go to Green Sands though. It's a really rough unpaved road and has signs stating you can be fined for off-roading there. A guy spends his whole day there shuttling tourists back and forth for $10 per person. (Pretty sure it's illegal, but it's a pretty brutal hike I hear.)









Luckily our Jeep (above) fared better than this truck below did.





The sand from the green sand beach is gorgeous.





We continued on our way to check into our new AirBnb, the Kalaoa Cottage with decks.













This AirBnb was in a nature preserve area but in a residential area. We saw all sorts of feral kitties and wildlife.










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