We spent the day exploring more of the east side of the island so we could avoid Ironman that closed the main road on the west side of the island. Queen Ka’ahumanu Hwy would be closed most of the day for the biking portion of Ironman, which meant we wouldn’t be able to get near a beach. We drove a scenic route through Waimea on our way to Waipi’o Valley Lookout. We arrived later in the morning and the heat and humidity was getting noticeable. We decided against starting the hike down so late in the day and made a note to come back early in the morning. We enjoyed the views for a while and watched a waterfall in the distance.
After a short stop taking in the views we decided we would explore some more of the island. We found Kalopa State Park online and decided we would check it out. We drove through some very desolate areas to get there and found no other cars in the parking lot. On top of that we noticed a lot of moss on the road, indicating this wasn’t a very popular spot. We decided to turn around and find something else to check out. Our next stop was going to be Laupahoehoe Point. We noted it previously and figured we had the time to check it out. We didn’t find many tourists here but there were many locals at the park camping and swimming. We found a great spot to take some pictures and enjoy the views.
From here we decided we would give Moana Kea a try for sunset. We didn’t know what the weather would be like but figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. On our drive to the mountain we enjoyed a drive down a scenic road that reminded us of car commercials driving on winding roads. The drive up the mountain was uneventful since it we were going through rain and clouds.
There weren’t any great sites to view and we made it to the visitor center at nine thousand feet. We weren’t really dressed for the weather since it was in the fifties and raining. We explored the visitor center for a few minutes and then decided to head back down the mountain to view the sunset at the beach again.
We started our next morning to the smell of bacon and the birds singing in the backyard. We had decided a nice easy day was in store and we would enjoy some time at Hapuna Beach by the house. While getting ready, our hosts invited us to join them for breakfast. We enjoyed banana and macadamia nut pancakes with a side of bacon. Our hosts really knew how to cook and were gracious to offer a great breakfast. We enjoyed our breakfast while watching the birds in the backyard. Our hosts then offered up another piece of advice to us, instead of paying for parking at the state park we could park at a hotel for free. All resorts on the big island have to provide public beach access which was nice to know.
We were the sixth car in the lot for the day and made our way down the trail to the beach. We enjoyed some shade on the beach and swam in the ocean for a bit. The water was perfect at about eighty degrees. We also tested out snorkeling at the beach, the water was clear but there wasn’t much to see right at the beach. We saw a few fish but that was about it.
After a few hours in the sun we decided it was best to get out of the harsh afternoon sun and went back to the house to clean up and get ready for dinner. We thought about eating a restaurant nearby but decided to take a drive into Kona for a burger. After all, we were celebrating six months of marriage that night. We decided on Splashers Grill and ordered up some burgers and enjoyed a beautiful view of the sunset from our table.