Virtual Travel – Hawaii

Because of the uniqueness of Hawaii I have no state highway maps in my collection. For this trip we will use a National Geographic Map from 1976.

Having spent an amazing 3 weeks in the islands, there are plenty of photos of the highlights. As a result this is a very long posting full of photos.


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Hawaii – The Big Island. Covering over 4000 square miles, it is slightly smaller than Connecticut.

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Big Island HI Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park

2018 11 13 21 Big Island HI  Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park.JPG


2018 11 13 26 Big Island HI  Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park.JPG


2018 11 13 31 Big Island HI  Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park.JPG



Big Island South Point

2018 11 13 96 Big Island HI  South Point.JPG


2018 11 13 106 Big Island HI  South Point.JPG



Southernmost point of any U.S. State – take that Key West

2018 11 13 115 Big Island HI  South Point.JPG



Green Sand Beach

2018 11 13 133 Big Island HI  Green Sand Beach.JPG



Black Sand Beach

2018 11 13 169 Big Island HI  Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.JPG


2018 11 13 182 Big Island HI  Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.JPG



Volcano National Park

2018 11 14 36 Big Island HI Volcano National Park.JPG


2018 11 14 66 Big Island HI Volcano National Park.JPG


2018 11 14 67 Big Island HI Volcano National Park.JPG


2018 11 14 84 Big Island HI Volcano National Park.JPG


2018 11 14 131 Big Island HI Volcano National Park.JPG



Kaimu Bay

2018 11 15 9 Hilo HI Kaimu Bay Lava Flows.JPG


2018 11 15 24 Hilo HI Kaimu Bay Lava Flows.JPG



McKenzie Park

2018 11 15 35 Hilo HI MacKenzie Park.JPG



Hilo – One huge banyan tree

2018 11 15 56 Hilo HI Rainbow Falls.JPG



Akaka Falls

2018 11 15 64 Hilo HI Akaka Falls.JPG



Hilo (again)

2018 11 15 92 Hilo HI Liliuokalani Gardens.JPG


2018 11 15 145 Hilo HI.JPG



Waipio Valley

2018 11 16 4 Waipio Valley HI.JPG



Pololu Valley Overlook

2018 11 16 35 Pololu Valley Overlook HI.JPG




2018 11 16 52 Kapaau HI.JPG



Kona Cultural Festival

2018 11 17 84 Kona HI Coffee Festival.JPG


2018 11 17 102 Kona HI Coffee Festival.JPG



Off Kona

2018 11 18 64 Kona HI Cruising off the coast.JPG


2018 11 19 119 Kona HI.JPG


2018 11 19 152 Kona HI.JPG






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Views from the water

2018 11 20 4 Lahania Maui HI.JPG


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2018 11 20 45 Lahania Maui HI.JPG


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2018 11 20 116 Lahania Maui HI.JPG


2018 11 20 109 Lahania Maui HI.JPG




2018 11 20 144 Lahania Maui HI.JPG


2018 11 20 160 Lahania Maui HI.JPG



More coastal Maui views

2018 11 22 66 Maui HI.JPG


2018 11 22 10 Maui HI.JPG


2018 11 24 98 Molokai to Maui HI.JPG


Iao Valley

2018 11 24 132 Molokai to Maui HI.JPG



Haleakala National Park

2018 11 25 5 Haleakala National Park.JPG


2018 11 25 8 Haleakala National Park.JPG


2018 11 25 26 Haleakala National Park.JPG


2018 11 25 52 Haleakala National Park.JPG


2018 11 25 67 Haleakala National Park.JPG



Kahekill Highway

2018 11 25 117 Kahakuloa HI Oceanfront Road.JPG


2018 11 25 135 Kahakuloa HI Oceanfront Road.JPG


2018 11 25 163 Kahakuloa HI Oceanfront Road.JPG



Waimoku Falls

2018 11 26 13 Haliakala National Park Waimoku Falls .JPG


2018 11 26 19 Haliakala National Park Waimoku Falls .JPG


2018 11 26 27 Haliakala National Park Waimoku Falls .JPG




2018 11 26 52 Hana HI Waianapanapa State Park.JPG


2018 11 26 65 Hana HI Waianapanapa State Park.JPG


2018 11 26 71 Road to Hana HI.JPG


2018 11 26 84 Maui HI North Shore.JPG



Kahului Hi Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center

2018 11 27 65 Kahului HI Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center.JPG



Makai Glass Company

2018 11 27 78 Kahului HI Makai Glass.JPG



Dingking Surfboard Company

2018 11 27 105 Kahului HI Dingking Surfboards.JPG




Molokai and Lanai

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2018 11 21 27 Lanai HI.JPG


2018 11 21 57 Lanai HI.JPG


2018 11 21 79 Lanai HI.JPG


It was once massive plantation, so the landscape has been altered to support the sugar crops.

2018 11 21 141 Lanai HI.JPG



Lanai cat sanctuary

2018 11 21 153 Lanai HI.JPG


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Drive to the far eastern end of the island

2018 11 23 33 Molokai.JPG


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Halawa Valley

2018 11 23 55 Molokai.JPG


Native leader

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2018 11 23 85 Molokai.JPG


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2018 11 23 118 Molokai.JPG



2018 11 23 175 Molokai.JPG


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Tallest seacliffs in the world – 3000′ high.

2018 11 24 29 Molokai to Maui HI.JPG



2018 11 24 61 Molokai to Maui HI.JPG





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Ka’ena Point

2018 11 10 20 Honolulu.JPG


2018 11 10 40 Honolulu.JPG



Makaha Valley

2018 11 10 49 Honolulu.JPG



Honolulu, Waikiki Beach & Diamond Head

2018 11 10 78 Honolulu.JPG


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2018 11 11 25 Honolulu Tantalus Overlook.JPG


2018 11 11 35 Honolulu Tantalus Overlook.JPG


2018 11 11 43 Honolulu Tantalus Overlook.JPG


Waiahole Preserve & Kaneohe

2018 11 11 55 Honolulu Pali Overlook.JPG


2018 11 11 101 Kaneohe HI Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens.JPG



North Shore Oahu

2018 11 11 147 Oahu HI North Shore.JPG


2018 11 11 150 Oahu HI North Shore.JPG


2018 11 11 156 Oahu HI North Shore.JPG



Dole Pineapple Plantation

2018 11 11 241 Wahaiwa HI Dole Plantation.JPG


2018 11 11 242 Wahaiwa HI Dole Plantation.JPG


2018 11 11 245 Wahaiwa HI Dole Plantation.JPG



Back in Waikiki

2018 11 11 284 Honolulu.JPG


2018 11 11 305 Honolulu.JPG


2018 11 12 29 Honolulu Diamond Head.JPG



View from Diamond Head

2018 11 12 50 Honolulu Diamond Head.JPG



Iolani Palace

2018 11 12 73 Honolulu Ali'iolani Hale.JPG


2018 11 12 85 Honolulu Iolani Palace.JPG



Hawaii State Capitol

2018 11 12 185 Honolulu State Capital.JPG



Aloha Tower in Honolulu Harbor

2018 11 12 222 Honolulu Pier 8.JPG



Makapu’u Overlook

2018 11 12 231 Oahu South Shore.JPG



One final night in Waikiki

2018 11 12 291 Honolulu Waikiki.JPG


2018 11 12 315 Honolulu Waikiki.JPG







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Waimea Canyon

2018 11 28 8 Kauai HI Waimea Canyon.JPG


Kalalau Lookout

2018 11 28 30 Kauai HI Waimea Canyon.JPG



Waimea Canyon

2018 11 28 58 Kauai HI Waimea Canyon.JPG


2018 11 28 81 Kauai HI Waimea Canyon.JPG


2018 11 28 116 Kauai HI Waimea Canyon.JPG



Polihale State Park and Beach

2018 11 28 151 Kauai HI.JPG


2018 11 28 133 Kauai HI Polihale State Park.JPG



Waimea State Park Beach

2018 11 28 188 Kauai HI.JPG


Opeaka’a Falls

2018 11 29 7 Kauai HI.JPG



Rainbow Trees

2018 11 29 20 Kauai HI.JPG



Wailua Homesteads

2018 11 29 28 Kauai HI.JPG



One of the million wild chickens in Hawaii

2018 11 29 43 Kauai HI.JPG



Cocoa beans

2018 11 30 18 Kilauea HI Garden Valley Chocolate Farm.JPG






Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 10 Zodiac Boat Tour and Historic Kona

Day 10 started out with a Zodiac Boat tour down the coast to another snorkel location. A Zodiac boat is a rigid hull, inflatable boat that can go very fast across the water, as Captain Bill demonstrated.




Assisted by Chris, the first mate.




As we made our way down the coast we stopped by some sea caves.




Despite being formed by lava, they were very colorful.




We arrived at the bay where the snorkeling occurred. It is the bay where Captain Cook met his demise.




The snorkeling was great.





On our return trip we passed more sea cliffs




Along the way we encountered a group of ‘Spinning’ Dolphins, as this series of photos illustrate.







After returning to the boat, we made our way back to Kona one more time for a historic tour.




We toured the Queens summer palace.




Finally it was time to return to our home for the week.






Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 9 Off the Kona Coast

Day 9 was somewhat uneventful, with a cruise up and down the Kona coast.



The trip took us past a number of interesting looking hotels and other buildings




A local parasail company had a steady business.




There has been significant growth along the Kona coast over the last 20 years.




All of the coast is built up with hotels, condos, and multi million dollar houses.




On our return we came across a group of small whales.




We were close enough to hear their exhales.



They tracked south along the coast for a few miles before we lost sight of them.




As we returned a group of dolphins came along side the boat, but all I had was the zoom lens, so close ups it is.























Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 8 Kona Coffee Festival

As noted previously the Kona region is famous for their coffee. Each November they have a festival to celebrate this, as well as the local culture.

Our emcee was a hoot, sort of a Hawaiian Cheech Marin.




In addition to the coffee there were other activities occurring, including a lei making contest. The judges were very thorough, checking for stitching and display.




All were beautiful and very different from the stereotype that you see in the media of the ring of flowers.




There were numerous coffee growers offering samples, as well as educational displays.







The highlight was the entertainment though. We saw a number of dance performances.

The region has a number of immigrants from Japan and the Philippines, which is where these ladies came from.




This group had a very lively audience participation dance.




Many of the dances were similar, yet unique in their own way.




All ages participated.




The final dance was a traditional hula.




Afterwards they posed for a group photo. Hang loose dude (the hand gesture)!




Once the dances were complete a Hawaiian guitar band took the stage. They were very talented.




We even met the queens.




But it was time to catch our home for the next 7 days, a small boat that will take us to new adventures. But first another great sunset.





Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 7 North Big Island back to Kona

Day 7 started out with breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes – enough breakfast we didn’t have lunch. When in Hilo, stop at Kens 🙂

About an hour north of Hilo we arrived at Waipii’o Valley Overlook. The valley is 2000′ deep, with great sea cliffs just beyond.




A waterfall comes out of nowhere along the cliffs.




Hawaii has a number of micro climates, with the landscape looking very different. Once we passed Waimea (Cowboy Capital of Hawaii), it all of a sudden switched from rain forest to ‘Central California hills’.




Our next stop was one of the highlights of the island  – Polulu Valley Overlook. With a bit of a hike down and toward the ocean, the view south was stunning. I realize after 7 days there are a lot of ‘cliffs and ocean’ photos, but this is one of the best spots.




The town of Kapaau is famous as the birthplace of Kamekameha. It is celebrated with a statue of him. Legend has it that this statue was made for placement in Honolulu but it was lost in a shipwreck, so they made a replacement.

Locals in Kapaau believed it was karma as they felt Honolulu should not have the statue since he is from their town. The original was recovered from the sea and sent to Kapauu.






Kapaau is a nice little Hawaiian town.




On the way back to Kona we stopped at the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Factory.




Some of their processing is located here where you can check out people preparing the nuts.






We left with plenty to last us the rest of the trip.




As we neared Kona, we headed 3000′ up a mountain (and from 86 degrees to 67 degrees) to the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation.




Kona is famous for their coffee, and this nice small family business gave us a tasting and a tour.




The beans after the first step of processing.




The coffee trees are grown on top of lava shoots, which provides the unique chemical balance that makes Kona coffee what it is.





Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 4 First Look at the Big Island

The Hawaiian Road Trip continued with an early flight to Kona. As with many things in travel, even getting there can be amusing.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:45 AM. About 6:15 they announced a gate change, so we moved down 1 gate only to look out and see the mechanics working on the front wheels of the plane. They changed the front wheels – 4 times!

Finally satisfied we were ok to leave the first passenger boarded – a shackled prisoner with a goofy smile being lead down the jetway by a policeman.

Thankfully the flight itself was short and uneventful, and after about 25 minutes we found ourselves on the Big Island.

About an hour south of the Kona Airport we arrived at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, a National Historic Park.

This park preserves a site where Hawaiians who broke a law could avoid death sentences by fleeing here as a place of refuge. By serving their penance, they could be absolved by a priest and set free.




The site is considered sacred to native Hawaiians. Out of respect to the native Hawaiians, no activities occur within the park. It is a place for reflection and inner thoughts and peace.




After leaving the park, we continued south along the coast. This area has for centuries been impacted by volcanic activity. Amazingly many of the houses are built on the lava flows.




Our next destination was the South Point of the island. As we made the turn onto South Point Road, we stopped at a farm called Paradise Valley, where we met Raccine.

Paradise Valley is a small working farm where they have an assortment of Hawaiian specialties including Macadamia nuts, coffee trees, and banana trees (among many others), Raccine was more than happy to share with us an assortment of flavored nuts, and their specialty coffees. Later she took us on a tour of the farm.




I was particularly amused with the banana trees.




Finally we left (chowing down on the local chocolate and macadamia nuts), we made our was to the South Point of the Big Island. For those who have been to Key West and seen the ‘Southernmost Point in the United States’ marker, they are way off.

This part of Hawaii is on the same latitude as Guatemala. The point, as with much of the coast here, is from lava flow.




While nearby the sea cliffs make an impressive view.




People jump off he cliffs into the ocean!




Many native Hawaiians feel their land and culture was stolen from them by the U.S. (very similar to the natives across the entire continents). We saw a number of signs stating – This is not the U.S., this is the Kingdom of Hawaii.

It should be noted that almost all of the people we met were very pleasant, receptive and welcoming, they just feel their land and culture has been hijacked.




Nearby is the famed ‘Green Sand Beach’. I had read about this place before we arrived, so we made our way over to the parking lot at the top of a bluff overlooking the ocean.

As we walked across the parking lot there were old 4 wheel drive pickups that said ‘shuttle’. One of them asked us if we wanted a ride – nah I can see the ocean just down the hill.

With a total lack of preparedness we set off – only to figure out much too late it was a 3 mile hike across lava fields and dusty trails to get to the beach. To top it off I forgot water as I thought I was just heading down the hill.




It was a long dusty hike to reach the beach. As we arrived one of the pickup shuttles was parked there. I told the driver I had 2 questions – first, do you do 1 way trips. Absolutely (whew)

Two – do you have any water for sale. Nope, but I can help you out. With that he opened his cooler in the back and handed me a cold beer! My new best friend.

With that cold beer I could finally enjoy the view of the famed green sand beach.

The ride back was insanely bumpy (almost so much I spilled my second beer).




Safely back at the car we continued our journey, with our next stop being the Honu’apo Black Sand Beach. Thankfully it was only about 100 yard walk to the beach, and the sand was indeed black.

It was beautiful, and had an interesting somewhat coarse texture that felt good on the feet.




It is also a turtle habitat.





Our first day on the Big Island complete, we headed to our hotel at Volcano National Park in preparation for tomorrow.