~ Day 5 – Today was an incredibly long and somewhat emotionally taxing day.
I wil give the highlights of the day and then share pics at the ends as I have been doing.
We started off in Kailua-Kona and made our north along the Kohala Coast through Kawaikae, past Mahukona into and out of Havi to a look out just past Kapaau. From there we travelled down into Waimea and eventually made our way onto Saddle Road that cuts through the island west to east on our way to Hilo.
While were driving along the Kohala Highway my mother-in-law looked out her window and saw a whale breaching the water. We quickly stopped and took some video and pics. Not sure how well they turned out but it was quite spectacular just to witness. In all the whale breached about 7 times that we could see.
We also stopped off at a wonderful botanical area that actually led to a waterfall. Pics of that are included below. It was amazing to see plants that were much bigger than I was.
Once we made it to Hilo, we drove around a little to see what there was to see. We eventually headed back across Saddle Road where we detoured and went North up to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy.
The OCFIA was a nice place to learn some interesting facts about astronomy s well as some interesting legends and lore about Hawai’i culture. The moon was super bright and it washed out the stars a little but that was of no matter, the view was amazing. If you stared long enough you got to see a shooting star or two.
While we were up there I had a special moment that I had to do on my own. As some of you know, my mom passed away in May of 2015. We cremated her as per her instructions and I thought it would nice to spread some of her ashes at some of the more special places my wife and I have had the priviledge of going to on occasion. In this case, we were between 8000 and 9000 feet on Mauna Kea Mountain on Hawai’i. I think that qualifies as pretty special. I spoke a few words about how much I missed her, had a good cry, and spread her ashes. It was a good place, underneath the stars. Truly breathtaking. She would have liked it.
We then headed back home to the resort. It was a long day of driving as tomorrow will be but I am enthusiastic about what we will see tomorrow.
Here is a map to show our route. We started in Kona on the left side and traveled north.
Here are some pics of our travels: