After spending most of Day Two driving around the Big Island sightseeing, my hubby and I needed a break. For day three, we decided to stick close to our hotel. Time for some relaxation on a nearby beach!
|Pretty flowers outside our hotel
But first, before temps got too warm, a quick after-breakfast stroll to further explore the beautiful grounds of our hotel.
|The hotel lagoon
The place was located right on the beach, featuring a lovely salt water lagoon.
|Hotel walking path
Lots of walking paths cris-crossed the property, some following its unique lava shoreline.
|More hotel grounds
It was amazing to me how they built this wonderfully landscaped paradise in the middle of a barren lava rock plain.
|Beach at Kekaha Kai State Park
I'd booked a snorkeling tour for the following day, and since neither of us had ever tried it, my hubby and I were a tiny bit apprehensive. So my hubby suggested buying an inexpensive snorkel mask at the nearby Walmart and trying it out before tomorrow's trip.
Luckily, the Kona Walmart wasn't too far away and after making our purchase, we decided to visit one of the local beaches between the town and our resort. On the way into Kona, I'd spied a sign for Kekaha Kai State Park Beach. It looked promising, so we decided to stop by on our return trip.
Although our guidebook gave the beach high marks, it warned the entrance road might be a tiny bit rough. We left the highway and began following a paved lane that wound its way through a huge field of gray lava. But it wasn't long before the pavement ended, and we were faced with a bumpy, pothole-ridden goat path. I'd seen gravel Forest Service roads that were in better shape. Good thing we'd rented an SUV because a regular car would've had a hard time navigating this horrible track (although when we finally reached the parking lot we were surprised to see plenty of cars that somehow did).
The beach was lovely. An oasis in the middle of a desolate lava field, it offered actual sand, palm trees, and sparkling aquamarine water. I was happy to relax in the shade, but my hubby slipped on our newly-acquired snorkel mask and headed towards the sea.
|Lots of lava on shore
While he puttered around in the water, I happily dug out my camera and snapped photos of the area. I enjoyed trying to capture the waves crashing against the lava rock (cue the Hawaii 5-0 theme song!). When temps got too toasty, I cooled off with a quick dip in the ocean.
|Nasty entrance road
After several snorkel attempts my hubby decided the waves were a bit too rough at this beach for a beginner. Looking towards the land, we could see dark clouds hovering over the Mauna Kea's wide, gently sloping summit. Not wanting to get caught in a storm, we decided to head back to our hotel.
|Drive through a bumpy lava field
Returning to the highway meant another bumpy ride over that terrible road. As we lurched along, I tried to get a few images through the car window. The above photo is looking towards cloud-covered Mauna Kea and a field of potholes. (Yes, that's a road!)
When the main highway came into view, my hubby and I both breathed a sigh of relief.
|Sunset at Lava Lava Beach Club
Back at our hotel in one piece, I finally tried out our snorkel mask in the calm waters of it's lagoon. Although mouth breathing into a narrow tube took a little getting used to, by a half hour I felt much more comfortable. Bring on tomorrow's snorkel trip!
Dinner time was fast approaching. We didn't want to spend a small fortune eating in our resort, so it was back to the Lava Lava Beach Club to partake in more of their great food and inexpensive drinks.
After being seated and placing our order, I noticed the sun starting to sink towards the horizon. A bright orange hue began to glow in the sky. Even better than our first night's sunset! Grabbing my camera, I headed to the beach.
|The party goes on at Lava Lava
I could get used to these fantastic Hawaiian sunsets! Again, all activity on the beach stopped and people stared skyward. Lots of phones and cameras began snapping photos.
|View from the beach
As darkness descended, I returned to our table. The grounds were now lit by tiki torches and strings of white Christmas lights. A festive addition to the ocean and fading sky. It was wonderful to sit and enjoy warm tropical breezes while sipping yet another Lava Flow drink. This was indeed paradise!
Tomorrow would be our busiest day with a morning snorkel trip and evening luau. Coming in my next post...