Hawai'i has been amazing. There are 13 climates in the world, and this island has 11 of them. And, even though this is the largest of the islands, it is still not a huge area, so the landscape changes very quickly. You may be driving along very lava-rocky, dry conditions and then within just a few miles, the landscape changes to green pastures. Our resort is on the dry side of the island where the rainfall is around 10" per year. As you drive North, the rainfall increases, and by the time you get to the east side of the island, you are in a rain forest where they receive 132" of rain per year. It is just amazing.
I've done the best I can with a map and paint, so hopefully you can follow what routes we've taken!
Day 1 was the 18 mile drive from the airport to the resort. Travis and I had a very different idea of what we thought Hawi'i would look like. All of the brochures make all of the islands seem like they are lush and green all over. This just isn't true at all! The North West side of the island has little vegetation and is predominately exposed lava rock.
You can see white rocks placed on the black lava rock. I guess you could call this "graffiti". The white rocks are actually white coral that was brought up to make signs or write names on the side of the road. The coral can be found washed up in the lava rocks near the shore. These rocks were most likely brought up by people to the road and are not just naturally out there.
This is the view from our resort. Everything is nice and open. And gorgeous!
Here are a couple of pictures of our room.
And the view from our balcony!
We're in the little shopping center that is close to our hotel. You could do all the shopping you can stand within walking distance of the hotel!
This is the beginning of Day 2. On this day, we drove up the North West coast of the island, making frequent stops along the way to sight see! At one of our stops, we were able to see whales from the shore!
This is the stop that we were able to whale watch for a few minutes.
We drove up to Hawi and then on to the Pololu Valley Lookout. It was amazing. You can hike from the top all the way down to the bottom of the valley, but unfortunately, it started raining on us, so we didn't make the hike.
On the way back down to Hawi from the Lookout, we stopped at this little creek to take a few pictures and check out nature!
From Hawi, we took Hwy 250 down to Waimea. The landscape was completely different and we were more in the "cattle country" of the island. This is also the area that is home of the Parker Ranch. Parker Ranch is the largest privately-owned ranch in the United States!!
Breathtaking views around every corner! I drive the entire trip, which was just fine with me. Travis enjoyed sitting back, taking pictures, and taking in the scenery!
We did all of Day 2 driving in the morning and early afternoon. We were back at the hotel by 1:00 p.m. Travis had his presentation late this afternoon, so we didn't do much exploring for the rest of the day. Besides, we needed our rest, because on Day 3, we had 14 full hours of sight seeing!