Today’s recap includes our trip from the Hawaii Volcanos National Park back to Kona. Since we had driven across the middle of the island via Saddle Road on our way to the volcano we chose to take the route along the coast back, which provided numerous landscapes of coffee and macadamia nut farms with massive lava flows in between.
In Kona we checked in to the hotel and took a stroll on the water front, where I fell in love with these gorgeous bougainvillea cascading over a stone wall. A little further down the street was a MASSIVE tree that the town seemed to have grown around.
Back at the hotel we stopped by the beach which had a small lagoon and spotted several tropical fish swimming along the pier. I haven’t looked up what they all were but I love this angel variety because it’s the same kind of fish as the leader of the tank in Finding Nemo.
That evening we went on a guided swim with the rays which was an amazing experience. I’ll do a whole post just on that once I get the images off the Go Pro since the hubs ran that while we were in the water. The next morning we had a few hours before flying back to Oahu so we decided to head out the road a bit in search of Kiholo Bay where many said seeing turtles was a sure bet. The beach was very rocky, but still beautiful. It was the perfect place for a vacation selfie on the beach!
We walked further down the shore along a well defined trail and eventually found some freshwater pools that I believe used to be used as baths for the royals. We also spotted this crab defying the waves pounding the rocks and a few shore birds who seemed very uninterested in us.
But there were no signs of turtles, so we headed back to where we started and walked a bit in the opposite direction. This side of the beach had a few areas of sand, but was also very rocky. And every few yards we’d spot wild goats in the trees which would scurry away anytime they thought we got a little to close. Eventually we came to a large sandy beach in a cove, but still no turtles, so we enjoyed the view for a few minutes and then started to make our way back toward the car in order to make our flight.
As we were walking back I suddenly spotted a turtle laying on the beach up ahead! He must have come ashore after we had walked by, although he did blend in so well it’s possible we were looking at the goats in the trees as we went by and missed him on the way out. Thankfully I was prepared with my large zoom lens and was able to get several close shots from a distance so we didn’t disturb his nap too much. He did occasionally open his eyes to see what us strange white humans were up to but then settled right back into dozing, barely concerned with us being around.
His nose and big eyes reminded me a bit of Stoli’s expression, yet not as comical. After spending several minutes admiring him we finished our walk to the car with huge smiles on our faces. We had been blessed to see a Honu (turtle) and couldn’t think of a better way to end our time on the big island.