After another flight from Honolulu to Kona my adventure on Hawaii could finally start. I headed to Alamo car rental and I received my Jeep Crawler Sport. With my Jeep I went to my hostel in Kailua-Kona and checked there in. I was really happy to put my luggage down. It was already 18:00 and my stomach was noises therefore I headed to the centre of Kailua-Kona and bought some sandwiches and snacks in a nearby supermarket. At that evening I had some conversation with other backpackers and the conversation was really helpful. They gave some tips and hints about the big island and also some recommendations what I should see on the island. Thanks for that. With these tips I planned the next day and went early to bed. I woke up early in the morning as far as I remember around 7:00. I took my belongings and packed the Jeep. The day was beautiful and I was full with energy and ready for another adventure. With my jeep I headed to the south of big island and my first stop was at the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau Park on the west coast. The entry price was 7.50 $ and the buildings and the scenery was nice to look at but in total it was not worth, because I just had few hours on big island, especially because the turtles were not there at the beach. Anyway next stop was at the green sand beach.
Before I brag about my driving skills let me explain what is special about the green sand beach. Of course the sand is green but something else is also special. The “street” to the green sand beach is not really a street let’s say it is a pathway with gravel and middle-sized rocks. Therefore you need to have a 4 by 4 car with enough chassis ground clearance. But also keep in mind that there are around three to four warning sings which tell you that rental cars are not allowed.
I had two choices: I use my jeep’s 4 by 4 features
I pay the locals 15 $ for the ride from a “near” parking lot to the green sand beach.
I choose the first one, because I wanted to achieve, feel and experience something. Of course I had respect and many thoughts about making an accident but no risk no fun ;).
The ride was awesome and breath-taking, because there were around three to seven different gravel pathways to the destination. The challenge was to take the right pathway and decrease the possibility of making an accident to the lowest. After a flabbergasting drive I finally reached the Green Sand Beach. To be honest I was a little bit disappointed maybe because the ride was so intense. The sand was green and the beach was nice but due to my tight schedule I only spent around five minutes there and that was it. Back in the Jeep I headed back to South Point Cliff Dive, where you can find a really nice cliff, I really recommend you this place.
Next destination was the Black Sand Beach where I had lunch and enjoyed view on to the living turtles on the beach.
Next on my list was the Hawai’I Volcanoes National Park, I paid 20$ for entering it but it was totally worth it. I drove from the entry all the way down to the coast, Holei Sea Arch. It was so mesmerising, the view, the lava, the scenery, just WOW. And also you could stop every one to 2 km for enjoying the view. Also at the beginning of the trip you could enter some old lava tubes and some nice fissures and joints, simply amazing. 20 bucks well spent!!!
It was already 16:00 and I drove to my next destination, my hostel in Hilo, where I booked two nights (30$ a night). On that evening I met other travellers, who wanted to go to the mountain Mauna Kea, but they did not have a car. We came into discussion and decided that we will drive to the top of Mauna Kea next afternoon with my lovely Jeep.
After that I read some articles about drive to the top, at this point I was not really sure if I should do it or not. A lot of people wrote in different forums that it can be really dangerous and also really expensive when something happens. Similar to the gravel trail to the green sand beach. Anyway no risk no fun.
But of course I paid attention to the recommendations and also I kept in mind to stay around 1 hour at the ranger camp for adapt my body to the higher attitude.
- Your car must have real 4 by 4 better said a good engine break for going downhill without overheating your breaks.
- Stay at the ranger station some hours until you feel comfortable.
- Take enough water and food with you
- Enough fuel
- Enough clothes, it is really cold on the top
- Also listen to the ranger about the condition and weather
After the discussion and some thoughts about the Manu Kea I went to bed with nice memories from big island.
Second day is ***Coming soon***