From Maui to the Big Island - Kona


Questions of the day: Was your Jeep always missing a tire? AND If you’re checking in, who is the couple already in the cottage?


We wake up and get organized to depart, as today is our last day morning at the Four Seasons.  We have a few hours before heading to the airport, plenty of time for breakfast and a quick swim in the ocean.  With the cost of the breakfast buffet, MG is determined to get his money’s worth…I watch as he has two omelets with bacon on the side, a plate of smoked salmon, a bowl of cereal and about a liter of guava juice.  A few hours later as the valet brings our car and loads up the bags he asks Martin if our Jeep was always missing the back tire...we “lost” the spare tire.  Neither one of us noticed, but we assume that it must have been taken when the car was parked at the Luau the night before.  It turns out to be a non-issue when we drop the car off…apparently the theft is covered by some insurance we didn’t know we had added.  We have a mid-day flight from Maui to Hawaii (the Big Island).  On Hawiian Air we are not Senators or Star Alliance Gold equivalents, we are without status.  Not only do we have to pay for each checked bag, we also have to pay additional charges for my overweight bag.  MG admits he’s been spoiled by having status – and is grumpy when it doesn’t matter that the combined weight of our two bags is within the limit (as if he’s never been on a plane before J). 

The inter-island flight to Hilo is quick and at the rental car pickup we upgrade to a slightly larger shoebox car.  We are quickly on the road and complete the 40 minute drive to the town of Volcano, where we have booked a cottage near Hawaii Volcano National Park.  The cottage is on the same property as a gallery and café.  We make out way into the café and announce we are here to check in…after a puzzled look between the two ladies in the café, one says “if you are checking in…who is the couple already in the cottage? ?”  Fearful they had made a mistake, the owner brings out the booking log…and quite clearly there is a printout from our online booking with the date of October 13…which is….tomorrow. Seriously.  In our original planning error, we had forgotten to change the hotel nights.  Embarrassed and a little frustrated, we are back in the car and begin the two hour drive to Kona… on the other side of the island, where we were supposed to be staying that night.  As both hotels were pre-paid inns and the Big Island is packed due to the Ironman competition the next day, we don’t  have many alternatives.  We opt to skip the 24 mile detour to Ka Lae (the southernmost point in the USA), stopping instead in the small town of Honaunau at the South Kona Fruit Stand for delicious organic smoothies.  MG is happy he can add protein to his and we stretch our legs and take in the ocean views. 


Drive along the south-west coast of the Big Island

We finally arrive in Holualoa, home of coffee farms and several artist-owned galleries.  We check in to the Holualoa Inn, a beautiful B&B with six rooms and extensive common areas with spectacular ocean views (the town is set 1400ft on Mt Hualalai, above Kailua-Kona).  Once settled, we make the short drive into Kona for dinner.  We eat at an tasty Indian Restaurant (Shivalik Indian Cuisine) that is located on the beach right where the Ironman triathlon begins.  Although unknown to us when we started planning the trip, our vacation coincides with the annual Ironman event.  We watch as the crew sets up the triathlon, working quickly to finish in time for the event in the morning before heading back to the Inn.