big island 2003 - page two



Mahai'ula Beach at Kekaha Kai State Park

Getting here is an adventure but, as you'll see, worth it.  The road in to the beach is only 1+1/2 miles from Queen K highway but it takes about 20 minutes to drive 'cause yaz gotta drive reeeeeally slooooowly.  In some spots you wonder if maybe you should just Fogedaboudit!  

First View of Beach from Path

Mahai'ula Beach

Beach from Opposite End

Honu Tanning

Honu Swimming

Magoon House

View from Magoon House

Magoon House from Afar

The Magoon Family, rumored to be part Hawaiian, owned all this area at one time.  They sold the land to a Japanese investor who intended to create a resort here.  The state however, refused permission and instead bought the land back from the investor creating Kekaha State Park.

I suspect the Magoons were a fishing family as there are large basins, many out buildings, a windmill, natural fresh water pools, a couple of large boat winches etc.
This pic on the left is a grotto in the rock which has three hooks into the rock at the top.  Likely they hung fish there to dry.

Assorted Pics That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else  :-)))

Did you have any idea Banana Trees where so obscene?

C'est Moi at Jameson's for Lunch

Jameson's at Magic Sands

Kona Surf** From Kanaloa

Edward's Restaurant at Kanaloa

**Kona Surf, built in 1971, was once "the" Hotel on the Kona Coast.  With 535 Rooms, it was bought in '86 by a Japanese company which shut it down in June 2000, citing $3Million in annual operating losses as the reason.  It has stood 
vacant ever since.  It has now finally been bought by Sheraton with a re-opening date of June 2004.  The estimates of restoring this property run as high as 
$40 Million.  I hope it happens as it's a truly gorgeous spot, once home to 
many Manta Rays who would come to feel there each night.

Sea Cliff Resort (next door to KM)

WK on our Balcony

Whose White Legs are Those???

WK Blocking Water View

Holly Blocking Water View

Donuts + Whip Cream for Brekky ?

Eggs + Bacon - Healthier !

A Shopping Excursion - see below !!

So . . . it's Wednesday April 30th.  I'm frustrated with WK as he's wearing these 
ratty old shorts as a bathing suit so I threaten to throw them out if he doesn't go shopping and get a new one.  So about 1:30 he heads out shopping.  Note here - previous to this 'shopping excursion' we have a bottle 
each of Vodka, Scotch, and Spiced Rum, plus some MaiTai Mix and a Woodbridge Cabernet.  So - about 3:30 he arrives home with . . . . . . . . . . a pair of sandals, 
four Fila golf shirts, a pair of dress shorts and shirt, some mushrooms 
and enuf liquor to sink a battle ship and NO bathing suit!!
We have more liquor here than we do at home!  Please don't ask if we drank it 
all 'cause if we did, I will NOT want to remember the headaches.
Moral of Story --> DO NOT send WK shopping.

Kailua Bay from Royal Kona Resort

Across Kailua Bay to Waterfront Row

The pics following are of a totally neat saltwater pool built by someone who owned the land in this area many moons ago.  It fills by the action of the sea.  In high surf times, one will often find fish swimming in it.  We were there at high surf time and the game is to  stand on the outer (oceanside) rim, wait for the surf to crash and knock you into the pool!  It's located a short walk south from KM at the first shore access sign.

Kids in the pool plus . . .

One Older Guy . . .

The Kind of Surf that Day

Kids Waiting For Surf + Older Guy 

After Surf Arrived - Everyone in da Pool !

Flower Arrangement at Royal Kona Resort

LINKS & info

The Weather Forecast for Kona and Hilo may often note the term 'upslope showers'.  You may think, as did I, this means it's going to rain every afternoon!  Not so ~ these showers hit the hills up higher, thus away from the beach/shoreline.   It may get a bit cloudy in the afternoons but it's always warm and rarely rains.  The only rain we had was one night - very heavy - while we were off in La-La Land.  By morning everything was fresh and clean and mostly dried up.

The forums on Konaweb are a great place to obtain info on all manner of activities and events on the Big Island.  Frequented by both Island residents and oft-visitors, they generously answer any questions you may have.  As well, Konaweb has a very handy Restaurant Reviews section which includes some excellent but not commonly known great places.

Tourist Guidebooks can be found all over the place and often contain discount coupons for various activities such as Luau's.  Here are the online site links: Big Island Gold - This Week Magazine - Beach & Activity Guide - 101 Things To Do - Big Island Visitor + Pleasant Hawaii.  The Hawaii Visitors Guide also has some useful information.  BI Visitor has the TV schedules for the month.  Most of the guide books have maps, some better than others.  TGI Maps are also helpful to get an idea of where places are.  In most cases the online versions are larger than those in the various guide books thus easier to read.  I'd suggest you choose a couple that look best to you & print them out.  Then you can mark the various spots of interest to you, on them & take them with you.

The penultimate guide to the Big Island is the book The Big Island Revealed.   The website has some of the info in the book plus fantastic shots of the volcanoes.  Also has aerial views of many resorts.  Published by Wizard Publications it's $9.45US at Costco in Kona but can be ordered at Chapters/Indigo books ($22.95 CAD).  I have the book so . . . when you get to the log-in/password screen what might you want to do ?  It won't give you all the info in the book but it surely helps with accommodation info which you generally want before you go.  :-)))

The small local paper is West Hawaii Today.  Also available are the Honolulu Star Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser, plus USA Today, etc.

Go Hawaii has a list of web cams of various spots on the Big Island.

Snorkel Bob's
, in addition to hawking snorkel gear, has some useful info on spots to snorkel on the Kona Coast.  Here are another couple of links to snorkel info pages - JaneyZee's & Webbit.  There is a great deal of lava rock on the sea floor so do be sure to either buy or rent reef boots.  It will make getting in and out of the water much more comfortable and keep your tootsies safe from Urchins.  Kona Boys in Captain Cook (808-328-1234) is a great place to rent kayaks for doing the Captain Cook Monument snorkel.  They'll even put the kayak on your rental car for you.  They don't have a website yet.

Finding accommodations is pretty easy however when you've never been there, knowing where each place is located isn't so easy.  The maps and aerial views mentioned above help a great deal.  Personally I preferred to rent directly from an owner rather than thru a rental company - and there are several of them!  Vacation Rental by Owner is a good place to start as they are listed by area and generally have lots of pics.  Dancing thru that site will give you a feel for the various possibilities.  Once I had some 'targets' I did a Google search with just the name - for instance Kona Makai - and came up with lots of choices.  You can do likewise with any place of interest.  If you want to use the broad brush technique, just Google "Kona Vacation Rental" and you'll get pages and pages with all the management companies plus individual owner sites.  Here is the link for our condo and this is the link to the KM condo association which has other Kona Makai rentals.  
A word on Kona Makai - BIR doesn't really say much about it however Bill and I did a fair amount of 'snooping' at other spots along Alii.   Our opinion is that, for the $$'s it's the best value and the most well-maintained place.  We would definitely not hesitate to stay there again.

The 3 grocery stores in Kona are KTA, Safeway and Sack 'n Save.  Where you can, buy your produce at one of the farmer's markets.  It's cheaper and a lot fresher.  The farmer's markets also sell lots of flowers, crafts & other good stuff.
KTA is in the Kona Coast Shopping Center on Palani between Alii and Queen K.  
Sack 'n Save is in the Shopping Center (Lanihau I think) across the street from KTA and 
Safeway is in the Crossroads Shopping Centre on Henry above Queen K. (Queen K = Queen Ka'ahumanu and is the major highway, the one you'll take once you leave the airport.) You'll also find Walmart here.
To get to Costco, take Queen K towards the airport, watch for Hina Lani St. and turn right.  Costco has the cheapest gas & liquor so if your a member, you can stop there on your way in from the airport if your that organized!  
Makalapua Center, on Makala off Queen K, is home to K-Mart and Macy's.

Cell phones - we were never able to get ours to work within the island.  We had a roam number from Telus Mobility (we're from Canada folks) but couldn't get it to function properly.  The telephone company is Verizon.  Before we go next time, we'll contact them and see if we can figure this challenge out.  If you should become successful in this endeavor, I'd appreciate you letting us know the tricks!

This site monitors the lava flows from Kilauea ~ pictures too.

The form required to obtain a Wedding Licence can be downloaded here.

Check this link out if surfing lessons are of interest.

The "Clam Bake on the Beach" at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is supposed to be outstanding.  It's on my list for the next visit.  It is Buffet style, all you can eat and includes lobster and other very well prepared seafood, salads, chowder, prime rib.  Saturday evenings only starting at 6PM.  Cost is about $60.00 per person. They add the gratuity into the check so watch for that unless you like tipping twice.  It is served on the beach beside the beach bar, with tiki torches and a small Hawaiian band unless weather dictates otherwise. Reservations are required & I would make them early, like a week in advance.  

Visit here for Hawaii transit site.  There is bus transportation from Kona to Hilo.

Hawaiian language, words, phrases & pronunciations can be found here.

That's about all I can think of.  If you have questions, please feel free to e-mail.  I'm happy to help if I can.

If your not inclined to D-I-Y, contact our wonderful Travel Agent Sandy and she'll get things together for you.  e-Mail  or  Phone  604-268-5784

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Last UpDated 04/05/06