Another fabulous week has past in Hawaii. I can’t believe we only have one week left in Kona and then we are off to Honolulu. Paul and I have decided we could live quite comfortably on the Big Island. The pic above was taken with our iPod touch in the water. It is one of those accidental shots that turns out pretty cool. After much consideration we finally decided on purchasing a DiCAPac (www.dicapac.com) so we could use our iPod as an underwater camera. For those that don’t know, the DiCAPac is basically a dry bag for your iPod and it cost us 20 bucks…much cheaper than an underwater camera and much easier to pack around the world.
We hit the pool first to take some practice shots with our new underwater camera system. After a multitued of practice shots we were off to Kahalu’u, a beach known for great snorkeling. We saw oodles of fish in nice clear water, but it turns out it’s easier to take pics of willing subjects in a pool than it is of fish in the ocean. Who knew! Having said that, Callum seemed to get the best shots of the bunch. We shall keep practicing.
Over the past week, we also visited a couple other beaches. Hookena Beach is South of Kona and a great beach for boogie boarding. I loved this beach for just playing in surf.
Kalokoko-Honokohau is a National Historical Park with the picturesque mile long white sand beach. Water is a bit murky for snorkeling, but great swimming and lots of turtles. We saw the largest turtle to date at this beach. In fact, from our towels, we watched this large turtle, accompanied by a little guy, pull themselves out onto the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon sunning ourselves with two Honu (Green Sea Turtles). Fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
Other spots that we have checked out and I highly recommend if you’re planning a trip to the Big Island is the little village of Holoualoa. This historical village up in the mountain is filled with artisan shops. Great place to admire or purchase all different types of local art. Truly a unique feel to this mountain village that cropped up as a result of the sugar cane industry, but soon after, became known for its coffee.
Post Office in Holualoa
Once we were done exploring Holualoa we continued down the historical drive to the Painted Church. We spent Christmas Eve day in one of the coolest churches I have seen. Located up on a ridge with a beautiful view below is the Painted Church. Built well over 100 years ago with all the original paintings inside done by the priest as a means of communicating with his congregation. One side of the church depicts life while the other depicts death. Upon our arrival, we were met by a volunteer that was very enthusiastic to share the history of the church.
Much to the liking of Paul, everything I’ve mentioned so far has been free. Cost of living is Undoubtedly much higher here, but fortunately there are loads of free things to do with the kids. We have even managed to find local restaurants with happy hour!
We took a trip south to the City of Refuge also known as Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park. Excellent historical park and if you ever visit, make sure you take in the talk by the Park Ranger. This is a place of forgiveness and until the bones were removed for safe keeping it housed the bones of many powerful chiefs.
In amongst all that sightseeing, we managed to celebrate Christmas. A very different Christmas than we are used to, but a good one just the same. Because we are in the first leg of our “big trip”, presents were kept to a bare minimum. Kids handled it better than I was expecting. No tears or meltdowns on Christmas…gotta like it!