2023 Apr 02 | Big Island of Hawaii - northern animals, A-Bay snorkeling

We didn't want to wake anyone else in the AirBnB, so we called the family from the car outside.

Then we went to the Waipi'o Valley lookout. You can drive down to the bottom, but only if you're a local in a 4x4 or part of a tour, because it's the steepest road of its length in the United States, with 45% grade sections that can destroy brakes.

You can walk down these stairs a bit.

For this view.

There's a place to clean off your shoes.

And a spot to disengage your 4-wheel drive.

Back to the AirBnB for a bit. It has this amazing back yard.

With its own waterfall.

Don't fall in.

Even a hammock over the stream.

Gotta pet a kitty on the way out.

Here comes sunrise.

We watched it from Kukuihaele Park.

You can just walk around the edge of the fence.

A field.

Fruit stand.

Another fruit stand with an old truck.

Ogii said these looked like rainbow eucalyptus trees.

Maybe a bit? Although they weren't nearly as bright as the ones we saw on Maui.

Plumeria St, that's the lei flower we like.

The northern part of the island has a lot of farms with animals along the Mamalahoa Highway.


Baby cows running around.



The baby chickens want to stay close to mom.

The plaque says, "This commemorative boot is symbolic of the 1908 victory of four Waimea paniolo who reigned as World Champion steer ropers in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming."

We had breakfast at Hawaiian Style Cafe there; cash only.

Lots of good options.

I definitely want a pancake that creates that reaction.

They are huge.

Ready to dig in.

We also got the churro sweet bread French toast.

And the Kalua hash.

It seems a lot of locals hang out there to chat.

These bushes are trimmed into hearts.

You can see two volcanoes from here, I believe Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

The Mauna Kea observatory up on top.

Driving down to the west coast.

The first stop was Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. These pay phones no longer work.


On the beach.

Time to just relax for a bit.

Me laying on the sand.

Taking a little nap.

I wonder if they find any tourist jewelry.

Playing in the waves.

The little kid loves it.

On the road into Anaehoomalu Bay from the highway, there is Queens' Marketplace to the south, with shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater.

And the Kings' Shops to the north. Both are part of the Waikoloa Beach Resort, so you don't even have to leave the area and possibly intermingle with poor people.

Fresh new leis for the day.

Some mongoose, according to the guy standing next to me.

There are a lot of rowing boats at A-Bay.

And a little fishpond.

Ogii with the pond on one side and the ocean on the other.

Us with our leis.

They seem really well built.

A big wasp.

A bit farther south were some lava rocks.

And some rocks out in the water that looked good for snorkeling.

Ogii on a curvy tree.

I found a nice lava rock.

To sit on.

While Ogii snorkels.

The water was a bit darker than other places, but there were still lots of fish.

You could tell when she saw some interesting fish because she'd follow them around.

I love the ones with the orange stripe.

And the yellow triangle.

Half orange, half white.

Ogii looking at me.

Me looking at Ogii.


Black fish by the side of the rock.

A video Ogii took of snorkeling.

I thought she might snorkel for maybe 15 minutes, but once it got close to an hour and she was still out there, I started getting a bit worried about missing our flight. I had read at one time the TSA had problems at a Hawaiian airport and it took people four hours to get through security, so I'd prefer to get there a bit early, just in case. I checked to see if there any later flights that day to San Jose, and there were none; the others were all overnight layovers.

Our only other option was flying to San Francisco on an overnight flight, then I guess getting an Uber to the San Jose airport to get our car. Even then, we'd be late for work, and the flight itself was expensive, but thankfully she got done fairly soon.

No use trying to drive fast; there's a long line of cars in front of us.

So just enjoy the ride.

More lava here.

Rows of palm trees guide you to the airport.

No line at all at security; we got right through.

I don't know of many airports with all outdoor gates.

This restaurant was remodeling.

So they only had cold sandwiches. Although there was another restaurant closer to security.

Statue of lei makers.

I know it's a hair stick, but that's basically a mini sword she's bringing on the plane.


Ogii was asleep before we even got off the ground.

Lots of lava around the airport.

Final view of the coast.