Day 9 – 26th January 2016, Tuesday
Journey back to Kona Town
Wake up time: 7:30am
Living area with fireplace.
It was another early start! I wanted to put in a run at Volvano park just before we left but when I woke up at 6am, it was below 10degrees and it was PITCH BLACK! No street lights, nothing! I didn’t bother moving from my comfy bed.
Our first stop: Papakolea Green Sand Beach (one of the two green sand beaches in the US)
We heard a lot about the Green Sand Beach and apparently, it is one of the MUST-SEES in Hawai’i.
Green Sand Beach is not Green Sand Beach without GREEN SAND! Yes, the sand IS GREEN. It is green because of the glassy crystal Olivine. Olivine comes from olivine-rich lava that spewed out of cinder cones years ago.
Olivine is locally known as “Hawaiian Diamond” and it is denser than the other rocks/lava flows. The ocean current separates these heavier particles and concentrates them to form this beach!
My first “outdoor” toilet experience. It was HORRIBLE! T_T
Like all things in life, good things don’t come easy! And that includes getting to this beach! It was quite remote and not easy to reach!
We drove to a harbor where they had parking lots.
2 ways to get to Green Sand Beach:
-Take a 4WD car
Distance to beach: 4.5km one way
We thought we’d hike/walk/jog there and take the 4WD back (to save time). On the way there, the guide in the 4WD told us that it was easier to take the 4WD THERE and HIKE back because heading there was mainly uphill! HE WAS RIGHT! It was not easy! The hike was hot with the sun blazing and shining directly in your face with no cover from trees/clouds. The terrain was also not easy to navigate with lots of rolling hills, sand, rocks and dried out grass. BUT, the view made it ALL worth it.
Enjoying the view!
It was a really nice place that was super central! It was just 300m walk to Ali’i Drive (tourist area). It was also just 10mins away from the airport, shopping malls, food etc. The couple who runs this place actually started it to accommodate athletes that were competing in the Kona Ironman!
Perfect day out!
After resting for a bit, I went for a run! It was one of the best running experiences along the Kona Ironman route! I didn’t know that that was THE Ironman route! Our Airbnb host, Marc, said that you can see 100s of swimmers training every morning! I ran to the pier to check out the place where they do their bike transitions. It is a big event and there were many permanent signs everywhere.
It was a pleasant run along the killer tough route! It was hilly and windy. I ran right along the coast and occasionally, sea water would splash and burn your eyes and skin. Too salty! There were SO many people out there training, running, swimming, biking, surfing etc. I followed a guy who was doing his brick training! It was fun to pace with someone else. Great way to connect with people too! I loved every bit of running in this town. Kinda miss it now.
Day 10 – 27th January 2016, Wednesday
I am very grateful to be able to visit such a beautiful place! This trip was fun (SO FREAKIN AWESOME OMG!) and it also made me appreciate the beauty of nature (even more!) and the wonderful hands of our CREATOR.
Just. Too. PERFECT.