The plan was to take the next week to travel around the island and eventually arrive at Keala’ola, my new home in Kealakekua, Hawaii. As it stood, I wasn’t sure if Ty (my fellow farming buddy) would eventually go his own way once we got there or come to stay at the farm as well.. but as you will find out the farm itself had quite the pull. I myself was only planning on being there for a few months but a few months turned into several… and I still have an itch to go back! So, after some time in Pahoa our plan was to head north around the island with the packs on our backs and take in everything in this new and most unbelievably beautiful place. I took my newly found Hawaiian energy and took a hold of the adventure that awaited us. We hitched a ride up to Kalopa State Park with Oshi’s brother and sister in law with some amazing and indescribable views along the way…
Something I’ve learned about myself while traveling is that I used to love to plan my adventures out and to pinpoint the things I’d like to do or see before going… and I mean that’s definitely fun and smart to do a bit of research but I’ve learned to let go. I’ve learned that it’s important to do some research and to jot a few things down but I’ve left the rest to the experience – the living and breathing experience. Because life is full of serendipitous moments that I want to be ready for. Some of the best places I’ve ever been to have been found by chance which is exactly how I came to be in Hawaii in the first place…
Some awesome tidbits to know about traveling around the Big Island:
Buses are free and run daily around the island. They aren’t always running when you want them to be but they have a funny way of appearing right when you need them.
Hitchhiking is definitely used as a mode of transportation in Hawaii – some people even use it to get to and from work – but just like anything else you should be selective about who you are about to drive off with especially if you are by yourself. I had a dear friend along for the ride around the island but even then I was watchful. A simple test is to ask someone their name and where they’re from. You can usually sense a persons character even after speaking with them for a few minutes (enough in this kind of situation). If someone makes you feel uneasy just simply decline and wait for the next car that comes your way. I have to say that everyone who picked us up was really quite wonderful and made the adventure that much more amazing. Some people would drive out of their way just to get you where you needed to go.. but more on that later..
Also, it’s most useful to travel light with a backpack that fits and to bring a stellar pair of shoes. Invest in a good sleeping bag, hat and a pair of sunglasses. Make pit stops at the local towns for that days food that way you won’t be bogged down by too much stuff. I camp when possible because it’s more fun (for me) and definitely more affordable (sites range from $0 – $5 a night).
And remember to always look up.. you never know what kind of fruit tree may be growing beside you, in front of you or behind you.. we went for days just eating off of trees on the side of the road..
Some sights to see between Hilo and Waimea…
Akaka Falls – a gorgeous 442 feet water fall
Laupāhoehoe – beautiful outlook with a monument for those who were taken in the 1946 tsunami
The coastline in general – there are so many places to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds.. and maybe even get your feet wet!
Kalopa State Park – a lovely park set in an ohia forest at the cool 2000 ft. elevation on the Hamakua Coast
Waimea – Hawaiian cow boy country
Hapuna State Beach Park – gorgeous white sand beach
Puukohola Heiau – the great temple of King Kamehameha
Spencer Beach – right next to Puukohola Heiau – good for camping out
The Secret Beautiful Beach next to Spencer – with beautiful cut out volcanic coves, dreamy weeping tree branches and crystal blue water away from every one else (shhh.. don’t tell anyone!)