Friday was our last day on the Big Island, and we had a flight to Maui in the early afternoon. Initially, we thought that we had a fair bit of time to explore (assuming we started at a reasonable time), but after checking out the expected drive time, we really didn’t. So we got packed up pretty early and checked out of the cabin in the Park. We had one last look at the crater, before starting the drive back to the airport at Kona.
The road back to Kona was pretty nice, weaving along the coast for most of the trip. We had been told about a black sand beach called Punalu’u Beach, that was worth checking out, as it was supposed to be a favourite place for turtles to pull themselves out of the water in the mornings. We we’re early enough, but did see quite a few at the surface, their little heads poking up above the water.
The beach was pretty nice, and we explored some of the tide pools. There was a nice park attached to the beach, and the shoreline was quite beautiful. We hung out and explored the area for a little while, before deciding we needed to head out.
As we were heading back to the highway, we passed a golf course, and noticed that there was a flock of Nene, the native Hawaiian goose. They're endangered and quite rare, and these were the first we had seen. The young ones were getting pretty big, and we stopped to watch for a bit.
We continued our drive, and a little while later stopped at the Punalu’l Bake Shop, apparently world famous. We got a treat for the road, and got the hell out as the tour buses started pulling up. The treats were good, but not worth the hordes of tourists.
The rest of the drive was nice, but uneventful. We got to the airport with enough time to spare, and sat in the outdoor terminal waiting for our flight. That was a bit of a different experience. It must not rain much there…
The flight was really easy - less than an hour - and we were descending almost immediately after hitting our cruising altitude. And then we were back in Maui! We did the usual - got our rental car, and swung by Costco to pick up all our provisions for the next few days. We were there for four days, and had rented a condo in the town of Lahaina, not far from where we got married.
It was late afternoon (the traffic was horrible) by the time we got to the condo. We got settled in and unpacked and organized, and relaxed for a bit. Eventually we decided to wander the couple of blocks to the centre of town and find some dinner. We settled on “Cheeseburgers in Paradise”, and had a very nice, if not very healthy meal. Our table had a great view out onto the ocean.
We hung out in town for a bit, before calling it a night and heading to bed.