Driving to Kona

Hey Dad,

So we have a long drive today to get to Kona airport. 

We packed up and set off to our first stop; Punalu’u. We went for a walk along a black sand beach and then went to a bakery, which we learnt was the most southern bakery in the USA. 

From the bakery we headed to the most southern point of the big Island.  We took a dirt track down to a car park where some guy gave us three choices; walk to the beach, take a buggy to the beach or drive ourselves to the beach. We opted to drive ourselves, which is when he told us that would be $20! This guy didn’t look official, I swear he just stands there and makes a truck load of cash off people. Huw started talking to a couple parked up along side, who didn’t want to drive their car down. We invited them to jump in the jeep with us and we would drive, and split the $20. Simple. 

Huw of course wanted to drive. We had been warned it was fully off road, and that idea excited him. Well the guy was not wrong. There was no road, minimal tracks and no directions on where to go. Talk about making it up on the fly! The couple in the back were laughing their heads off thinking we were crazy as we are discussing the ground clearance and if we can go over boulders and through dips. It was great fun! 

The green sand beach was down a rock face, so we climbed down and paddled in the ocean. We didn’t have time to stay long though. I decided I wanted to drive back, and Huw gave up the keys far easily then I thought he would. Dad I don’t hunk I have ever had so much fun driving! We all agreed ad long as three wheels were on the ground we would be OK.  The sandy gravelly terrain made it much more fun too! 

We dropped our passengers back at their car and drove to our final stop for the day. A cliff jump.

Don’t tell mum! 

We got to this cliff, surrounded by signs saying no jumping, and a dozen people standing that the edge of the cliff, jumping! 

Huw jumped first, and I filmed him. It was a big drop! I rigged the gopro to a railing, and we jumped off together. Arms crossed, feet first. It felt like we were falling for way longer then we should have been. It was a bigger drop then I thought. I landed just past vertical, and felt my ear go bang the instant I hit the water. Ouch. We climbed the really ropey metal ladder back up the cliff face, which was on hinges so it swung as you were climbing and dried off. I spent an age just trying to get the water out of my ear!

We drove straight to the airport, it was still a two hour drive to get there and after the accident and road closure the night before we were wary if that happened there qas no other route around. 

Kona airport is perhaps the most strange airport I have been to. It was all outdoors! All of it. We checked in and checked our luggage outdoors, went though the metal detectors and scanners outdoors, and then sat at the gate on benches over a little sun shelter. The noise as a plane came in and taxied to the gate was crazy. This plane with all engines blaring was only a few feet away from us, with nothing but a small wall between the gate and the runway. Weird. 

We got back into Honolulu, and as this is Huw’s last day, he had to catch his flight back to the UK. It was so strange saying goodbye, I suddenly developed the feeling I was alone again. I took a shuttle back into Waikiki and checked into my hotel.

I am shattered and my hair is full of salt water. Shower and bed for me! 

Night dad x

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