The long downhill to South Point Park
I get up a little later this morning because I stayed up working on the website. I get up at 7:20. It is drizzling outside… Great… I make myself some breakfast, more bagels with honey and tea. You would think that hot tea would not be very appealing in Hawaii but when it is cold outside and rainy It sounds good and it was!
The hostel provides coffee and tea which is nice. Other travelers get up and so I talk with a few of them about their plans and future destinations. I want to check out Volcano National Park which is 1 mile down the road! I want to dry some of my clothes because they are really damp…
Nothing like starting the day with damp clothes. The kitchen has a gas heater and so I grab some clothes and drape them over a chair next to the stove. They start to dry out which is great! I get all packed and put on my newly dry jersey and rain jacket.[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”0983888744″ cloaking=”default” layout=”left” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”nathanvande02-20″]
Nice! That is a lot better then cold wet clothes! I say goodbye to fellow travelers and Mike who I had met in Hilo. I hop on the bike and cruise down the driveway. The rain has stopped for now.. I talked to other travelers that said it gets dry down the road.
Whew! I hope so! Feeling like a wet and warm rag is getting old, I might start growing mold! I get back on the highway and go down the road about one mile then I see the Volcano National Park sign turn-off. I take it and pay $5 bucks for park admittance.
I go to the visitor info center and talk to a danger to see how I can best spend my time while at the park. I decide to hike the Kaiua lik trail which is only 4 miles but goes into a crater and sounds pretty kool.
I bike to the trailhead, stash my bike, change shoes and jog/walk the trail. It takes me about 2 hours and was a really kool trail! I take in all the sites but in the back of my mind I am thinking about the 45ish miles that I need to bike to Southpoint.
During the hike, my gopro stopped working which is a bummer. Not sure what the error means. I think the memory card is full. After the hike I go to Volcano House which has some food. I grab a sandwich, chips, iced coffee and cookies. I eat that and go back for a coffee and banana bread.
It is good to note that food sold in National Parks are expensive. FYI. I get back to the bike, look it over and start cruising towards the highway.
I get on the highway and remember being told that the road has a long downhill! All that climbing that I did yesterday might pay off and it does! It is also where the climate gets a lot drier! Great!
The clouds part and the road starts going downhill! It was an amazing stretch of road! I barely had to pedal and would fly downhill. It was a 20 mile downhill section and it was warm! This is the exact opposite conditions that I had the previous day.
I’m loving it! I’m also glad because I am making better time. I was maintaining speeds between 20-30mph for an hour! On a bike with a trailer! That’s awesome! It was really interesting to watch the landscape change from really wet and lush forest to dry and arid.
I get to Whittington Beach Park and check it out. I wish I was staying here! It is amazing! The park is right on the ocean and absolutely stunning! Gah! There are several other campers and I talk to some locals from the Pahoa area.
Whittington Beach Park
One of them personally knows one of the owners of the Glacier Brew House and Orso, two restaurants in Anchorage, Alaska! What a small world! I get back on the bike and the road starts to climb back up.
Next! I get to Naalehu. A small town that has an outstanding bakery called, “Punaluu Sweetbread” I stop at the bakery… naturally. I get Kona Ice cream and a pineapple/mango turn-over. Yeah. It was over the top!
I decided to get breakfast for tomorrow. “Can I get two coconut turn-overs and two bread pudding?” Excellent! I ask for directions to the hostel. It is 12 miles down the road and i is almost 4pm. Good! I do not have to rush it. I stop at the grocery store in town as well.
Alright 12 more miles. Not a problem. This whole trip I have been using my iPhone for directions using the map app. I have the backpackers address listed and I’m following the directions.
The sun is starting to set butI still have an hour of sun light. I get on Southpoint road and unknowingly pass the backpackers! Yikes! The map tells me to keep going further… Down the road… It starts getting super exposed and dry. I start thinking, “where is this place?”
I decide to call them and the owner says, “I think that you went too far.” I think, “how can that be?!?” The map app says I am right here. Well, it turns out that I had passed them. Drats! Time to go back uphill… It was also really windy in that particular location.
Of course this is how I end my day. I eventually find the place and the owners are really kool. I get camp set-up, chow on some food and contemplate the plans for tomorrow! Only three days left! I need make them count!
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