This morning Ray and I ventured out nice and early to hit some of the local beaches. We set the GPS for Hapuna Beach, one of the top 10 beaches in all of Hawaii (that is ALL the islands) but the GPS took us to Mauna Kea Beach instead. Good thing it did – as the snorkelling was amazing (so Ray tells me). I sat back in the sand, started a new book, got a little bit of sun (at this rate, I’m going to come home totally pale! Need more sun exposure!) and enjoyed some traditional relaxation Hawaiian vacation. And as an added bonus, I finally got to dip my toes in the sand – soft, silky, Hawaiian sand! Not sure why I love this so much, but I do. Theres little that compares.
After our accidental arrival at Mauna Kea Beach, we thought we would try for the REAL Hapuna beach. Man, was it worth it. Even I ventured into the water this time, swimming with a few Hawaiian fish, and enjoying the refreshing feel of the ocean water on my warm skin. I enjoyed a little sun and sand – attempting to pick up a little bit of colour while Ray got his time in the water as well.
After our time on the beach, we came home to get ready for our afternoon adventure. Chris and Sarah has spent the morning at home taking it easy with Amelia. Ray spoiled us all again with this wonderful cooking and we enjoyed a lunch on the lanai before out afternoon trek up to Mauna Kea. The best part was Amelia’s new found love for fresh Hawaiian Mango!
The biggest part of our day was the trip up the dormant “Mauna Kea” volcano to the information centre at 9200 feet for some hiking, astronomy and photography. We got there and surveyed the station. Chris, Ray and I then proceeded on a short hike to find a better view of the valley below. Chris and Ray then wanted a more challenging hike, and went to the top of a large hill/mountain/cliff to enjoy the better views. When they came back down we all scarfed down some goodies from in the cooler (thanks Sarah!). The boys then went to explore a crater, after which they met me at the base and the three of us hiked back up the hill/mountain/cliff to watch the sunset. I was pretty confident I was going to die on the way up – but I persevered and it was well worth it! After getting back down to the base, we enjoyed some views of Venus and Jupiter from the telescopes at the visitor centre (being run by the astronomy students from UofH), followed by my first attempt and taking pictures of the stars. All-in-all a wonderful experience!
** NOTE – the stars picture looks more impressive when viewed large