My interlude in Honolulu was a great kickoff to my Transit trip, as well as a chance to get my a little more in sync with Hawaii’s GMT-10 time zone. I’d collapsed into a bed right after getting into Honolulu, and it was probably the best thing I could have done.
Honolulu has one of the prettiest airport locales you could imagine. Big picture windows looking onto the Ko’olau Mountains make a flight delay (a bit) less dreary. Once we got off the ground, the short trip to the Big Island was sort of thing that gives birth to cliches. Throwing every bit of pride to one side, I aimed a small camera out the window. No doubt I looked like a goggling rube, but I got some great shots of the Hawaiian Islands from the air.
While Honolulu’s airport is in lovely surroundings, only a geologist could admire the countryside around Kona International Airport. The former lava is still black and cracked, and it doesn’t take much imagination to visualize the devastation that the live lava must have left behind.
The drive to my hotel at Waikoloa Beach verged on the surreal. Long stretches of road cut through black volcanic rock, relieved only by sparse patches of a local grass and graffiti made with shards of white coral. It’s gentle graffiti, compared to the usual North American stuff. (“I ♥ hockey” did seem odd for Hawaii!) Then, all at once, the lava gave way to a stand of green shrubs. It went back and forth that way for the whole trip, until the oasis of the resort area appeared on the horizon.
As I walked into the hotel to check in, I discovered the entire lobby opened toward the sea. The clouds had broken up, and standing at the front desk, I looked out past a wide lanai that revealed Anaeho’omalu Bay glittering in the sunlight.
Here’s a set of photos of the area around the hotel.