The Big Island
Hawaii or the Big Island as everybody seems to call it was our last stop on our Hawaiian adventure and it turned out to be the most surprising. Of all the small Hawaiian cities we visited I would easily put Kona-Kailua at the top in terms of combining history, natural beauty and a really laid back atmosphere. The number of things to see and do on Hawaii is exponentially higher than the other islands because it is bigger than the rest of them combined. Here are my favourites – real live volcanoes at Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, Captain Cook, fantastic snorkeling and spinner dolphins at Kealakekua Bay, watching people train for the Ironman start at Kona, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau and the City of Refuge, the many sites associated with King Kamehameha, the amazing Kohala Coast, Waimea cowboy country and the incredible austere beauty of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa from the Saddle Highway. Over a month after walking amid the throngs on Waikiki Beach we stood on a high plain without another soul in sight looking across the lava fields to the two largest mountains on earth. What a wonderful world.