Day 3

Keauhou Kona Travel Blog

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White Sands Beach, also known as Magic Sands Beach or by the Hawaiian name, La'aloa, which means "Very Sacred."

A free trolley runs between the Sheraton Keauhou and Kailua Pier, making several stops along the way.  Magic Sands Beach was my destination.  What no one tells you is that the trolley drivers run early because they skip stops whenever possible,  so if you're not out in the middle of the road jumping up and down and waving your arms 10 minutes prior to the published time, you will miss the bus.  After my initial meltdown, I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.  It hadn't seemed like a long drive there, so how long could the walk back possibly be? 

Along the way I passed residences and a golf course.  At one point I was amused to see an older lady feeding the feral cats in a no-trespassing zone.

Magic Sands
  Feral cats are a problem on all the Hawaiian Islands, due to their virtual lack of natural predators coupled with their ability to mass produce themselves.  The predation by cats is a contributing cause of growing endangerment of several indigenous birds.  Now, I'm an animal lover, and I would certainly not want to see these country club dwelling felines go hungry, but if you really want to help, open a no-kill shelter, lady!

A mile and some change later, I saw a break in the residences opening up onto a beach just north of the Outrigger Hotel.  The sand was salt and peppery, and the sun was just starting to set.  I plopped down on my towel and opened my journal.  Looking up, I noticed a woman pointing her cell phone at the water.

Hawaiian Sea Turtle
  Intrigued, I grabbed my camera and headed her way.  I was rewarded by the sight of a mossy-shelled turtle, up close and personal, having dinner along the rocky shore.  Pretty soon a dozen or so beachgoers were gathered around the oblvious amphibian.  While the turtle paparazzi snapped away, I kept a weary eye on the setting sun, knowing I should get moving before it was dark.  Besides, watching the turtle go to town on that algae was making me hungry.

I found a shopping center with an L and L's Hawaiian Barbeque, basically Hawaiian fast food, but I thought my garlic ahi was pretty fresh and healthy tasting.  Then suddenly I saw it:  the trolley that left me behind.  Bravely, I marched up to the bus, not quite sure what I was going to say.

Kona Sunset 1
  I mean, walking wasn't all that bad, and I could probably use the exercise.  But it was a little dangerous due to the lack of sidewalks and the speeding locals, not to mention the possibility of being attacked by a pack of feral cats!  (Yes, there is actually a documented occurrence!)

I confronted the trolley driver while maintaining a polite demeanor.  He claimed to maintain a tight schedule.  I shrugged and asked which way to the Sheraton, since he was now going the opposite way.  A left here, and a right there, he said.  I started off on foot through the parking lot.  I knew there was a shortcut my travel buddies had talked about earlier, but I also knew I'd never find it in the dark.  The trolley pulled out and honked at me.

Kona Sunset 2
  I waved.  He waved back, but in a beckoning motion.  What's going on, I thought.  He pulled up right next to me.  Get in, he said.  I'll give you a ride.  Good thing he did, too, because there were a few more lefts and rights he forgot to tell me about. 

Thanking my stars to be safely back at the hotel, I gave him a big smile as I hopped off the trolley.  I walked through the lobby, downstairs, into the bar and out on the patio without going through one single door.  It was my last chance to see manta rays, and I was not disappointed.  There was one dive boat still out, and two divers with spotlights strapped to their bodies somersaulted with two manta rays inhaling plankton.  It was graceful and playful and absolutely breathtaking.

Kona Sunset 3
  (For spectacular photos of the night dive from the diver's perspective, visit the profile of danieladner or use this link http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/17225/Manta-night-dive-Kailua-Kona-1).

The flights from the Hawaiian Islands to the Mainland leave late at night with the express purpose of facilitating connections to other cities when you land at 8am.  Our ride to the airport left at 9pm.  It must have been my lucky day because I got one of the best seats in on the plane, with plenty of legroom in the exit row, and I slept the entire flight, waking up just long enough to change positions a few times.  Even though I went right back to work, I was completely refreshed and unflappable all week.  Isn't it funny how Hawai'i can do that to you?  I think I'll have to try to make it over there more often.

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White Sands Beach, also known as M…
White Sands Beach, also known as …
Magic Sands
Magic Sands
Hawaiian Sea Turtle
Hawaiian Sea Turtle
Kona Sunset 1
Kona Sunset 1
Kona Sunset 2
Kona Sunset 2
Kona Sunset 3
Kona Sunset 3
What, no green flash?
What, no green flash?
This lady is feeding the feral cat…
This lady is feeding the feral ca…
Im glad I missed the trolley and …
I'm glad I missed the trolley and…
In front of the Outrigger Keauhou …
In front of the Outrigger Keauhou…
Kahaluu Bay
Kahalu'u Bay
Kahuluu Bay
Kahulu'u Bay
Keauhou Kona
photo by: Mopetera