Hawaii 2012 - Day 15: Old Kona Airport - Pu'ukohola Heiau - Polulu Valley
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Vacations go way too fast... today was already the last day in the Aloha State. Fortunately we had a late flight so we had practically the whole day to enjoy the beauty of the Island of Hawai'i one more time!
And although we would not fly until tonight the first thing we actually did is head to the airport.... Well not exactly what you might think... we headed to the OLD Kona Airport, just a few miles away from our hotel. This site used to be the airport for the West Coast of Hawai'i until, 1970, when the current Kona Airport at Keahole opened, allowing much larger planes to visit. The old airport, which is nicely located at the beach, was tuned into the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area.
We had one point of worry today; the weather. Yesterday we already had a very cloudy and sometimes rainy day. Today the forecast was bad for almost the whole island. From our breakfast spot we could see the heavy clouds come in from the south. According to the forecast the north tip of the island would experience the least horrible weather. So, north we went, once again to the lands shaped by Kohala, the oldest Volcano of the island. Unlike two days ago, we now approached it via the western side, all the way to the north tip.
This very edge of the island is where king Kamehameha was born in 1758.
Kamehameha invited his cousin to attend the dedication ceremony in 1791. Keoua Kuahu'ula accepted, but when he and his delegation arrived at the temple, they were captured and slain. Keoua Kuahu'ula turned out to be a very different participant of the ceremony, being the sacrifice offered in the newly opened temple...
It did work however, two stranded seamen from Europe came by, and became Kamehameha's war advisors. They taught him about muskets, canons, double hulled ships, etc. enabling him to defend Hawai'i from attacks of other islands, and eventually to overtake and unify the islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii.
We headed further north, all around the northern tip to the earlier mentioned Polulu Valley, the valley where the stones of the heiau came from. We had been here during our previous Hawaii vacation (see here) and had another 'unfinished business' item left; the hike into that valley. Compared to the Waipi'o Valley nothing special, just 125 meters (490 ft) down for about 750 meters (<0.
We were back at the parking after only 33 minutes. Much faster than we thought, but also handy, we still had to drive back to the airport, do the last packing of the suitcases, have dinner, return the rental car and check in. We managed to do all of this but it became a very tight schedule, especially dinner. And it turned out that we hurried for nothing. Our plane left the airport with a delay of an hour due to minor a malfunction of the plane which caused a lot of delaying paperwork. So almost six hours after our departure at the parking we once again passed the Polulu Valley, now high in the sky. Next stop: Los Angeles California.
More pictures below.