With the Royal Wedding of Kate and William giving us an extra Bank Holiday in 2011 and taking inspiration from watching Lost, I took the plunge and decided to cycle round
Hawaii. I wanted an adventure and I got one, below are the pics and video, with further trip details to follow soon. The camera I took along was a waterproof
and rugged Panasonic Lumix FT2 - it was nicknamed Dewey (from the film Silent Running). The total weight of the gear I took with me was 21.5kgs (inc hand luggage)
and I hired the bike and rack on the island.
Click any image to enlarge it and view a brief description
Arrival - Mon 18th April 2011
Arrived in Honolulu
Up bright and early, Cambridge is quite spooky at 3am and even more so when the moon is out! It was going to take almost 24hrs to get to Hawaii, but I
was ready to face US customs and airplane food. My final connection into Honolulu was delayed and meant I was put up in a motel before flying out at 5.55am to
get to the Big Island. The cycle trip almost didn't happen though, as the baggage handlers misplaced my bag for an hour, which happened to have every essential
item I needed! Next time I'll use a plain cargo sack, not a Royal Mail one :-)
Hilo - Tue 19th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 28miles
Touchdown on the Big Island :-) and headed straight for my accommodation at Arnott's Lodge, where I was met by some very friendly staff. Then it was off
in to Hilo to grab some snacks and sort out my bicycle. The locals are certainly friendly and you can taste the volcanic ash in the air, but it turns out there
isn't anything dangerous or poisonous on the island. Once I had my bike I went for a quick spin to Rainbow Falls and the Boiling Pots, and then tried to trigger
a speed camera showing your speed on the way back.
Kalopa State Park - Wed 20th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 46.56miles (74.56miles)
This was it, I was all set and ready to roll. The roads were in great condition with a huge hard shoulder for me to ride in and the wind was
behind me (most) of the way, but the gulches or valleys were hard work with each one getting longer and steeper! At the final one I stopped and spoke
to a police officer who commented on the challenge ahead of me. Halfway along I stopped at the Botanical Gardens and then had a welcome Shave Ice.
They're pretty much like Slush Puppies, but with many more flavours. I got talking to another cyclist, who happened to be worried her bike, so I did
a bike check and we talked about the fun of cycling around. I love the freedom cycling gives you and the exposure to the elements, like the aroma of
crushed mangoes on the roads. Today was a big test of my stamina and longer than planned, as I'd booked a horse riding session for the following day
needed to be nearer. That meant I was going to stay at Kalopa State Park and didn't realise how high up the mountain it was. I was shattered from
doing 45miles and the route was so steep for the last mile or so I had to walk - I was hungry too. At the campsite there was no one! You could hear
the forest animals chirping away, but Kalopa was scary at night. Anything could have been in that forest and it was spooky being the only one there!
Waimea - Thu 21st April 2011
Miles Cycled: 37.08miles (111.64miles)
After escaping the campsite I found a small store and got them to make me a bacon sandwich, which intrigued them. The horse riding I'd arranged
was with Naa'alaapa Stables in the Waipio valley and it was great, especially riding through rivers. Whilst back on the road with my bike a car going in
the opposite direction took a photo of me going uphill and some school kids were also surprised I was powering up a hill, but it was taking it out of me.
The pizza when I got to Waimea was worth it though and I got chatting to a couple who I would keep on bumping in to round the island. They were driving.
Hawi - Fri 22nd April 2011
Miles Cycled: 41.61miles (153.25miles)
Spencer Beach Park - Sat 23rd April 2011
Miles Cycled: 36.7miles (189.95miles)
Kailua Kona - Sun 24th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 47.38miles (237.33miles)
Milolii Beach Park - Mon 25th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 42.57miles (279.9miles)
Whittington Beach Park - Tue 26th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 39.33miles (319.23miles)
Volcano - Wed 27th April 2011 and Thu 28th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 56miles and 43.62miles (418.85miles)
Pahoa - Fri 29th April 2011 and Sat 30th April 2011
Miles Cycled: 66.33miles and 51.5 miles (536.68miles)