I flew out to Hawaii to visit some friends. I checked in to the Sheridan Hotel in Kona, which turned out to be the exact same hotel I stayed in last time I was in Hawaii, only renamed and completed remodeled.
Since there’s still another month left in the bike racing season and I’m finally starting to feel a bit of fitness, I brought my bike clothes, helmet, and pedals with me and rented a decent racing bike from the local bike shop that I rode every day through the hills of the Kona area.
Everything was fine at the hotel except for a three day problem with my door lock that the incompetent hotel staff couldn’t seem to fix. It seems that the humidity wreaks havoc on the internal parts of the electronic door lock mechanisms. Because no one could solve this problem, I ripped the phone cord out of the wall, tied it around the handle from the inside and left the end of the cord protruding from under the door so I could pull the cord from the outside to open my door. Not exactly what you want to go through at a $200 per night hotel.
I had a chance to drive all the way around the island in my rented Ford Mustang. I also made the drive all the way to the summit of Mauna Kea. I was pulled over by a park trooper on the way up who questioned my sanity because I was headed up in a two-wheel drive car. I told him I had done it before and politely asked if I could be on my way since I was doing nothing illegal. He let me go after pleading that I turn back. Screw that. I made it to the top and the views were stunning above the puffy white clouds.
Hawaii’s Best-Kept Secret
There’s a well-kept secret on the Big Island–the green sea turtle refuge of Kiholo Bay. You won’t find this little piece of paradise listed in any tour book. I stumbled across a description of it from someone’s photo site before I left. After a bit of research, I finally found a website that gave the coordinates of the bay and, with a bit of map-studying, I figured out exactly how to get there. I have taken the oath of secrecy and won’t divulge where it is, but if you do a little research and don’t mind a bumpy dirt road drive and a long walk down the beach to get there, you can enjoy it too. Kiholo Bay is absolutely stunning–a sparkling, deep-blue shallow bay crowned with an island lined with palm trees. Giant green sea turtles are plentiful, swimming and basking in the sun. The only person I encountered was a solo fisherman on the beach just outside the bay. If you find this blissful spot of nirvana, just make sure you leave the turtles alone and don’t tell anyone where it is!
One thing I discovered is that digital SLRs don’t fair well in high-humidity. My 5d began short-circuiting at Kiholo Bay and I couldn’t get it powered up again until I got it into the air-conditioned car.