Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Big Island Day 5

Today we checked out of Turtle Bay and drove around the other side of Oahu to the airport.  It was great to see a lot of the island by just driving around.  Here's some pictures from the drive.  Next time I stay on Oahu, I'd love to rent one of these little houses on the North East side of the island - it was like a lush tropical jungle with the ocean right across the street.

These are pics from outside the car window as we are driving from the North to the East to the South to the Honolulu airport.

It was like a luscious jungle.

Palm trees and ocean

I want to stay in these houses!

So gorgeous
On our mini flight (aka the space shuttle) over to the Big Island, we were on the plane with a giant group of French kids who were on a summer camp thing from France.  I guess Europeans have different style/fashion sense than we do.  I couldn't get over this pair of pants that I saw.  I snagged a picture of them at baggage claim. By the way....I am in love with the Kona airport.  It is basically a series of mini huts.

Best Airport EVER

After the flight

These pants are basically a baggy sack down to her knees just on the back section...
After snagging the rental car, we drove over to the Sheraton Kona and checked in.  I loved staying here because the Sheraton gave us 50% off because Karl is a firefighter/EMT!  It was so wonderful.  We got an amazing ocean front room for a very good deal.

Around the time we checked into the hotel, Karl's teeth started to hurt really bad.  Karl got an immuno-suppressant shot before we left to help curb any flare ups he might have on this trip...the only problem is if you get sick at all then your immune system is not ready to fight away any infection.  This has happened to us before with his teeth, poor guy.  He was feeling so sick he was not able to come with me to the manta ray excursion that we had scheduled for that night.  So, I was independent and went by myself!

I really missed Karl but the excursion was incredible!  I booked spots for us with Kona Ocean Adventures and at 6pm I got on the boat and had some food and watched the sunset in the middle of the ocean.  Which was incredibly beautiful.

The pinks and reds are out of this world
Me on the boat
We also learned a lot about the manta rays we were going to see (for instance, the 2 16 foot manta rays that show up are named Big Bertha and Vicky).  They also answered my touristy question "Am I going to see sharks in the water?" (answer: no) Once the sun went down, we got into wetsuits and snorkel gear (all provided) and the 5 of us and our guide grabbed hold of a floating surfboard thing with flashlights shining down in the water and paddled over to the spot where the manta rays come at night to feed on plankton.

So we would look down in the water and then a manta ray would swim by.  It was very humbling because they are HUGE.  The ones I saw were about 8-12 feet wide.  One that was probably 10 feet wide started doing barrel rolls underneath me.  It was probably about 5-10 inches away from my stomach.  I was happy that I was not screaming like the girls on the floating surfboard next to us with a different group.  I LOVED seeing the manta rays.

Another cool thing about the Sheraton is that the manta rays congregate in 2 places on the Kona coast: 1) the place where the dive boat took me and 2) outside the Sheraton Kona.  I could walk out onto my lanai at night and look for a while and see a few manta rays in the water.  What an experience.  We also saw dolphins swimming one morning!

After I got done with the manta rays, Karl picked me up and was feeling so yucky with his abscessed tooth(s).  When people say everything closes by the evening on the big island, they mean it!  Things were closing up at like 5 o'clock!  We went down to the Kona ER.  It was teeny tiny!  They didn't even have beds, they have these weird chairs from the 70s.  I took a picture of Karl but I will not post it here to preserve his dignity.  Plus I think you aren't supposed to take pictures in a hospital and I was announcing "Hello i'm a tourist!"  Got some antibiotics and went back to the hotel and crashed.

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