Friday, January 24

Kona, final day

Our last full day in Kona was a thoroughly relaxing one.  Slow to get going after a morning’s work, we strolled into Kona’s ‘downtown’ waterfront area—Ali’I Drive—to succumb to the tourist magnet.  We’d stopped in to a few places here over the week, but today strolled the length of the strip from the Marriott Hotel north of the Iron Man’s start, past the farmer’s market, to condos beyond the hotels.

Lots of little shops to browse, spots to stop into to grab a bite and/or drink, and basically everything you’d expect on a waterfront tourist strip. 

But this strip has the Kona waterfront, which is just gorgeous.  Some beaches loaded with the black lava that’s everywhere, some beaches ‘cleaned’ of it and more typical sand.  The waters crystal clean, and the view just slows you down.

doesn’t get much prettier than this

We also explored the Hulihe’e Palace, home of Hawaiian rulers over much of the 19th century.  Inside there we found a great deal of history, examples of woods from the local trees and fabrics from local tree barks, clean and simple architecture, but glorious in its spaciousness and opening up to the land and water.

An unexpected treat as we approached the Palace’s grounds—a ukulele group presenting their final song of the morning’s recital.

We made our way home by about 6, and got our packing together for tomorrow’s trip to Hilo.