Maui (Day 4 and 5):
Before going out on a whale watch excursion, there was time to put in a 10K training run. 5 miles in 40 minutes flat on the dreadmill, my Koko head legs turned noodles and I stopped right there. It’s surprising that I managed to last that long.
One requires patience when trying to spot whales. But it’s not as hard to do so during whale season (winter months). One requires much more than patience when trying to take a photo of a humpback midair. It takes a skill called luck, and I mastered it one time.
There were plenty of whales shooting plumes and showing whale tail but there is nothing like the seeing a big fat creature jump out of the ocean and crashing back into it. With a few hours of sunlight left, we went to Iao valley; the middle of the west Maui mountains. It was like walking on planet Pandora (Avatar).
The second day on Maui was supposed to be a Molokini snorkel but it was canceled due to strong winds and dangerous waters. Oh well, we went to another reef which was just as good (forgot the name). As usual, I just chased fishies (and turtles) around with my camera. First time using a wetsuit; the water was colder than expected. I somehow stopped giving a crap about eating healthy. From this point on, it was all about hamburgers, two dinners, desserts, etc; cruise mode.
Big island – Hilo (Day 6):
The main attraction for tourists at Hilo is the Hawaii Volcano National park. It was about an hour drive to the summit of Kilauea volcano, but you get great views of the volcanic landscape. Too bad there wasn’t enough time to explore more and do the tough volcano hikes. We still managed to check out a dark lava tube (I suggest ducking your head halfway through, ouch).
Eating all the cruise food was starting to show, so I decided to run a 10K in rage mode on the dreadmill. Negative splits starting out a 8:00 pace led to a 49 minute 10K; PR! There isn’t wind resistance on the treadmill so is this really a PR?
Big island – Kona (Day 7):
A repeat of Maui day 2; another snorkel day and 2 hamburgers to the face. This was also a good day to walk around town, sightsee, and get souvenirs for the family as well as a much-needed Hawaiian shirt. There was talk on the ship about sailing close enough to see lava flows during the evening. And there it was, LAVA!
Kauai – the Garden Isle (Day 8-9):
All I have to say is, you definitely need a car to truly enjoy this island (especially if your ship docks at Nawilili Bay instead of port Allen). Being an hour away from Poipu or the Napali coast kind of limited us, but its all good. After a walk around town, I decided to explore further… with a running tour. From Nawilili Bay to almost the Hanamaulu beach park and back (5-6 miles), I ran in 80 degree weather for a change. Instead of looking out for unleashed dogs, I was looking out for stray chickens, weird.
The next day, we kayaked 2.5 miles through Wailua river (sooo much easier to run 2.5 miles, trust me). After becoming a feast to a swarm of mosquitos, we went on a jungle hiking trail to a waterfall. There was a rope available for climbing to the back of the waterfall; you know it had to be done.
The final day ended off with the cruise ship sailing by the Napali coast, a very cloudy Napali coast.
Back to Oahu (Day 10):
With quite a few hours left for the flight home, we decided to check out Pearl Harbor.
And of course I had one last hamburger, yes 4-5 pounds were gained during this trip.