Friday, February 26, 2010

Doing Hawai'i on the cheap.

Our style is to travel cheap. We were determined to travel cheap even when traveling to Hawai'i. Our flights from Indiana were $626. and $650. We flew out of Indianapolis on Monday, February 8. I flew from Indy to Detroit, Dug flew from Indy to Chicago. We planned to rendezvous in Seattle and fly from Seattle to Kona together. In Detroit, there was a security-breach and the entire airport was shut down. Finally, we boarded. I would arrive in Seattle just in time to make my flight - if all went well. When I got off the plane, Dug was there waiting. He said "are you ready to run the amazing race?" We had to take three trains to make our gate. We ran as fast as we could (along with others who were detained in Detroit). When we arrived at our gate, we learned that due to weather somewhere else, our flight was delayed. For two hours. We went to the bar and ate dinner.
By the time we arrived in Kona, it was dark. The airport in Kona is made up of an assemblage of buildings somewhat akin to shelters in a park. Luggage pick-up is outdoors with only a roof overhead.
We picked up our luggage, picked up our rental car and headed to Captain Cook to stay at the Manago Hotel. The hotel is historic, simple, bordering on rustic. Just our style. We had a private bath and I believe our room was $68. or $78. If you are willing to share a bathroom, you can get a room for $38./night. The room had windows in the the bathroom which were open, and there was a window over the door which was also open. Across the room, the windows were open leading to the lanai. The sheets were clean, the bed comfortable and a warm breeze blew over us. I slept without a sheet over me. It was heavenly.
Lacking t.v., telephone, a/c, but a great bed for weary travelers.
view from the lanai
We went to breakfast where we ate from original tables and chairs from the 50's. I grew up such a table, formica top with aluminum legs. (Grandma's table, passed down.) It was at the Manago that we first had Papaya.
I initially ordered "Papaya juice."
"Papaya or juice." she gently corrected.
"Oh. Papaya."
French toast, papaya, four cups of delicious coffee. From that day on, we ate papaya nearly every day. Strawberry papaya.

We love to tent camp and do so in part to save money and because we love nature and want to get as close as possible to it. We camped for two nights and paid $12./night. At the Ho'okena Beach Park, we got a little closer to nature than we intended.

This is how close we were to the Pacific.
Protective cliff behind us.

Mongoose and feral cats were prolific. I was relieved to learn the mongoose are diurnal. They seemed sneaky to me, skirting in and out of the rocks. It seemed to be a case of "they are more afraid of you than you are of them."
On our second day we went to lunch at Senor Billy's (thumbs up), and when we returned, the water seemed to be higher than it had been the previous afternoon. It just kept creeping closer. A county employee came in to assess the situation. He walked about asking people if it seemed the water was subsiding. In some cases, the beach park is evacuated. On this day, there may have been thirty tents and if they evacuated, there would have been a lot of disappointed people. We all assured the county employee that we did indeed believe the water was subsiding. At any rate, before Dug and I retired, we pulled our tent back a few feet from the approaching water.
At 2:30 a.m., high tide, Dug said he woke and felt wet. "WATER!" he yelled. We both jumped from the tent, pulled it back a few more feet and climbed back into the tent to go back to sleep. That is the kind of campers that we are. A wave had washed up the side of my tent (leaving a water mark) and pooled up under half of the tent. All part of the adventure.
The next morning, we shared breakfast with one of our fellow campers, Paul from California.
Despite rinsing ourselves under the outdoor shower, I had ocean-hair and sand everywhere. We returned to the Manago where I asked if I might pay to shower. She said it wasn't possible because they were so busy. I could not find a public shower anywhere. We went to Dug's friend's (Eric and Amy) house in Hilo and before collapsing into bed, I finally had a shower. Once again, I collapsed into bed and slept hard.


^..^Corgidogmama said... two know how to live! How neat that you found each other...having the adventureous spirit and dash of daring that you both seem to!

Chatty Crone said...

Well again I agree with Susan. You must be young!!!!!!!!! I have an adventureous soul, but not an adventureous body anymore.


Nicole said...

First of all, who would even need a TV in Hawaii. Looking out the window is going to be more beautiful and breathtaking than anything on the tube.

Secondly (and I don't know why) but I never realized there would be camp spots on the beach. I've never thought of doing that, but it looks exciting.

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