Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Cruising the Hawaiian Islands

The Pride of America cruises the Hawaiian Islands all-year round; embarking from Honolulu on a Saturday evening and stopping at Maui for two nights, Hawaii (The Big Island) for two nights (Hilo and Kona) and Kauai (Lihue) for one night. The other two nights are spent cruising the Pacific Ocean. On the way back to Honolulu the ship takes a detour to showcase the spectacular Na Pali Coast. Below are a few photos I took on our recent trip (when I remembered to pack my camera for the day).


We took a scenic bus trip to the beautiful town of Lahaina. Stores of well-known brands such as Patagonia and Lush and waterfront restaurants stretched along the main street from the Banyan tree to the small outlet mall. We had lunch at Lahaina Fish Co, just a few doors down from Kimo's Restaurant. I had the MahiMahi fish plate - cajun seared over brown rice topped with tropical salsa and balsamic drizzle.

Banyan Tree, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii


View from the Lahaina coastal walkway - puppies playing fetch

Walkway along the volcanic coast, Lahaina, Maui, HI

 Locals crammed into the back of their ute, Lahaina, Maui, HI


Hawaii, The Big Island

It was a bleak morning the day we arrived at the Port of Hilo. Thick cloud blanketed the hills and together with the lava landscape the atmosphere was dark and eerie. We were soon to learn about Pele, the goddess of Hawaii's volcanoes.

The view from the ship's balcony, arriving at the Port of Hilo, The Big Island, HI

Lava rocks along the coastline, Hilo, Hawaii


The work of Pele - A lava mound with the imprint of a tree inside


Walking on lava - Hilo, Big Island, HI

After the lava tree mounds we visited a lava beach - nothing like the golden beaches of Queensland, Australia - they were lava grey and very pebbly (it couldn't be called sand by any stretch). But the sun did finally shine as we arrived at this beach and it was very tempting to take a couple of the smaller pebbles for keepsakes. Our guide convinced us that it would not be wise to do so; it would likely make Pele angry. She recounted stories of the bad luck that fell on such hapless visitors who dared to remove what Pele had created. I have a little anecdote of my own to add to the Pele stories: we took the lead on this trek to the beach because a young boy had been stung by a bee and needed the guide's assistance. As we arrived at the edge of the ocean I spotted what I thought was a shiny piece of blue paper...the only made-made object on the beach. It was a very light-weight poncho still in it's packaging. I felt the warmth of Pele shining on me and accepted it as a gift.  I was very glad that I didn't disappoint her by taking a tiny pebble as a souvenir.

On our night cruise to Kona, we were treated to the spectacular coastal scene of intense heat and steam caused by hot lava mixing with the sea water - Kilaeua.  Pele was putting on a show for us. We were too far away from the site for a decent photo but there is a picture in my pinterest folder, Take me there.

Since it was cold and rainy for most of the time we were docked at Hilo, we were heartened to learn that our next stop, Kona, was sure to be sunny and warm. We were also excited by the fact that tenders (small orange boats carried on our ship) would be ferrying us across to the shore because there was no place to dock a cruise ship at Kona harbor.


Sunrise - arriving Kona, Big Island, HI

Tender boats ready to serve

View of Kona through the front window of the tender

View from Kona foreshores - searching for a cup of Kona coffee

Pride of America anchored and waiting for our return


The sound of a rooster greeted us as we docked at the port of Nawiliwili (near Lihue), Kauai. It kept crowing. Later we realised that there was more than one rooster. In fact there were many chickens and roosters free ranging across the island; they had escaped during a hurricane. We also learned that the underground sport of cock fighting was alive and well on Kauai.

Kauai had several attractions for us. There was a beautiful beach in walking distance from the port with a Duke's barefoot bar close by. There was a well-stocked yarn shop called Twisted Turtles across the road from Dukes in Lihue. While there were plenty of natural wonders to explore on Kauai we chose the Wailua river boat ride to the Wailua Falls and Fern Grotto. Next cruise we'll do the Waimea Canyon.

Wailua River cruise

Ginger plant with pink flowers, Wailua River State Park, Kauai


Fern Grotto (Cave), Wailua River State Park, Kauai


At the viewing deck - Fern Grotto, Wailua River State Park, Kauai


The beach at Lihue, Kauai - sailboards, canoes, volley ball

The view from Dukes Barefoot Bar, Lihue, Kauai


Leaving Nawiliwili Port, Kauai


Flashing my new Kauai T-shirt - Deck 11, Aft, Aloha Lanai Bar


On the way back to Honolulu we did a detour to the majestic Na Pali Coast. We viewed it from the Gold Rush Saloon, Deck 11, mid,  as we toasted the Pride of America for taking us on a most amazing journey. We were sad the cruise would soon be over but we were excited about spending a few more days in Waikiki before heading home to Brisbane, Australia.

Just one more magnificent sunset on Waikiki Beach, Oahu, HI

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