After a couple of days of complete tranquility, we reluctantly left Hobbit House and headed round to the other side of the Island to the Kona Coast.
Our next hotel was the Royal Kona Resort and the entrance alone was stunning. There was a series of little rivers with koi carp swimming in glassy pools, trickling water falls and miniature bridges.
We were given an upgrade on the room because it was our honeymoon and ended up in a gorgeous corner suite (with the biggest bed I've ever seen - I could sleep across it!) overlooking the pool and beyond that the sea - so close the waves were crashing into the pool itself.
That night, Paul booked to go on a night dive and dropped me off at a salon for a mani/pedi (which was amazing!). Paul was lucky enough to see five manta rays (that's a huge manta you can see above his head in the picture below) and a moray eel outside its cave. He also saw a group of dolphins in the harbour with a baby - I wish I had been there!
The hotel also had a naturally formed salt water pool which was fed by the ocean and populated by thousands of tropical fish - just free to swim between your toes.
I don't normally swim in the sea, but Paul convinced me that no sharks could get through the small gap in the rocks where the water was coming in so I donned a snorkel and some fins and went in. He held my hand the whole way round and I nearly drowned him when a horrible slimy snowflake eel tried to climb up my leg and I tried to climb on top of him to get out of the water! The fish were beautiful though, there were some HUGE angel fish and some big spiky black sea urchins. We saw a load of really big crabs sunbathing on the rocks as well.
We went to our first Luau in the evening, Paul bought me a flower lei (I had been really disappointed when we got off the plane and there was no hula girls putting them round our necks as we stepped off the plane - stereotypical? Maybe.)
We did get to see Hula dancing at the Luau though as well as a traditional fire dance at the end, the male dancer almost had a very nasty accident when he was throwing fire poi between his legs... I'll let you use your imagination on that one!
The singing and dancing was fantastic but there was a stupid man comentating all the way through which kind of took away from the authenticity of it. The Mai Thai' were definitely authentic though.
We visited Pu'uhonua o Honaunau which had once been a place of refuge for people who had violated the "Kapu" (Hawaiian laws). Anybody who broke these laws was sentenced to death unless they could make it to the place of refuge. It was gurded in-land so they had to brave the seas and swim to it from the Big Island and other islands. The Pu'uhonua was protected by the spirits of important island chiefs so people who managed to get there were blessed and then able to return home unharmed and pardoned of their crimes.
There is not a lot left to see now, all of the temples have been weathered away over time but the carved wooden statues which were there to protect them still remain.
The Pu'uhonua is now a place of refuge for nesting turtles who come up on the sand to lay their eggs or have a snooze in the sun.
Note to Rachel:
Royal Kona Resort - The Lu'au we went to was at the hotel but others are available - ours was called "Journeys of the South Pacific" and cost about $30.
The beauticians I went to was recommended by the hotel but I can't remember the name - sorry. It was run by a couple of Vietnamese men though and was on a kind of retail park.
For scuba diving try Big Island Divers. You can also take a non diver along for the ride.
There are also whale watching excursions but we went at the wrong time of year for that. You could try surfing, kayaking or even yoga! There is lots to do here whether you fancy being a bit adventurous or just relaxing. Let me know if you want any websites etc.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau