day 13 – waimea to spencer beach

we had a night well fed and slept in a bed. it was time to get ready to go. breakfast was in the hotel dining area, continental, so cereal and toast. we made lunches and packed everything up. last night during the dinner and the baseball game, we did laundry. it was nice to have all of the clothes clean again. today i started thinking about the clothes i had in my baggage that was in storage. i wanted to wear a different pair of shorts, but those were in my bag. at least i know they’ll be clean and ready when we get back to kona in another few days.

sera and gillian went to get coffee this morning, i stayed behind and got everything all packed up. hotel coffee was good enough for me. after tasting sera’s fresh hawaiian coffee i did get a little jealous. it was a little cloudy this morning, but the clouds were rolling by so quick that it seemed like they weren’t even there. after we ate and said good morning to everyone, we jumped on the bicycles and it was time to go.

we had two options for the day. one was the suggested route, 40 miles with the first eight climbing, out to the horn of the big island. the second was an eleven mile downhill straight to the beach. we made it a few miles into the climb, but the cut on sera’s hand was irritating her quite a bit. her fingers were numb and she was having trouble using her shifter and brakes. we both agreed to take the short day and coast down to the beach to relax.

the sun was out, clouds were thin and it got much warmer with the lower elevation. on the way down the hills, the clouds really just decided to stop and stay higher. the terrain went from luscious grassy areas to dry desert again with everything being sunburnt alongside the road. we drank more water, and enjoyed our easy day all the way down to the ocean.

being early to camp means a few things. we get our choice of camping spots, time to explore, time to relax. we found one of the last spots next to the beach and setup camp. then we decided to follow a path around the southern end of the beach, which had some lava tide pools full of shells and fish. next thing i knew, sera had her hands full of shells, then my pockets were used to free her hands of them.

we snorkeled and swam for a little while and decided to go get some beer. we asked the people in the camp area what was in the town next to us. they gave us three places to go. the climb out of spencer beach seemed almost impossible. the funny part is we didn’t have any gear on our bikes. hopefully tomorrow morning on the way out with our bicycles fully loaded wouldn’t be as difficult(somehow). a few miles later, we were a few miles north of spencer beach in kawaihae. we were on our way to a nut factory that they had said was worth a visit, but then someone started yelling at us from the ice cream shop. it was david. he had pedaled ahead of everyone else on the long route and was resting at the last stop before the beach. we skipped the nut factory to join him for shaved ice and ice cream. sera got mango shaved ice and i got toasted coconut ice cream. both were delicious. i kind of felt bad for the guy running it though. he was the only person there and the line of people kept accumulating. it took about 10 minutes for me to get my order after i had placed it. worth it though. we both enjoyed our frozen treats with david and learned about his ride while discussing the camp.

we stopped and picked up a few drinks on before returning to spencer beach. there isn’t much for beer selections over here, definitely not like the three breweries that we had visited. next to spencer beach is the pu’ukohola heiau national historic site. there are many traditional items from the time that kamehameha had ruled the islands. the main temple of kamehameha, pu’ukohola heiau, is still visible, along with a few other buildings made of stone. one of the larger temples, hale o kapuni heiau, was submerged at some point to make room for a loading dock in the harbor. it’s also rumored that it was built as a dedication to the shark gods. we were warned by the locals in the campground that swimming in this area could be dangerous with all of the sharks that still frequent the hale o kapuni heiau looking for something to eat. we didn’t snorkel over there and had no plans to after learning that. the sharks are supposed to be incredibly active early in the morning, but we didn’t get the chance to go say hello.

returning to camp, we hiked around a little, greeted others and prepared for dinner. dinner was to be catered tonight from a local restaurant. sera ordered pasta and i ordered pizza. that way we could share each with the other. the beer we had went well with dinner. it was also a tour member’s birthday and she was presented with a(small) cake. the sunset at spencer beach was amazing and both of us were a little sad knowing that this was the last night of the tour camping out. we made sure to rest for the ride in the morning so that we could get up early enough to beat the heat.

observatories from the hotel parking lot.

mauna kea from the hotel parking lot.

sera and jaik from the hotel parking lot.

the first moments of the day’s climb.

the first moments of the day’s climb.

sera hydrating along the climb.

looking to the road ahead.

looking to the east.

sera stretches while david moves in to overcome the lead.

mauna kea from the side of the road.

jaik with mauna kea in the background.

sera with mauna kea in the background.

sera is happy about a downhill ride in the sun.

sera and jaik with the hills.

the ocean just seems closer.

the windy road to the beach.

sera doesn’t know what to do with her hands.

tiger pose!

anuenue ice cream and shaved ice.

spencer beach.

the pavilion at spencer beach.

jaik and sera in the pavilion.

mauna kea and the observatories from spencer beach.

i finally got a good photo of a mongoose.

sera has a sunburn this big.

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