big island attractions

Photos of Manini Beach at Honaunau on Big Island

Manini Beach

Manini Beach at Honaunau is close to Two-Step Beach but very different. For one thing, it’s nestled right next to that huge sloping hill (Kealakekua Cliffs) in a secluded cove. For another, it has soft grass and not hard pahoehoe lava on which to rest your derriere. Manini Beach is also very quiet. A lot of people come here to read and relax.

If you don’t know where it is, Manini Beach can be difficult to find. Fortunately, I had my friend, Anita, to show me the way. Just take Napoopoo from Mamalahoa and hang a left. Keep your eyes open for the sign Manini Beach Road on the right and turn right. Park across from the bamboo house.

Manini Beach

Although we brought our snorkel gear, we sat on the grass and talked. If we had gone into the water, this is where we most likely would have entered. There were quite a few snorkelers in this channel.

Manini Beach

Many photos of this spot show water entering the tidal pool and being sucked back out underneath. But this particular image shows a reflection in the water, and it seems so peaceful, I did not want to distort the tranquility.

Manini Beach

This is wild cacti growing by the sea. It is extremely hardy to survive the harsh conditions and salt air. I figured it would be hard to kill. Anita found a piece of cactus with the roots still attached, so I took it back to our house in Kona and planted it.

Manini Beach

The orange color of the Hawaiian crab against the gray lava was striking. Ordinarily I don’t take photographs of dead sea creatures, but I could not resist this particular opportunity.

Manini Beach

According to my favorite plant app, Plant Snap, this is called the Devil’s Backbone. It grows all over Manini Beach on the rocks. What I did not immediately recognize was it also sports flowers, shown below.

Manini Beach

At first blush, I thought these were coral bells until Anita pointed out they are growing from the Devil’s Backbone. We had similar flowers on a few cacti in Sacramento, so I should have recognized it right away, but I didn’t.

Manini Beach

If you were to rent kayaks to paddle out to the Captain Cook Monument (marking the spot where he died), this is the cove where you would rent them. Too much paddling for me. In fact, when I was at Planet Fitness last week working out on the rowing machine, I look out on the ocean from that spot in Kona. All I can think about is if it were up to me to row a canoe to Maui, we would all drown or starve to death.

coffee shack captain cook

We decided to blow off snorkeling and go to lunch. It was after 2 PM by the time we finished exploring Manini Beach. The closest place I could think of to go was the Coffee Shack. Since Anita has stopped in for coffee but never lunch, that pretty much sealed out fate to go there. Anita liked the background behind me so she shot this photo.

Anita at Coffee Shack

We closed down the place since lunch is over at 3 PM, and we were still there. On the way to the car, Anita shot photos of the mural in front of the Coffee Shack, so of course I shot a photo of her. Someday I will return to Manini Beach, and this time I will probably go snorkeling. It was gray, overcast and a bit chilly, so I don’t regret not jumping in the water.

It’s a beautiful spot, and I have Anita to thank for showing me how to find it. Only one more day in Hawaii and I will return to Sacramento real estate.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Photos of Flowers and Ferns at Akaka Falls in Honomu

Akaka Falls in Honumu

 

After we finished ziplining on Big Island, Vika asked to visit Akaka Falls in Honomu. This is one of the best known waterfalls on Big Island, although we have so many waterfalls. Vika and exclusive buyer’s agent Josh Amolsch discovered this glorious state park in Hawaii was closed when they had stayed at our Hawaii house last October. It had also been about 10 years since I’d been to the Akaka Falls. The park was near our Botantical World Adventure, so we made a point to visit before heading back to Kona.

After we paid our $5 to park, which included admission, we began the trek into this lush paradise. Akaka Falls is 422 feet high, and the word means split or to crack in Hawaiian. My eyes were not so much on the path as on the beautiful flowers and ferns growing like crazy in the park.  Plus, when I heard a bird sing, I mimicked the sound through a whistle, and soon I found myself conversing with the birds.

It drizzled a bit but intermittently the sun peeked out. I snapped quite a few photos at Akaka Falls, so I hope you enjoy this effort below. After all, I shall be returning to Sacramento on Thursday.  Back to the reality of Sacramento real estate. Only a few more blogs from Hawaii to go.

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Akaka Falls

 

Elizabeth Weintraub

World Botanical Adventure for Ziplining on Big Island

Ziplining on Big Island

Josh Amolsch, Elizabeth Weintraub, Vika Gerassimenko go Ziplining on Big Island

How did I get to be 66 years old without ever having experienced ziplining on Big Island . . . or anywhere for that matter? When buyer’s agent extraordinaire Barbara Dow and I went to Maui a few years ago, we didn’t bring closed-toe shoes. That’s pretty much a mandatory requirement to go ziplining. Plus, the place where we would go was a long way from the hotel when lounge chairs at the beach beckoned with their siren call.

The sport also seemed a bit scary. Dangling from a cable 300 feet in the air and moving at 40 MPH sounds scarier than it is, though. We heard there were some people who completed only the first of 8 ziplining runs at World Botanical Adventure and quit. Also, some did not complete the final half-mile zipline past the waterfall because it was too long and too high.

ziplining on big island

Elizabeth Weintraub Ziplining on Big Island across a waterfall.

We felt perfectly safe the entire time. There was a short period of time that we could have freaked out if we had stopped to ponder the trip and what could go wrong. So, we just didn’t do that. When it was time to go, the thing to do is hang on and go. Don’t think. Don’t analyze. It’s easier than you think. If you want to go right, turn the rope to the left and vice versa.

 

ziplining on big island

Elizabeth Weintraub approaches end of zipline.

At one point, we could race side-by-side. Exclusive buyer’s agent Josh Amolsch and I waited at the starting line. I took my tip from Vika. The World Botanical Adventure guide said, 1, 2 and I zipped off before the count of 3. Josh still beat me through because he weighs more. I pulled my body into a tight little cannonball, but he still flew by. I cannot begin to tell you how much enormous fun ziplining on the Big Island is. Now that I have a taste, I am hooked.

ziplining on big island

Ready for our next ziplining adventure

By the end of our adventure ziplining on Big Island, we reached a new consensus, a new level. That level was we now need to push ourselves further, because we could do this ziplining on the Big Island all day long. We soared like eagles through 8 ziplining runs. Along the way, we nibbled on wild ginger, studied an elephant apple tree, and sniffed a sassafrass root that smelled just like root beer. 10 toes and 10 fingers up. Excellent adventure for Labor Day on the Big Island!

Elizabeth Weintraub

 

Photos and Video of 12 Meter Cliff Jumping at South Point Hawaii

Cliff Jumping at South Point Hawaii

Vika Gerassimenko after cliff jumping at South Point Hawaii

Cliff jumping at South Point Hawaii was not one of my dreams. However, because exclusive buyer’s agent Josh Amolsch and his beautiful fiancée Vika Gerassimenko are visiting us over the Labor Day weekend at our house in Hawaii, we supported Vika’s leap off the cliff at South Point. As I explained in the car, if somebody was chasing me, firing a gun in my direction and threatening to kill me, I might find a reason to leap off this cliff. Otherwise, no.

But cliff jumping at South Point was a goal Vika needed to accomplish. I can understand that. We all have goals we want to achieve in life. It is very important that once we picture a goal in our minds that we realize our dream. The thing is anything you can imagine you can pretty much do, within the realm of reason. I say this because I might say I want to dance on the head of a pin, and I know that won’t happen. OK, maybe a pinhead. I would dance on a pinhead. I know a lot of pinheads. Sorry to admit.

 

cliff jumping at south point hawaii

Josh Amolsch jumps off the cliff at South Point Hawaii

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I was unaware that Josh opted in for cliff jumping at South Point. After all, like he put it, if Vika jumps and he does not, I would write about it, even though I assured him I would not need to point out that fact. In any case, I suspect Vika encouraged him to take a risk, to put his life at risk, and to engage in cliff jumping at South Point. Although, after watching his face when he emerged from the water, well, let’s just say he was stoked.

 

cliff jumping at south point hawaii

Vika Gerassimenko, Elizabeth Weintraub and Josh Amolsch at South Point Hawaii

Here are the three of us after both Vika and Josh had completed cliff jumping at South Point Hawaii. I’m such a short little squeak sandwiched between these two giants. There are so many ways to die that I don’t need to elaborate. I am reminded of it every day. Like how the poet Tom Clark, buddy of Allen Ginsberg, was killed after walking a few blocks from his home in Berkeley when he was hit by a car. Stuff happens every day that we can’t always anticipate or prevent.

Cliff diving at South Point Hawaii? Well, it’s preventable. However, if you’re really into the excitement of it all, here is a video of Josh Amolsch leaping into the abyss:


Elizabeth Weintraub

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