Kailua - Kona - A Walk Through Kona

Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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Kailua-Kona, commonly referred to as "Kona" is the commercial and tourist center on the leeward side of the island of Hawaii , also known as Big Island .
It is definitely a cool place to hang out if you like the hustle and bustle that comes with tourism.
While it is great to explore during the day in remote places, it is comforting to be in the company of others for that "before" and "after" supper walk. It is part of what the Spanish call the "paseo" or evening stroll which just seems to end the day in a calm and pleasing manner.
Then on the other hand, let's face it, it is just an opportunity to see a lot of beautiful people as the warm weather seems to bring then out.
I have always liked this aspect of traveling in Spain , Italy and Greece . The further south one travels in Europe , the more people are out on the street in the evening. The restaurants are full and ambiance abounds everywhere.
This is in shocking contrast to what I experienced in my travels to the Scandinavian countries where the sidewalks roll up around 20:00 or earlier. It just makes you want to go for the airport and head south.
Kailua-Kona is also a major stop on the Hawaiian cruise ship circuit and during the time we were there, at least two cruise ships were in the harbour. There is no deep water port so passengers have to be shuttled back and forth on tenders to Kailua Pier.
The renowned annual Kona Ironman Triathlon starts at the pier with a 2.4 mile swim which is followed by a bike ride of 112 miles and a 26.2 mile run. .
Alii Drive skirts the shoreline of crescent shaped Kona Bay . This is the main street of Kona where most of the activity takes place. The walk along here is most impressive if for no other reason than to marvel at the giant banyan trees not to mention the shops and restaurants.
Since the bay faces westward, a Hawaiian sunset is always a possibility here on the leeward side of the island. It is worth repeating however that the sunset at this time of year is around 18:00 which makes for an early end to daylight. We were most amazed that apparently in the summer, the sun sets around 20:00 in Hawaii due to its relatively close proximity to the equator. This is a far cry from the endless daylight I experienced last summer in Yellowknife , NWT where daylight really did not turn into darkness.
The city is located between the sea and the south-west flank of Mt. Hualalai - an 8,271 foot active volcano which last erupted in 1801.
Kailua-Kona is also of historical significance since it was established by Kamehameha the legendary chief of Kona.  His name is seen even today throughout the Hawaiian Islands as Kamehameha I. It was he who consolidated his rule over the Hawaiian Islands from Kona to become founder of the Hawaiian royal family and master of the Hawaiian Islands .
Today Kailua-Kona has a population of just fewer than 10,000.

By the way, photos no. 47 and 48 are of a mural in the office of a real estate agent in Kona. It is an impressive scene which appears to be somewhere in Italy, but I have no idea where.
  Coming Soon:
Big Island - Driving North to Switzerland

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