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Hawaii

Kona

"Bound for Hawaii (a hundred and fifty miles distant), to visit the great volcano and behold the other notable things which distinguish that island above the remainder of the group, we sailed from Honolulu on a certain Saturday afternoon, in the good schooner Boomerang...

It was compensation for my sufferings to come unexpectedly upon so beautiful a scene as met my eye - to step suddenly out of the sepulchral gloom of the cabin and stand under the strong light of the moon - in the center, as it were, of a glittering sea of liquid silver to see the broad sails straining in the gale, the ship keeled over on her side, the angry foam hissing past her lee bulwarks, and sparkling sheets of spray dashing high over her bows and raining upon her decks; to brace myself and hang fast to the first object that presented itself, with hat jammed down and coattails whipping in the breeze, and feel that exhilaration that thrills in one's hair and quivers down his backbone when he knows that every inch of canvas is drawing and the vessel cleaving through the waves at her utmost speed." Mark Twain, 1866

Three volcanoes divide the Big Island of Hawaii in half, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa. The town of Hilo sits on the east side, which is the windward side of the island. On the west, on the leeward side is the district of Kona. In the Hawaiian language, kona means leeward or dry side of the island and so it is in Kona. There no better place in the world to see before your own eyes the process that created all the terrestrial land of our planet. Below Hawaii lies a volcanic hotspot that steadily pushes upwards molten rock. This magma erupts from the three volcanoes and flows out as lava. This process formed all of the Hawaiian Islands. Kona is the home of the world-famous Ironman World Championship Triathlon held each year in October. And the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park marks the place where Captain James Cook was killed in 1779.

For the traveller this is a destination full of fun and sun, adventure, and stupendous geography. The climate is so diverse that it is hard not to find a place you will not fall in love with. You must put the Big Island of Hawaii on your list.

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