Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 23, 2012. Kona to Captain Cook, HI. 35 miles.

This is Sue from Vermont, whom I missed in yesterday's introductions. She looks happy to be here, but who wouldn't be?

I had a bad moment this morning when I took my camelbak out of the suitcase and found that I'd forgotten the lid to the reservoir.... it used to be attached but broke off last year and worked fine until now. And I ALWAYS ride with a camelbak. But my bad moment was nothing compared to Dianne's---she could not ride today! She's been sick since lunch yesterday and was too sick and weak to get on the bike. This after coming all this way to ride her bike in Hawaii!

We left the hotel about 8:30 after breakfast and map meeting. There was a 5-mile warmup and then we started the climb. And we climbed and we climbed. From mile 6.1 to mile 17.3 that's about all we read on the cue sheets. Cross highway and climb, turn corner and climb....

Tina and I and some others stopped at the Lako Rd. turnoff from Hualalai Rd to see the spectacular view and take some photos.

We stopped again later, both to rest from the relentless climbing and to look at the beautiful views from high above the Pacific Ocean.

We began our descent with a steep downhill, stopping partway down at the Coffee Factory. There are coffee plantations everywhere. We are in Kona after all. In addition to the coffee plantations, we saw bananas, cherries, and avocados in the fields along the roadside. There are home-made signs stating "we buy coffee" and "we buy cherries" all along the route.

At mile 25 we stopped at Puuhonoa O Honaunau National Historic Park. We walked through the visitors center and the outdoor displays, then headed over to the nearby public park where we ate lunch and snorkeled in the clear water--the variety of fish and coral was truly amazing--the colors of the fish were so brilliant that they looked like cartoons!

Although we had only biked 25 miles so far, it was really hard climbing out from the snorkeling spot. Maybe the addition leg-work we did with the fins made a difference. Several miles back into the ride there was a sign for a Painted Chuch. We had to go up a steep 1/2 mile incline to get there and found... a church painted white! But the interior of the church was spectacular!

We ended up climbing 1500 feet in the last 10 miles, and there was not much to break the climb--no rolling hills on this route! We arrived at our lodging for the night--the Manago Hotel, a relic from the 40s. After showers and tomorrow's map meeting we went to a local Japanese restaurant for dinner. Dianne was still too sick to eat.

No comments: