Waikoloa to Kailua – 34.4 mi, 1,429’ elevation gain

This was scheduled to be the easiest day of the trip. It was. We got up and out of our hotel by 7 to try to beat the headwinds that prevail on the Kona Coast. It only worked for the first 3 miles. Then we were pushing against them the rest of the way.

But it was all easy rolling roads, generally sloped down. We were riding the route of the Ironman Triathlon. We actually saw other riders this day. They looked pretty intensely focused. I’d say most of them were in training for the big event.

The lava fields here were dotted with the most unusual graffiti. The words were written by laying out white rocks on the black lava. I don’t know where they found the white rocks. But it wasn’t unpleasant to look at.

Click to see image enlargedWe quickly arrived in Kailua. Sheila went on a shopping mission. (Probably the most unusual thing I saw on the entire trip!) She was looking for the perfect Hawaiian dress. She’d go into a row of shops while I’d ride the bike down a few blocks to wait for her. She’d catch up and we’d repeat the process. I think she went in every shop in Kailua, and there are lots of them! Sadly, no luck.

Click to see papaya enlargedWe got back to the condo, cleaned up, did laundry, packed the bike, and just sat. It was too humid to go to the beach. It felt decadent just to enjoy the view with one last umbrella drink in hand. So that’s what we did.

Day 7: Sunday, August 08, 2004
Day 9: Tuesday, August 10, 2004