Asphalt Safari - Drive from Kona to Hilo

The drive from Kona to Hilo across the Big Island takes a good few hours depending on the number of stops you plan to make.  We left about 9:30 in the morning and arrived at about 3 at our destination with several leisurely stops along the way.  We stopped at Hapuna Beach and took this sign to heart: Warning: Falling Coconuts.
The water was simply brilliant against the clear blue sky and pristine white sand.
Further inland, we stopped at Waimea for a rest and some snacks.  It's worth stopping to stretch your legs but we found there really wasn't much here.
Our next stop was Honokaa, an old sugar town that had since fallen into decline.  There is a short main street with some shops and restaurants that are worth a short stop and a post office to get stamps for your postcards.
The best part about passing through this part of the island was Tex Drive-in and Restaurant.  You actually can't see the restaurant proper from the road other than a dilapidated sign.  If we hadn't read reviews in our guidebook and on the internet, we would have passed Tex's by.  Thank goodness we didn't!
We sidled up to the counter and order something savory and something sweet.
We ordered Kahlua pork with cabbage and (in the foreground below) a Loco Moco.  Loco Moco is a signature stratified fast food dish in the islands.  A layer of rice is covered with hamburger patties and then topped with a fried egg and gravy.  It's actually tastier than it looks.
The best part though, was the tropical fruit filled malasadas.  We tried these sugary doughnuts warm out of the oven and with passionfruit and mango filling.  Double Yum!
The view from Tex's is also quite nice if you walk across the parking lot and peer over the fence.
We continued our drive to the Waipi'o overlook.  Waipi'o Valley is a very steep descent from here and can only be traversed by 4-wheel drive vehicles.
We walked out to the overlook which was simply breathtaking.
As we walked back to the car, I spotted this floppy pink flower and just had to stop and take a picture.
Continuing along the coast to Hilo, we stopped at Kolekole Beach Park to have a look around.
The park itself is situated on the coast just under the highway bridge.
The most amazing part was the waves crashing into the small river that empties here.  
I captured it in both video and pictures below.
More from Hilo in the next post.



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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Asphalt Safari - Drive from Kona to Hilo
Asphalt Safari - Drive from Kona to Hilo
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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