As we neared the end of our stay in Hawaii, we took the opportunity to knock a few Hilo-side items off our bucket list. We snorkeled (again) – that’s the thing to do in Hawaii, after all – we had some amazing Thai food in Hilo (we love to eat!), and we visited the easternmost point of Hawaii – Cape Kumukahi.
We began the day in Wai’opae for the Kapaho Tide Pools. The water was calm and clear, but I was without a snorkel this time, so my underwater enjoyment was somewhat limited. I spent as much time out of the water – hopping from rock to rock – as I did in it. We saw many interesting fish in the little pools, and it was a fun alternative to the ocean snorkeling.
We then made our way to the easternmost point of the Hawaiian islands. Cape Kumukahi doesn’t hold the same accolades as South Point, but it was still impressive and worth the trek down the long dirt road.
The path from the road winds between hills of lava rock, beautifully sprinkled with lush green sprays of new growth. Simply follow the arrows to make your way to the ocean. The path splits, with the arrows veering left to a rocky lookout. We instead went right, where we discovered a spectacular outcropping of land, completely at the mercy of the sea.
With nothing but miles of wide open ocean, we saw some of our largest wave crashes along this shore. They were impressive and somewhat terrifying; I would never want to be swept out and dashed upon the rocky shoreline.
For the sake of completion, we backtracked to hit the left fork, and my shutter finger wasn’t disappointed.
While it doesn’t get much love from those more interested in the easternmost point of the entire U.S., I found the visit worthwhile and humbling.
We swung by Champagne Pond (warm and wonderfully clear!) before stopping through Hilo once more. There, we met a beautiful feral cat outside of the amazing New Chiang Mai Thai restaurant, then we headed north to Laupahoehoe Beach Park. Lots of craggy beaches that day, and lots of beautiful waves for the photographing!