I woke up sick.  My throat was sore, my body was sore, and my head would not stop throbbing.   Once I got the head under control, my nose wouldn’t stop running.  What do you do when you’re sick on vacation?

My answer:  Sleep late, and t hen go have fun, even if it kills you!  Tom approves.

Our plan for the day is somewhat laid back anyway.  I want to catch the last part of the road around the island that we’d missed on previous days.  I want to check out Hawi and the rest of the Kohala coast.  Then, I want to take a hike on the Petroglyph Trail at Puako Petroglyph Archaological Preserve.

I slept on the way up the coast, in between blowing my nose.  We drove past Hawi, and up to the other side of the Waipi’o Valley that we’d visited a few days’ earlier.  At a crowded scenic point, we stopped the car and got out of the car to watch the surf crash against a black sand beach that was barely visible below. Tom was interested in a hike down to the beach, but I vetoed it.  It was certainly doable.  The walk down was maybe 10 minutes, and the walk up a steep half hour trek.  Had I not been so miserable, I would have complete done it.  As it was, I was content to simply look at the view from up top for awhile.

When we had had our fill of the view, we drove back along the coast to Hawi for lunch, stopping for a sandwich at the Lighthouse Delicatessen.  I had a Cuban sandwich, which was really good, considering that my taste buds were really wasted from my cold.  I thought I would only eat half a sandwich, but I ate the whole thing… including potato chips!

It was mid-afternoon by the time we left Hawi.  We drove down the coast, and I noted several places to visit on future trips.  We made our way to the Petroglyph Park and parked in a lot next to the ocean.  I was still feeling somewhat poorly, so it doesn’t surprise me that I found the path somewhat difficult.  It was mid-afternoon, and it was warmer than it had been at Kailua-Kona earlier in the day.  After about a half mile’s walk through some pretty wicked forest trails, I came upon the Petroglyph reserve.   A quarter mile further, and we were into the brambles of this forest that had been killed by volcanic action.  The ancient Hawaiians had expended a lot of effort to say something about themselves.  The rock is hard, and the tools for etching the images into the stone would have been other rocks.

In the final clearing we saw dozens of petroglyphs, some much more easy to decipher than others.   The path wound further into the petrified forest, but it was an uncertain path….  My natural tendency to always find the end of any trail was tempered by the day’s heat and my cold.

When we returned to the car, the most amazing thing happened.  One by one, cats came up to us to say hello.  I counted thirteen in their colony, but who knows how many there were behind the trees?  What surprised me was not so much that the cats existed, but that they were willing to come out to meet us.  Tom is known as the cat whisperer in our house, so I gave him the camera.  We did not want to scare the cats away.

A couple people came up to us and said that the cats were encouraged to live in the park by the neighboring resort, but that they asked visitors not to feed them.

Tom and I could see the logic in that, and we didn’t have any cat kibble with us anyway. We did mark that there was an astonishing absence of songbirds in the area.

As we drove back to Kailua-Kona, we realized we were on our last full day in Hawaii.  Both of us were a little melancholy about that.  But we wanted to go home to our own cats, not to mention our family.

That evening, we decided to have a low key dinner in the hotel dining room.  It was a nice time.   The next day, we had a late flight, so we decided we’d go see a movie to kill the afternoon.  Never estimate the power of a vacation matinee.

We drove to the airport, where we waited for our 5:00 flight.  A group of VIP’s were coming in from the mainland, so there was a traditional Hawaiian music ban and a group of young hula dancers.  Customer service agents were there to great the group with Hawaiian leis, just like I recall the Brady’s receiving when they went to Hawaii.   That was the episode where Peter found the tiki idol and took it from Hawaiian sacred ground?  He comes to believe he was cursed by his decision, when bad things begin to happen to the rest of the family.  Okay, so one shouldn’t get one’s knowledge about the world from the Brady Bunch.  You’ll expect a lei in lieu of a bill, and you’ll offend the indigenous people by making up stories about the religion that their ancestors followed.

This is my penultimate post about my Hawaii trip.  My last post will not be part of a trip report, per se, but will be about a customer service problem we encountered on our way home.

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