My last day on the island and it was going to be a busy day. I got up and out of the house by 0730. Check out for my AirBnB and I needed to get my hike in at the Waipi’o Valley – I had one last shot I wanted to get.
There was this internal debate I was having with myself about the Waipi’o Valley. There were two options, walk the road down to the valley floor or take a four wheel drive vehicle. From everything that I had read and even the videos I had watched on YouTube, this was an INSANE drive. The road was tiny and rough and a 15% grade. While it would have made a great hike back up, I knew I didn’t have a lot of time, I wanted to use the four wheel drive Jeep one more time, and quite frankly I didn’t know how I would feel after climbing up the hill on the other side.
According to my travel book, the view was best from the other side of the valley on this hiking trail that ascended up the side of the valley wall around 900’. When I was walking on the beach towards the cliff, I could see part of the trail cut into the valley wall. My body said, “Wait um no.” My brain said, “Yeah, screw it, lets do it!”
The sun was bright, it was so hot, and there was very little breeze. I didn’t take enough water and I STRUGGLED to get up there, but I was determined. I made it up, slowly, grabbed my shots, and made it back down. I think I drank two bottles of water once back in the jeep. (Side note: I had already going through a case and a half of water!)
I was a little late getting back to AirBnB but no one seemed to care. I showered and packed for the flight. I drove back to Kona to fuel up the Jeep at Costco and to have a bite to eat. Three plane rides after that, I was back home and already thinking about what I’d do if I ever went back.
It was an amazing trip. I did feel a bit lonely, but on the other hand I had controlled my own destiny. And the shots I got were once in a lifetime.