Saturday-Monday 4th/5th/6th February, 2012

Exploring Waikoloa Beach



I found getting to sleep difficult. The room was a little too warm and I was not comfortable (a combination of constipation and my hip). Eventually, I did get a reasonable amount of sleep. We woke up shortly after it got light, just after 7am. As usual, a hot shower chased away a lot of aches.

Immediately we were able to look around in the daylight, we got a completely different impression of the hotel and its environment.

Feeling hungry, we started with breakfast in the poolside restaurant. Once breakfast was over, we started to explore, walking through the hotel grounds towards the beach.

The hotel garden was not what I expected. Waikoloa Beach resort is built on a relatively recent lava flow. There are lawns around the hotel, but the paths to the beach are through an area of lava, with relatively sparse vegetation. The main path goes between 2 "ancient" fish ponds, fed mostly by fresh water springs, but high tides overflowing the sand bar mean that the water is brackish.

Near the beach, there were two moray eels in the pond. The beach is a "gray sand" beach, being a mixture of soft white sand and very course black volcanic sand.

I was still very stiff after the week in San Francisco and the flight, so walking was not very fluent.

There were two shopping malls near the hotel. King's Shops, just across the road was more upmarket; Queen's Marketplace included a food store and more tourist oriented outlets, together with several restaurants and a food court.

In the late morning, we set out on a trek to the Queens Shops. It seemed a long way in the heat .. we did stop a lot to take photos of the birds and flowers. I just about made it to Starbucks but then had to sit down.

We had a visit to the supermarket to get some bottled water and then a very nice lunch at an Italian restaurant in the shopping mall. I was in need of sandals and found a shop that had some. (By mistake, I brought a pair of slip one with no heel and couldn't wear them because they put too much pressure on my hip).

Walking back to the hotel, we realised that it really wasn't any great distance. However, by the time I had walked up the driveway to the hotel and back to our room, my muscles were really complaining, and I needed a siesta. Later in the afternoon, we walked across the road to get a beer/cup of tea at a cafe in the King's Shops.


We spent Sunday around the Marriott Hotel. We started with a walk around one of the fish ponds, along the beach and back to the restaurant for breakfast.

We found a couple of loungers in the shade and in the late morning, spent some time in the pool. This was my first time in a swimming pool for more than 6 months. I normally swim breaststroke -- my hip would not allow that, so I walked up and down until my hip started to ache.

For lunch, we walked down to the food court at Queen's Marketplace. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was really tired. I slept through the first half of Superbowl. The second half was engrossing. New York just about beat New England.

After two days doing very little around the hotel, it was time to make arrangements to see more of the island. The concierge assured us that the full day round island tour used a "proper coach", not a minibus with bench seats. So, we booked a tour for Tuesday. We also got a much better rate for a rental car than was available on the web in advance, so we booked a car for three days from Wednesday.

We ventured across the road to a restaurant, Merriman's, in King's Shops for dinner.

Away from home it was very difficult to remember which day of the week it was. Today was Sunday, God's day. In such a beautiful location, with warmth, sunshine and colourful flowers and birds it was easy to glory in the world that God created. Although we did not make it to a church service, we did establish a prayer time each evening, sitting on the balcony of our room.


After another good night, we were up and about just before 8am and decided to go for a walk before breakfast. We walked between the fish ponds to the beach and turned North.

We knew that there was a shoreline path to the Hilton, but didn't know how far it was. It turned out to be almost 2 miles, which was much further than I had walked for a long time and along a rough path. We almost turned round after about 45 minutes, but decided that we must be more than half way. We probably were, just. I can't pretend that I found walking comfortable, but it didn't get more uncomfortable.

We finally arrived at the Hilton, to be faced with a long flight of stairs to get over the wall. First impression was good as we walked across a rope bridge over an enormous pool. We started to look for somewhere to get breakfast; eventually, we got directions and had to take a tram two stops. The Hilton resort is enormous and totally artificial, with no attempt to blend into the Hawaiian landscape. I overheard someone describe it as like Disneyland. It could have been anywhere in the world. I am sure that there are lots of people who are looking for a resort like this. We took an immediate dislike.

We did get a good breakfast and took the tram to look at the extent of the resort, before getting on the shopping shuttle bus that dropped us back near the Marriott.

We had a (relatively) light lunch at the Marriott and found a couple of shaded loungers near the pool for a couple of hours.

Dinner featured a special offer, 50% off the main course, but included a mandatory 15% gratuity based on the full price, rather than the discounted price.