My third day on the Big Island of Hawaii ended up being my last! I woke up at 5am and drove to Panalu’u Beach – or the black sand beach. It was actually Easter; I didn’t realize until I got to the beach and there were people singing Hallelujah as the sun came up.
A great way to start the day! The next thing on my list was the Mahana Beach or green sand beach. I mentioned in my last post that my knee had been hurting, and it was hurting even more today! I took some more Aleve, but it didn’t seem to be helping. When I got to Mahana Beach, a woman asked me if I wanted a shuttle to the beach since it was a 3 mile hike out. I said no but thanked her and said that I would walk. She told me where to park. When I got out of my car, I noticed a ton of glass on the ground. Hawaii is pretty notorious for car break-ins, especially at hike trailheads.
I tried hiking out for about ten minutes, but my knee was hurting so so bad I could barely stand it. That, combined with the fear of having my rental car radio stolen (I left the windows down so they couldn’t break the glass), made me turn around. So I didn’t get to see the green sand beach, sadly! 😦 I stopped at Ka Lae on the way out. Ka Lae is the southernmost point of the United States.
And a lot of other places that I went to required hiking, as well, such as a local heiau. I kept trying to push myself but it only made it worse and worse. I decided to just drive all the way around the island to fill the rest of the time in my day. When I stopped at KFC to eat dinner (this was also where I had been ‘taking a bath’ haha), I considered flying back a day early. There were three things on my mind: my knee hurt so bad that I was concerned I wasn’t going to be able to do anything the next day, I was going to make my knee worse, and that I was going to have to sleep in the trunk of my car for another night for no reason. I ended up calling the airlines and changing my plane ticket to come back that night.
It turns out I had gotten tendinitis the day that I hiked the Volcano National Park, either from overwork or from going down into the crater so quickly. I was so scared I was going to be one of those people that had knee pains for the rest of their life !! It definitely made me realize how important hiking is to me. I’ve been resting my knee since, but it’s feeling a lot better, and hopefully I will be back out hiking again soon! 🙂
Overall, I am so, so glad that I decided to go to the Big Island! This was an amazing trip that taught me so much about myself and where I feel I belong in the world. While I haven’t been to Maui, I’m sure that the Island of Hawaii is my favorite by far!