I was sad to say bye to San Francisco, somewhat feeling slightly unfulfilled in not getting to do as much as I would have liked but I was also filled up with so much anticipation for the next part of the trip.
Lost has always been one of my favourite TV shows, I loved the whole concept of getting lost on an island full of mystery, secrets and the idea of exploring a new place. Although that is highly unlikely to happen in real life, Lost made me fall in love with the idea of one day going to Hawaii, as well as Jurassic Park so when trek america started a tour in Hawaii I knew I had to book onto it. Whilst sat on the plane from San Francisco to Kona international airport (on the big island) I was pinching myself, I could not believe I was going to Hawaii, not even as I stared out the window watching bed of clouds drift by, sunlight dancing on the ocean creating a sea of sparkly stars, not even when we finally touched down and was welcomed into one of the most relaxed airports ever (although I was a little bit sad it wasn't like the films and you get given a flower lei on arrival.)
When I think of Hawaii I think of tropical forests, flowers, lots of green and beaches. My mind didn't really think about the variety of different landscapes Hawaii has, the big island is the youngest Hawaiian Island and lava is still at play here, creating new land. We got to witness a lot of lava rock on the way to the hotel. The hotel for this trek america tour is the Royal Kona resort (this is where my parents stayed for the duration whilst I did the tour) the hotel is beautiful with lots of ponds and decorative areas, it was as I imagined but more.
On arrival my room wasn't ready but I did find out I would be sharing with a girl with the same name, someone I hadn't spoken to beforehand so that made me a little bit nervous! I decided to go get something to eat whilst I waited and ended up bumping into a few others booked on the tour, it is really hard not to try and compare when you've been on a tour like this before especially when on my first trek I went with such an amazing bunch of people, thoughts like: 'Will I bond with them the same?' 'Will we all get on?' etc. ran through my mind. We ate at this amazing place called on the rocks, which is made up to look like a beach. I had the veggie burger with chips (which are actually crisps) which was incredible.
Once I had finished my food which left me full and sleepy I went back to the hotel to see if my room was finally ready and it was. My roommate had already been and gone and I anxiously waited around to see if she would show up, after what seemed like forever she finally did and we got chatting. She had been travelling around since April and Hawaii was her last stop before heading home, once we were somewhat acquainted with each other I took a quick nap before another girl on the tour knocked on our door and we heading to the lobby for drinks.
One thing I did not expect in Hawaii was it to get dark so early, here in the UK and most other places we have daylight savings, Hawaii doesn't. So I was shocked when the sun started to set around seven! It wasn't something I was expecting at all, I genuinely thought it would be light until at least ten. Seeing my first sunset in Hawaii made it even more real and I slowly started absorb the fact I that I was there, it was such a spectacular scene watching the sun slowly dip behind the sea.
We spent the evening in the lobby as others on the trek slowly started to show up, we also befriended two very drunk Canadian guys who bought us a round of shots of vodka which was pretty vile. These moments are the things I love about going new places, the encounters you make with people along the way. I went to bed excited about what the first day of trek would hold.