This weekend, for my time off, I decided to venture alone to the other side of the island. Kris explained to me that the only way to get there using public transportation was to get on a bus that left Kona around 5:45 in the morning. Since I was still technically here on vacation and since I normally have to wake up that early to start my work on the farm, I decided against it and that I would push my luck with hitching a ride.
I actually didn’t have too terrible of luck; I was picked up at the grocery store from someone I met while in the check out line who was heading to the north part of the island already. She said there was another plaza there where I could most likely find a ride all the way to Hilo, which was absolutely true.
I was able to talk to someone who was heading to the farmer’s market in Hilo. They told me I could ride in the back of their truck if I helped load up some of their veggies. I naturally said yes and we were soon on our way.
The ride was pretty amazing. I was staring off the side of a cliff that was probably 80 ft above the sea. The east side of the island is completely different from the west. Over on the east side, it was moist and cool where as on the west it was dry and… well, dry! It was probably only an hour (maybe less) by the time we rolled up to the farmer’s market. I helped the couple with their veggies and they gave me some ginger root and carrots for my help. I walked around the farmer’s market for a while before heading off into the town.
Hilo was a pretty neat little area full of more American style buildings and shops. I went into a few record stores, a few ukulele shops and some other vintage item stores. The rain never stopped, which was absolutely insane! It wasn’t too long before the sun started to go down and the time came for me to make the choice of whether or not I was going to have to stay the night in Hilo or find a ride back.
I headed toward the Hilo farmer’s market to see if the couple that took me here would be willing to take me back. To my luck, not only did they agree to take me, they said they had to go to South Kona anyway to visit family and they would be willing to drop me off at Kris’. I tell ya, the people here are beyond kind. Must be the tan I’ve been getting that makes me look more like a local!
Overall, my Hilo hitchhiking was safe, fun, and an easy way to get around the island.
Some more info here!