Kona Diaries 2013 – Day 31 – Please don’t make me leave, please don’t…

We watched our final Kona sunrise this morning from a very familiar spot. As per usual we saw a few fishing boats and canoes out on the ocean and the waves as usual crashing onto the rocks where the water meets the lava at the edge of our condo block. It really is a beautiful place. I don’t think I’ve posted a photo of our morning view on the blog yet so before I forget, this is what we would sit and enjoy every morning.


One thing that we wanted to do before leaving was get a nice few photos of me and my finishers medal. So as the sun was rising we headed onto the lava rock area and Sharon snapped away for a few minutes.



We finished off the packing – well, Sharon finished off the packing whilst I finished off the packet of breakfast cereal in the cupboard and then went into town for a proper breakfast.

20131018-3939We’ve had a couple of breakfasts at Island Lava Java and thought we’d return to old faithful as we’ve had some lovely food there and the view is lovely.

It’s was really quiet this morning and at about 8:30am we could just stroll up to an empty table out front and sit down. There were a fair few swimmers out in the water (Lava Java looks directly out to the 750m and 1.2 mile permanent turn buoys – measured from the pier) and I suspect they were hanging around more than usual because of the pod of dolphins that was near them. We could see the dark coloured fins moving up and down on and off for quite a while whilst we were eating. It was lovely. This place is seriously chilled out now that the Ironman circus has pretty much completely left town.

We got back to the condo and whilst Sharon made sure all the drawers and cupboards were empty, I decided to try and count the fish in the ocean by going for a swim directly from the lava rock outcrop from the condo block boundary. One of the chaps who lives here told me that it was great snorkelling but you need to do it in calm seas as the waves crash onto the rocks and there’s no gentle step into the water. You just (gently) clamber down and drop yourself into the water. It was much easier than I thought and there was some great sealife to be seen. Yellow Tang fish seem to the most popular of all fish that we’ve seen whilst snorkelling. I swum around for about 10 minutes and then headed back, put my trunks out to dry (there’s not much fabric to them so shouldn’t take long!) and then showered and then got the jeep packed up.

Whilst packing we thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of the ‘stash’ of goodies that I got during the whole Ironman event. Ranging from swim caps, visors, goggles, t-shirts, cycling jerseys, cycle tops, rucksacks, jackets, a towel to a very very special finishers medal and oh, and swim trunks. Some of these were freebies we picked up along the way and some were *not* freebies from the Ironman store. Most of the time that we’ve been here we’ve said that we may never come back so just buy stuff if we want it as you may never have the opportunity to do it again. Lets just say that if I do come back I will hopefully spend less in the Ironman merchandise tent!

20131017-7351Closing the door to apartment #6-205 Kona Makai was strange. The place I’ve called home for a month and had some of the most amazing experiences of my entire life, and getting to share them with Sharon has just been the best. I’m a big softie you know (well, as my friend Ann put on Facebook as a comment to yesterdays blog – “I love the idea of Ironman David having a ‘favourite florist’!”) and my eyes did water up a little.

This place has been amazing and Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes has been very kind and welcoming to me and for that I am grateful.

We returned the jeep, rolling into the rental car drop-off place with the vehicle practically running on fumes. At the airport we joined a really long queue to check-in, paid the 200 dollars to ship my bike back to London (it was 200 dollars each way) and made our way through security to the plane.  Not before one final shaka when boarding the plane as unfortunately all of my attempts to lose my passport this morning failed miserably.


Mahalo Hawaii.

I’m now sat here on United flight UA1052 on the 2,370 mile journey from Kona to San Francisco. We then change planes and head to Washington DC before getting on the final transatlantic flight to London. I hear it’s a bit chilly at the moment.

Another update… it’s now 8am local time in Washington Dulles Airport. Two flights down and one to go before we land on English soil.

We’ve been on holidays many times before and after about 10-12 days of a two week break we’ve felt ‘ready’ to return home. Not this time. Seriously, not this time. We’ve had an amazing holiday, I did a ‘little’ triathlon in the middle of and it’s all been about the lifestyle we both love. The ocean, warm weather, swim/bike/run, friends, a few beers and some exploring. Oh, and not a drop of work! It’s been bliss.

There’ll be more posts on the blog soon, in the form of a race report. Stay tuned.

13 comments on “Kona Diaries 2013 – Day 31 – Please don’t make me leave, please don’t…
  1. Min says:

    Welled up a little reading this. Thank you for writing such amazing blogs and making us back home feel as if we have been a part of the whole thing. Has been truly truly special. Mx

  2. Julia Snaith says:

    I agree with Min! Feels like we’ve been there every step of the way!

  3. Fraggle says:

    ditto :-)

  4. Lee the Pea says:

    Ditto again! I’m truly gutted your time in beautiful Hawaii has drawn to a close, as i have loved reading your blog everday. As Min said, it has been like being a little part of your adventure, and one which few of us will ever be good enough to experience for ourselves. Safe travels home, and I can’t wait to read the race report.
    Lee x
    P.s. What does the inscription ontche bottom of the medal mean?

  5. Linda says:

    I have loved reading this. I hope you write a book it would be awesome to read.

  6. Foggy says:

    David, thanks for posting your blog everyday, its been a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Dave Mawhinney says:

    Really enjoyed reading of your Kona adventures I’m sure you’ll go back. Now for the worst part jet lag and after a month in Kona an even larger case of ironman blues!!

  8. sarah says:

    Have loved reading your blog each day, it has brought back so many happy Kona memories for us! Great to see that you have really enjoyed every special,crazy moment out there. Brilliant race result too :)
    Do hope the jetlag isn’t too bad for you, it nearly killed us but it’s worth it! Looking forward to reading your ‘full’ race report.
    Thanks again for the entertainment. Oh and its good to see that we were not alone in collecting the freebies out there!

  9. theprawn says:

    It’s been a great blog David, well done.

  10. Vera Darlington says:

    Brilliant blogger – that’s what you are! What am I going to do now when I wake up in the morning? The daily papers are too depressing. It was great collecting you and Sharon from Heathrow last evening together with your Mummy, Daddy and big brother Martin. We now await your detailed report on the Ironman race.

  11. Jon Mayger says:

    It’s been great reading your blog,you have a real talent as an athlete and writer.
    I love your Finish line picture so much emotion.
    Well done to you and Sharon.

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