Guest Author - Lisa Shea
If you are going to the Big Island of Hawaii then you REALLY need this book. I found this book amazingly helpful when we visited Hawaii on the Pride of America. I saw MANY people on this island carrying the same book with them.
The Big Island - known as Hawaii, not to be confused with the entire state of Hawaii - is a gorgeous location. It contains the southernmost point in the entire United States. It has black beaches that large sea turtles come up onto, where you can stand a few feet away. It has an active volcano that you can walk on! Many of these things are not clearly labeled with signs.
That's where this book comes in. You are given precise, step by step directions about how to get somewhere, with the exact mile marker to look for and things to watch out for. You're told that you should NOT pay a parking fee in location xxx because the person there is just a huckster trying to get your cash. You're told to be careful of vandals in spot yyyy because it's known for having cars broken into. These are really valuable things for a tourist to know, that they would otherwise have no idea about.
I found the information here just incredible. It meant that our day on the island was planned out very well and we saw exactly what I wanted to see, with plenty of time in between spots. We knew what direction to travel Volcano National Park in. We knew to bring flashlights in the lava tube!! That one tip alone was WELL worth the price of the book. Everyone else did NOT bring a flashlight and literally hundreds of people watched us as we went into the dark depths of the unlit lava tube, wishing they could come along too. If they'd had the book and read it, they would have known about the flashlights.
The book is good about letting you know what is legal and what is NOT. We most definitely never went on private property or anything like that. The book even warns you about dangerous swimming conditions and advises you when to stay out of the water.
Now, some might have the complaint that "well without that book, only 3 people would find the southernmost point - and now 30 people could find it with the book, so that ruined it for me". By that logic, websites shouldn't talk about locations either. Heck, nobody should talk about locations. Which leads to the question of, how would *anybody* find out about a location then? Is the aim to have nobody at all in the entire world visit the Southernmost Point in the US? Is it bad if people who want to go somewhere, go somewhere?
This is a big island. It's the size of Connecticut. Everybody has different interests. If 30 people all love sea turtles, then I say all 30 people should know how to find the sea turtles and enjoy their vacation with the sea turtles. Heck, you had to fly thousands of miles to get TO this island, and you had to pay for the lodging either here or on the cruise ship. To say after all of that effort that only "certain people" should be able to go to spot X and that the others shouldn't know about it seems really unfair to me. Every one of us humans has the right to enjoy a natural beauty and this book helps us all make an informed decision about what to see.
A must-have book if you're going to this island!