The drive from Hawi to Waimea (or vice-versa, but Hawi to Waimea looks into some spectacular views of the volcanic mountains south of Waimea) is a beautiful, easy drive on a somewhat windy two lane paved road. The trip allows one to enjoy a changing panaromic vista of upcountry ranch lands overlooking huge views towards the ocean, Maui across the Alenuihaha Channel, the port of Kawaihae, the Kohala "Gold Coast" with its resorts and golf courses, the tony village of Kamuela, and a spectacular view of the Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea volcanoes. In the winter, the taller mountains can be snow capped. The night time views from the convenient scenic pull out near the southern end of the route is beautiful with the lights from the resorts, Kamuela, and Waikoloa Village competing with the twinkling stars.
Note that the road is used by the locals to get from one part of the island to another and they are not in the mood to get stuck behind slow moving tourists (they drive a lot faster than the posted 35 mph), so if you're enjoying the view, be aware of other vehicles and be nice and pull off the road (at a safe spot as the shoulders are near non-existent). You'll usually get a nice wave...which is better than the other hand gesture you'll get by hogging the road too long.
Bicyclists: its a beautiful ride, but be VERY aware that there are sharp, blind curves, no shoulders in places, and some quickly moving vehicles. I would NOT suggest this road for you for simple safety reasons. If you want to be bone-headed about it, keep in mind that asserting your right to bike the road is really not worth the risk of ending up plastered across the grill of some rancher's big rig.
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