We recently escaped WA’s winter for Hawaii. On day number one, I stumbled out to bright, sunny warmth and brilliant flowers.
Hibiscus and Bougainvillea. How I’ve missed them! I used to grow both on my CA balcony. So lovely! Someday I’d like a sun room that allows for growing such at home.
The tail end of winter made for big swell. This stirred up the water for unsafe swimming in some locations as well as poor snorkeling visibility. We did find swimmable spots. Pete, an experienced and brave snorkeler swam farther out and saw oodles of colorful fish.
Plunk me in front of the ocean,anywhere, and I’m happy. Here, my first ocean view that morning.
After a reunion with a friend of Pete’s we headed south to Kealakekua Bay where we’d stay the next couple nights at the most comfortable Air B and B accommodation I’ve found to date. It’s called the Plumeria Cottage.
This is the dry side of the island. And they aren’t kidding. In some places old lava flows sent brown, porous lava rock in jumbled piles and streams clear down to the ocean. Though the trees are lushly green, you can tell this is a dry climate.
This bay is famous for having The Captain Cook monument on the far side of the photo below, where he met his demise. It can be reached by a steep hike or a KAYAK across the bay. Because of it being a haven for dolphins, access is limited. We enjoyed it from the shore.
The cottage was just up the road from Painted Church Road. This is a lovely, narrow road on the hillside above the bay. Organic produce and coffee Farms line the way. It reminded me a lot of the quiet, narrow roads in New Mexico that follow creeks and pass tiny towns.
One stop on this road is the Painted Church. The linked website gives much history and explanation of the paintings inside. If you travel there, I recommend a stop.
A cemetery, dry and rocky in places has pockets of unusual flora both native and introduced. We enjoyed strolling about and looking at the unfamilliar plants.
Up on the highway, there are produce stands. The South Kona Fruit Stand specialized in fruit and smoothie drinks which were tasty. I bought delicious small tangerines that rivaled anything I’ve ever had that came from CA.
In search of a beach we went to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. This is called “Place of Refuge.” From their website, “In old Hawaii, if you had broken a law, the penalty was death. Perhaps you had entered into an area that was reserved for only the chiefs, or had eaten forbidden foods. Laws, or kapu, governed every aspect of Hawaiian society. The penalty for breaking these laws was certain death. Your only option for survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the nearest puuhonua, or place of refuge.”
This was that place.
A high swell warning had park staff close off the immediate waterfront. We found a shady spot and listened to the pounding waves for a while. It was beautiful to see the folds and swirls of lava rock meet the pale, gritty sand.
This is a park of much a store called significance. There were lava rock partial walls towards the end of the beach.
This is the dry side of the island. And people aren’t kidding when they say it’s dry. Here, lava flows have reached for or met the sea on many occasions. I enjoyed looking for flow patterns in the rocks along the beach.
Coconut palms. Wouldn’t be a trip to somewhere warm without coconut palms.
The next day we headed away from this neck of the woods for part two of the trip, en route to Volcano national Park and Hilo.