Sunday, February 28, 2016

Waikoloa to Wapio to Pololu

When I picture Hawaii I picture cliffs, water, beaches - definitely not volcanic rock.  D'uh seriously, Hawaii is 3 volcanoes, what did I think they spewed out, those lovely smooth lava rocks they use when I get a pedicure.  Today we are heading up to the north and east coasts.  I am so excited today we are going up to see the 424 foot waterfall at Wapio and hike through the rain forest.  We have our lovely walk, a swim, a quick breakky and off we head to Waimea, also known as cowboy country.  The exact opposite of where we are staying, lush fields, big trees, rolling hills, absolutely beautiful.  They are also famous for their farmers markets and wonderful produce.  


Macadamia nuts and the best coffee ever.  I am a 3 spoonful of sugar, cinnamon latte and I was able to drink this coffee black.   And then he added in almond milk, I was in heaven.  The coffee we wanted he was sold out of, so luckily he gave us his card and we can order online.  He was also a true salesman, named Jim lol, with quite the patter, kept us very entertained.  

Next stop the Wapio Valley.  There is another very interesting thing about volcanoes, you can very rarely see the top.  Every day there has been this nasty looking rain cloud just clinging to the top.  As we drove into the Valley we were actually driving in the clouds.  I'm just glad it was clouds and not volcanic smoke :).  As you drove down to the lookout your mouth just fell open, even with the cloud and mist cover it was majestic.

We were a little disappointed as we got closer we realized the actual hike down to the falls was closed to tourists because of the dengue fever outbreak.  Better to be safe than sorry.  It was definitely a mosquito type of day.

 Although we were disappointed about not being able to do the hike, we now had an extra hour in our day so off we set over the mountain range to Hawi and the Pololu Valley which is the other end of this same stretch of coast, but at the northern tip of Hawaii.
 4500 feet of windy, turny roads, roof down, hardly anyone on the road.  Jim was in heaven galloping along on his mustang :)

 First stop was Hawi for a quick lunch which turned out to be very entertaining and delish.  There seem to be 3 types of people in Hawaii - natives, tourists and a bunch of white people from the late 60's who escaped from San Fran and set up residence here.  We stopped at Bamboo for lunch, the manager/owner definitely still seemed to be in hippy mode.  Funny as anything.  And bonus the food was delish.  As we were driving over we kept spotting all of these lovely black angus cows.  Jim couldn't resist and ordered a burger, he said it might have been the best meat he ever had.  I had an "ono" (white fish) on a papaya salad.  Amazing and yes I ate all the fish.

A little visitor joined us for lunch

 The restaurant also had a gallery, over 1000 items of which we bought our travelogue Christmas Decoration.  :)

 Next stop the Pololu Valley, just as amazing as Wapio and no dengue fever.  There was a good climb down to the ocean, of which we went about halfway, wanted to get home before dark.  Looked like it was going to be an entertaining night down there.  Kids with guitars and ukuleles.  Old hippies with I'm not sure what in their backpacks.


One last stop to take a picture of King Kamehameha who united the Hawaiian Islands and off to the Mai Grille for a wonderful dinner - all local food.  lol when I checked out the menu earlier in the day the prices were amazing.  I didn't realize that this was a tasting menu and you need to order about 6 things to share.  Chef Alan Hess is a famous chef here on the island and his dishes were amazing.  And so was the bill :)   

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hawaii Drive to Cooks Bay and Holualoa Village

Asleep by 11 Thursday night, up at 7, coffee on the patio, a walk, a swim and we are off for a drive.  We decided to just do a short one today.  LOL.  5+ hours later we were back at the condo.  No super highways here, lots of one lane roads with elevation changes and windy windy.  

 Our beautiful 1 bedroom, full kitchen timeshare is at The Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  Absolutely amazing, only thing wrong is we want to stay for a month.  :)

This whole area is a lava bed.  Mauna Kea erupted 4500 years ago and basically left most of the area a wasteland.  Mauna Lao (a very popular crossword clue) has moved to the active stage and has been rumbling again.  The devastation is amazing, but surprising the earth is very resilient and tundra and trees are starting to grow again.  Along with a vast track of timeshares, hotels, condos and private homes.
I ran into Magnum PI.  I did say he reminded me of a tall Dano from Hawaii 5O and was told he is too whiny.  He is more the Tom Selleck type :).

 This is the first scenic viewing point down the road from us and these are basically tunnels the lava flowed from into the ocean, which were then used as tunnels.

 Continuing down the Queen's Highway we came to Cook's Monument, this is where he first made landfall.  This road was our biggest elevation change and windiest.  We were going downhill and barely got over 30 mph.

 Lots of waves and lots of surfers.  NUTS


I could picture having a mai tai on the upper balcony.    

A little garden artwork

Waves, beaches and flowers, the colours are amazing.  

 On the way down to Cook's monument we noticed a sign for "The Painted Church" and bonus we didn't have to go back up that road.  This is an active catholic church with the most amazing pictures of the bible on every wall inside the church and the most amazing view of the Pacific Ocean.  It dates back to 1842.

 Our next stop was the art village of Holualoa.  It is situated about 1500 feet up the mountain with an amazing view of the Pacific.  Beautiful breezes and the smell of coffee greets you as you exit your car in this lovely little art village which is surrounded by coffee plantations.
This is one bathroom I did not use :)


We stopped for lunch at the Holuakoa Gardens & Cafe where Jim had the catch of the day a striped marlin and I had a blue cheese salad.  I also had a beautiful pinto grigio called Mongris Marco Fellage 2014.    Delightful, have to find some for sipping on the dock in Muskoka.  

 Our last stop of the day was a little wine ooops I mean coffee tasting, how could we resist the name "Hula Daddy".  I just love the way places built on hills/mountains have such great views and breezes.  I also love they way they don't seem to worry too much about windows.  It rains, it dries up.  What more could you ask for.  :)

The lovely young lady was explaining to us about coffee growing and brewing.  They had a great collection of different coffee machines from the ages and different parts of the world.  The same coffee will taste totally different depending on how you perk it.  I enjoyed a med roast with 3 sugars and 2 cream, amazing.  :)  I also tried a tea made from the coffee skin, it was quite delish.  


Jim getting some free plantains and oranges from the lovely young lady who explained our coffee tastings for us.

Mauna Kea was surrounded by rain clouds all day, although we didn't get a drop.  Thankfully as the roof was down the whole day.  (I hope they were rain clouds and not steam lol).