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 :)   

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