Day 2 - Exploring around Keauhou - October 18, 2012
We were awake before dawn. There is a three hour difference in time between the west coast and Hawaii so we were wide awake by 5:30am. It is actually a good thing. There is about 12 hours of daylight usually from 6am-6pm so an early start makes the most of your time.
We relaxed over breakfast on the lanai. Scrambled eggs, toast, coffee, juice and wonderful fresh fruit - pineapple, papaya and banana. The magpies chattered and we watched the colorful array of birds.
We did a quick walk around the complex. The Ocean pool is beautiful. The complex is on the rocky lava shore and there is a small pool that overlooks the crashing waves. We also went for a walk along the seawall. There are two other pools; one for families and a quiet pool for adults only.
We make a call to Leilani Nepenthes to make an appointment to visit. We suggest Friday at 11:00 and it is arranged. We decide to explore the local area. Pu`uhonua O Hōnauna (City of Refuge) is just a short distance south of Keauhou. We drive along Hwy 11 and turn off at Napoopoo road. It is narrow and winds through coffee, papaya farms. We love the tropical trees and plants that line the road. After a short while, we turn onto lower Napoopoo Road and head towards Kealakekua Bay. I notice a farm stand along the way. It is a plumaria farm and they are selling leis for $3.00. I make a note to come back this way.
The small village around Kealakekua Bay looked interesting. I wanted to check out the bay but there is very crowded at noon. We see little parking and it looked like someone was collecting for entry/parking at the park. We decide to continue on to Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunaand turning on to Puuhonua Road.
What a contrast! Suddenly we are transported from the coffee plantations to the stark emptiness of a black lava flow. The road is straight and narrow up into the horizon and beckons us to continue - more to escape the starkness.
The road takes us to the turn off to Pu`uhonua O Hōnauna and we make good use of our America the Beautiful Pass. It covers the $5.00 fee for parking and entrance.
I loved slowly walking around the site and reading the Park service brochure. It was a place of refuge and forgiveness for people who had broken laws. It is also a burial ground and royal grounds. It is also very beautiful.
We continued up towards Hwy 11 to stop at the Painted Church. It is a small Catholic Church built in 1899. The walls were painted to teach Hawaiians the Catholic religion. The two sites give so much background into the spiritual lives of Hawaiians.
I remembered the farm stand with the leis for sale so we traveled back so I could buy one. There was a cooler where you could select a lei and a honesty box to pay. They were in pretty good condition and we put it in our cooler to keep until we returned to the condo.
We were hungry and it was about 1pm. It did not take long to tour both of the sites. We decided to head back to Kona to go to Kona Brewing. We found it after one or two wrong turns and of course there was a group waiting. But also many people leaving. We only had to wait about 15 minutes and got a seat outside.
We had a couple of the locally brewed beers that they did not bottle. Kona does much of their brewing and bottling on the mainland because of the cost to transport supplies and ingredients to the island. So that case we got at Costco was probably brewed in Woodinville just about 15 miles from where we live! G had a Castaway IPA and I had a Hula Hefeweizen. For lunch, I had a marlin sandwich and G a pizza. Later we split a fresh hopped season ale which was very tasty. Similar to an IPA but you could really tasty the tangy astringent flavor of the hops.
We went back to the condo, relaxed a little and went for a late afternoon swim in the Ocean pool. It was overcast so no sunset but a great way to end the day.