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Published: January 8th 2022
Actually, we wanted to sleep in a bit, but by 6:30 the birds were in full crescendo, and then a francolin sitting on our roof was very noisy. It’s about the size of a partridge. Between him and the wild turkeys, no one sleeps in.
So, after our usual toasted English muffin and guava jam, we started off at the seashore just down the mountain road, near the airport. The sea didn’t look too rough until it crashed against the rocks. It was a lovely area, and already there were a handful of people sketching and painting the little cove with the very white spray. Where we walked was also a sacred Hawaiian burial space, with mounds of lava rock.
Then we headed north to the Kohala Peninsula, past Mauna Kea resort, which was the furthest north we had gone before on the coastal road. Before heading into the hill country of cows, horses, and Paniolos, we spent about 20 minutes wandering around King Kamehameha’s heiau, a sacred place for worship and events he had built. Pu’ukohola Heiau. Built in 1790-91, he had sent his wife’s grandmother to a kahuna to ask how he could conquer Hawai’i. The kahuna
said if he built a fabulous temple to his war god, he would win. Thousands of “volunteers” worked, carrying boulders from miles away, and were routinely sacrificed. Nearby was the homestead of an English sailor, John Young, from Liverpool, who was accidently stranded here around that time – he became a trusted advisor of King Kamehameha’s.
We drove maybe 30 mins inland, into Waimea, 2600’ up. We stopped at a local café for an amazing “moa” – grilled bun with mozzarella cheese and chicken with pesto sauce, and a curried squash soup. Add the latte and you had a meal we shared, for about $25. When the English gifted king Kamehameha a bull and a few cows, they became “kapu” for 10 years – no one could touch them, let alone eat them. But by 1815 the herds were so huge they were dangerous, so the King hired American John Parker to manage them. Parker married the king’s granddaughter and obviously did very well for himself. I think I read that the Parker ranch is over 120,000 acres. Also, 3 Mexican cowboys were soon brought over to teach locals how to manage the herds. They are called paniolos. At
this altitude you see miles of rolling grassy hills. (it sits on the oldest of the islands 5 volcanoes too.)
We finally descended from the heights onto the north coast, first heading east to see the original statue of King Kamehameha and the beautiful rugged coast line. Time for a rest for ice cream overlooking the sea. Then on to the Airport in Hawi where we sat admiring Haleakala (Maui is just 30 miles away) and 2 humpback whales. Great disappointment on the way back to Kona! We had googled one of the best places to get Portuguese donuts, called Malasadas, found this exclusive Food truck, and the sign said “sorry sold out”! We got back to our area in time for one more visit to the birding area (still lots of waves and no birds), and a quick trip to the grocery store for more buns. Dinner was toasted taro buns with cheese and tomato, what a surprise. We call this pattern of eating the Carbohydrate Intensive! Starting January 12th
there will a return to an eating plan that is rather more conventional. Time to do laundry too at last!
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