Trip around the island

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June 11th 2017
Published: June 11th 2017
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Jeanne and I took a tour day today. We headed out around 8:30 driving South on the lower highway. Went through a bunch of little towns along the way. Biggest town we went through is Captain Cook. This was his final, and I do mean final stop on his explorations for England. He had been here once before and was worshipped by the natives who had a legend of a God coming by a ship different from their canoes and rafts. Only problem was on the second stop he got injured and was bleeding and the natives got restless and killed him. There is a statue in a bay that can only be reached by boat or a long hard hike that commemorates his final resting place. Much further south we passed the turnoff for South Point, the real southernmost spot in the US. Check out a globe, it beats Key West by a long shot. There is also a green sand beach down in that area, but the only way to get to it is in a four-wheel drive vehicle over extremely rough terrain. Decided not my thing with my back but also told Jeanne it should come with a sign like the violent rides at theme parks. Between Captain Cook and the South Point turnoff the area is pretty rugged. The road passes though many old lava fields. Not a good place to walk and probably not to live. Very little shade and no real earth. After navigating the very winding road, we made our first stop at Puu'lani (not sure spelled right, if I back out of this to check it will take a long time to get back here, so guess you will just have to take my word. I can't be that far off). This is an amazing bakery in a little town as you start to drive along the bottom of the island. They make guava, taro and sweetbread loaves, sandwiches, and salads. There are a lot of souvenirs. But the best part is the cream puffs and malasadas. They sure beat anything else I have tried - foo on you Dunkin' Donuts, and even the marvelous King donuts we can get inTavares area do not hold a candle to these. They are a combination of yeast and cake donuts in texture and taste. The fillings are to die for though. I always get the vanilla, but they have chocolate and strawberry and puddings with local fruit flavors. After a photo op we hoped back in the car and headed to Hilo. On the way we passed Volcano National Park. Our destination- Big Island Candies. For those of you who like shortbread, imagine the cookie dough containing rich, buttery macadamia nuts - regular, chocolate, lemon or tropical fruit, made plain or diagonally dipped in white, milk or dark chocolate. Or for those of you who prefer, dipped first in caramel and then chocolate. They also have wonderful macadamia brownies dipped in milk or dark chocolate in flavors like peanut butter, salted caramel,, regular and red velvet. Can't you feel the pounds packing on? There were a lot of other things, like chocolate covered chips and Rice Krispies, ice cream and coffee. The ones that killed me were the Japanese favorites of chocolate covered dried fish and other assorted things. When we got there this morning there were two buses filled with Japanese tourists. Luckily they were leaving, but a lot of shelves needed restocking. After the obligatory photo op, back into the car and up the east coast through Hilo to Waimea. On the way we crossed bridges over many Hawaiian fjords, though they are not called that. This side of the island is the wet side and there are towering cliffs on the ocean's edge, waterfalls and deep ravines. There is also a lot of green. Our last stop was the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, three plus miles off the highway. Picked up rich Hawaiian vanilla beans for Gerri. They smell wonderful. If you are unaware, vanilla beans grow from a gpreen orchid, one bean to a flower. Last leg of the trip took us through the wet and dry sides of Waimea. Truly, you are driving through rain and beautiful green pastures and suddenly the rain stops and everything is brown and dry. Jeanne says it is that way all the time. Ride home was uneventful after we passed through the rain that showed up in the middle of the island, except for one strange site. In Hawaii, the concrete company basically strip mines old lava cones, which look like rounded hills with dry grass on it. Looks ugly when they do it, reminds me of a gaping wound. Well, anyway, we were coming up on one from the side and it looked pretty ugly, but... when we got to see the mining area straight on I had to laugh. It looked exactly like the head of Jabba the Hut. The hole was straight across about halfway we the mound and above it were two areas that looked like his eyes closed. Reminded me of when he was laughing at Han and Luke on his barge. it was a great day, got what I wanted and got to spend day with Jeanne. Until tomorrow, Aloha!


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