A fascinating fruit at the Farmers Market near Hilo. It looked better than it tasted, though.
October 9: Today we visited the Farmers Market just outside of Pahoa, the town closest to us. This town looks very old and is inhabited by a lot of hippies. There are tattoo shops, pizza shops and places to buy tie-dyed clothes, incense, flowers, island fruits and marijuana. The Farmer's Market, however, was a little different. There were varieties of everything, including orchids of all kinds and some interesting typical Hawaiian eats. I actually bought most of my souvenirs here, cause the prices and the variety of goods were great. I took lots of pictures of the beautiful orchids for sale. I also encountered “dragon fruit” which is the prettiest fruit I have ever seen. This fruit had an outer skin which, except for the rainbow colors, looked like an artichoke. Inside, the fruit was mushy and a pale green, resembling a kiwi. To me it had little flavor and was not as good as a kiwi. I had more fun photographing it than eating it.
Another Hawaiian snack I tried was a “spam” sandwich. It was nothing like the canned meat by that name that we buy on the mainland. This was some kind of fish mixture. One bite
One of the beautiful orchid plants at the Farmers Market.
was all it took to get rid of that!!! (Well, I always said I'd try anything once! I'm getting wiser about that statement, though.) I watched a pretty young Hawaiian woman and her mother make some kind of soup at their booth. It looked interesting, but I didn't try it. By the way, in the photo I took of the two of them, you will see the young lady waving one hand in a fist with the thumb and little finger extended. We learned later that this is the sign of “aloha”. Naturally, we stated waving aloha to the people we would see. I bought some lovely postcards of things I knew I wouldn't get to take pictures of and some note cards with copies of painting by some artists well known on the islands. It was a wonderful day, in spite of the fact that it rained most of the time we were at the market.
October 10—Today we drove back into Hilo again. We visited Hilo Hatties, a well-known tourist attraction in town. We each received a shell necklace as we entered and took pictures in front of a huge Hawaiian shirt on the wall. The store
One of many varieties of ginger that grow in Hawaii. This plant was for sale at the Market.
is known for all the Hawaiian souvenirs they sell—everything from macadamia nuts to sarongs, shirts, dresses, hats, candy etc. I thought most things were pricey, but did find some pretty yellow leis and an angel in an Hawaiian print dress. I looked for a sarong, but couldn't find anything I liked in my price range.
After leaving Hilo Hatties, we drove up to coast a bit to visit the botanical gardens we had missed the other day. As it turned out, I was the only one to walk the gardens, due to the length of the walk and the heat. The others stayed in the air-conditioned gift shop. I was absolutely enthralled by the gardens. I found by reading the brochure there are over 1400 varieties of ginger species and only a few of them actually produce the spice used in cooking and herbal medicine. This garden had a large number of species to view. Their second most prolific plants were the bromeliads. I have never cared for these kinds of plants that much, but there were certainly some beautiful ones here. There were not as many orchid plants as I had hoped to see, but other varieties of
Mother and daughter preparing Hawaiian plate lunches at the Farmers Market. The sign the daughter is making with her right hand says "Aloha."
tropical flora made up for it.
The gardens are located on an inlet of the ocean that is quite beautiful. There are several stories and legends about the area in which the gardens are located. The story of the twin rocks in the middle of the water of the inlet is about how two lovers sacrificed themselves to become rocks guarding the inlet. By doing so, they prevented enemy war canoes from entering the inlet to attack the village on the shore. There is a plaque on the shoreline which commemorates the heroic lovers and tells the story.
The shoreline of the gardens also features a blow hole where the water enters a cave like area in the rock and spews out the hole with a funny sound. I watched that and tried to get a picture of the spray being spewed out of the hole.
On the way back to our house from sightseeing, we stopped in a candy and cookie factory in Hilo. Along with hordes of other tourists, we stocked up on expensive cookies and candies of every kind of flavor.
Also on the way home, we made one more stop—this time at
Wild Flowers Hawaii Style
Flowers picked up along the roadside grace the vase bought at the Market.
the Lava Tree State Park. All of us were curious about what “lava trees” were. We discovered that when the hot lava flows, it sometimes covers objects without setting them on fire. The lava trees are large stumps or trunks of trees that did not burn completely, but left a ghostly black trunk or stump rising from the rest of the flow. After a few years, green ferns and other plants grow in the lava soil, but the black “tree” is still there, now known as a lava tree.
October 11—Today was a rest day. We got up late and had a leisurely breakfast. We got our bathing suits on and gathered up some beach equipment, make a picnic lunch and headed to the warm pool down the road from us. We were right in thinking it would not be as crowded during the week as it was the previous weekend.
I spent more time out of the water, preferring to take pictures, instead. When I did go in I found the water a pleasantly warm temperature. I can't say it was refreshing; it was about the same temperature as the air. But it was nice to relax
A statue that sits on top of a wall around one of the vacation houses near the beach.
and float in it. The residents of the area swear that swimming in this pool on a regular basis is good for arthritis. The pool is created by springs coming from the heated interior of the volcano. The heat is moderated by the water coming in a narrow inlet from the ocean. The pool is very clear and there were some people snorkeling. We spent several hours there.
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