When traveling I have learned that some days you just need to reset and start over the next day. That is what happened on Sunday – the pouring rain took it’s toll and as much as I hate to waste a day it was best to just pack it in. On the upside, our hotel had an “art museum” which was basically an installation of one native’s paintings depicting the history of the area.
We woke up Monday morning and there was a slight glimmer of sun in the sky and we were ready to set out. The plan was to head to the southern most place we wanted to see and work out way back north, ending up at our cousin’s house near Mauna Kea Beach. Our first stop was Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park. This was an area of refuge which was used by the Hawaiian people. What remains is a giant wall that was built on the sea and many other ruins. It is on the shores of lava rocks and is quite scenic. We started with the ranger talk. The ranger was very fun and had lots of good information. We then headed out to explore the ruins. I did some hiking on the lava rocks until I ran into some bugs and the rocks got slippery where they were getting wet. It was a perfect day for this because it was still slightly overcast so we were not fried in the sun.
Next stop was St. Benedict Church or the Painted Church. Oddly this was one of the best marked stops we have made. The inside church walls were painted with various Bible stories by the Belgian priest who was bringing Catholicism to the islands. It was a little, old church and I was delighted to find a statute of St. Bernadette out front. The paintings were very cool. I had visited another painted church in Germany a number of years ago and I was very pleasantly surprised to find this one was nothing like the church in Germany which was definitely different. The church had a table set up and was selling Christmas ornaments and other religious souvenirs on a honor system. It also had some really nice gardens.
Then we tried to the find the Captain Cook monument look out and were not at all successful. From what I read it is an obelisk and I’ve seen one or two of those so I was not overly concerned. By this time I was starving and we pulled into a McD’s for an iced tea and I had to try the taro pie. Taro is a very popular crop here. It had a kind of purple tint to it and I’m not exactly sure what it tasted it like but it was fun to try!
I then stopped at a yarn store (see separate post) and our last stop was at the King’s Shops. My Dad had seen a watch made of koa wood in one of the tourist magazines and loved it. Only one store sells them so we found that store and he got his watch. We also grabbed a bite to eat at a fish and chips place. And then we headed to our cousin’s house for the night.
Kona, take 2 was much better than day 1 and it is all much different than Oahu. Heading to the other side of the island next!