Our B&B, ‘A beautiful edge of the world’, certainly is, with its sweeping views onto virgin land and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond.
The meow of the resident cat, cardinals, house finches on top of the banana palms, glowing red in the sun, greet us and the new day.
The red jungle fowl are scratching about below…. we’re in a veritable jungle of verdant flourishing plant life.
Breakfast is fresh fruit based on the availability in this part of the world – pineapple, papino, star fruit, melon. Light and refreshing.
The Sunday market in Captain Cook attracts us where we taste a few treats -malasadas, a type of deep-fried fritter, served piping hot with cinnamon sugar; more pineapple shave, which is iced pineapple juice; coconut cake made from fresh coconut and salt & pepper macadamias. There are many delightful arts and crafts for purchase – intricate and inlaid woodwork, jewellery, orchids and a variety of art.
To explore Captain Cooks memorial we travel to Kealakekua Bay, a marine life conservation area, from where we hire a canoe to paddle the 3km to the site where he was killed by the Hawaiians on 14th February 1779.
After yesterday’s deluge of rain, the weather is glorious, and we set forth with intrepid spirit.
However, we must look a little hard for wear as a beautiful motorboat pulls up alongside to offer us each an ice-cold beer. There are 8 Australians from Perth on board who have relocated to Hawaii. They share their local knowledge of the best snorkelling spots, we discuss the rugby and SA’s wonderful win and we’re off again to explore this calm, clear, sparkling bay filled with its schools of yellow and orange fish, sea urchins and sea anemones. We don’t spot any turtles, green or hawk, or the little Harlequin dolphins usually found here.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is a National Historic Park. It is one of four national historic sites on this island, all linked to the cultural roots of the Hawaiians. To date we haven’t explored much of the cultural background despite enjoying the cuisine and lifestyle.
In a nutshell, around about 1000 CE Polynesians arrived from the Marquesas islands 2400 miles south. They voyaged back and forth between Hawaii and eastern Polynesia and Tahiti until the 1400’s after which they lived in isolation here, growing and spreading, enforcing sacred laws (kapu) and establishing this ‘Place of Refuge’, or a place of purification for those who break the laws. In the 1600’s all Hawaiians were united under one Ali’i, or Chief, and eventually in the late 1700’s Hawaii is ruled by the all-powerful Kamehameha. On his death, the practice of kapu declines and it ultimately falls away. By the early 1800’s Christian missionaries arrive.
St Benedict’s church, our sons’ school’s name, built in
1843, is a little further on. It is known as the Painted church due to the hand
painted interior by a Belgian priest who used the six panels as an aid to his
spiritual teachings for those Hawaiians who could not read or write.
At this stage we are still on the southern coast of Big Island, the tip of which is the southernmost point of the whole of the United States, and now we turn eastwards, first passing the Green sand beach and the jet Black sand beach at Punaluu and then on to a much needed local ale at Nehe’s
On arrival in Volcano, back on the wetter side of the
island, a Sunday, not much is open and a dinner recommendation leads us, in the
rain, to KILAUEA LODGE & RESTAURANT This lodge was established as a YMCA in
1938. In the dining room is a rather lovely friendship fireplace.