Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
This park was really neat! In ancient times, the punishment for breaking a law was death and the pu'uhonua was a place of refuge. The park houses temples, coastal fishing sites, fishponds, and the stone wall within which one could seek refuge. Since this was a burial place at one point, it is still considered sacred ground and there were multiple signs and postings.
|Check out the waves! We snorkeled in this water on the other side of a jetty (not|
visible in this photo) after we finished touring the park.
|The break within the wall at the back of the park|
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This was probably the #1 place on my list for Hawaii. Unfortunately, the weather on the southeast side of the island was not optimal for our entire stay so we didn't have the prettiest day at the park. We hiked the Crater Rim Trail which was about 4 miles in total. It started with lush rain forests with a somewhat steep decent into the lava field. And as you can imagine, the trail ended with a steep ascent back up to the place where we started. Along the way, we saw incredibly lush vegetation, steam vents on the lava field, and the Thurston lava tubes. After our hike, we saw the active steam vents of the Halema'uma'u Crater and spent some time at the Jagger Museum learning more about the history of volcanoes in Hawaii.
|At the beginning of our hike, overlooking the lava fields. You can faintly see the |
overlook here and if you look closely you can see rain falling in this photo.
|We hiked across this lava field|
|The pyramid-like rock formations acted as trail markers|
|Adam took some neat panoramic shots of the entire crater|
We were lucky to be able to do some great snorkeling at the beach at our resort. We also snorkeled at Two Step, which is the area adjacent the Point of Refuge. My favorite part of snorkeling was seeing the turtles. I just couldn't get enough of those creatures!
|Our favorite snorkeling spot at our resort|
Surprisingly Akaka Falls is the largest free standing waterfall in the U.S. Yes, it's bigger than Niagara Falls. We took a quick trip to the park that included a trail with access to two waterfalls and some gorgeous foliage.
|At the beginning of the trail in the park|
|I wish the photo captured the sound of the water...|
it was deafening!
|One baby waterfall at the end of the trail|
We hadn't planned on touring a coffee plantation but figured if an opportunity presented itself, we would be on board. After spending the morning and early afternoon at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau and Two Step, we passed Greenwell Farms on our way back to the resort. It had really great reviews on Trip Advisor so we stopped in. Before the tour, we wandered around a bit and enjoyed sampling their wide variety of Kona coffees, some that were flavored and some that were not. Our favorite turned out to be the Macadamia Nut. It has the perfect amount of flavor but isn't candy-like, if that makes sense.
Our tour guide, John was really knowledgeable about the farm and about Kona Coffee. To have authentic Kona coffee, the beans must be grown in the Kona region, which is quite small - 3 miles by 26 miles. He told us that many local residents have several coffee trees in their yards and they can bring beans for Greenwell Farms to process. I thought that was pretty interesting! In addition to seeing coffee trees on the tour, we saw many other fruit trees including mango, orange, banana, and avocado.
|Rows of coffee trees. See the red fruit? Those are the coffee |
"cherries." Each one has two coffee beans inside that are dried
and then roasted.