Monday, January 17, 2011

Makalawena, Pololu Valley and Hawi

This has been a great week for us, filled with radventure and new sights!

We left Hilo on Monday to go to our new farm and found it to be more than adequate. Our hosts are a lovely couple, Norm and Lisa. Norm is a direct descendant on Kamehameha, the first Hawaiian Chief to unite the Hawaiian Islands. She is a feisty little powerhouse of a woman! Lisa is a sweet, intuitive lady and a great cook (chocolate coconut creme pie!) originally from Tennessee.

They have 20 acres of land outside of the town Na'alehu in the southern part of the island. It is considerably drier here than back up in Hilo/Puna area. The farm is in the early stages of growing pineapples, tomatoes and many other tasty things. We have to be careful to not wander off of the paths because there is a lava tube running through the land and if you are not careful you can fall into a puka (hole) 50 ft deep! There is also a beautiful Ohia forest and many native plants.

We worked two long days weeding and cleaning house and then we were set free to wander the island again. Our hosts gave us a ride up to Kekaha Kai State park north of the Kona airport where we hiked to the beach over a field of chunky a'a lava. We took a break by the abandoned Magoon house and kept on north over more lava to the hidden treasure of Makalawena Beach. We swam and watched the sunset and camped in the trees. In the morning we were woken up by the wild goats that wander around that area. It's private land and the caretaker nicely told us that we wouldn't get away with camping there another night.

So we hiked back out to the highway, scoring five young coconuts on the way! Jay got a wasp sting through his shirt but I think he would say it was worth it. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and it super thirst quenching.

I was watching the planes fly overhead while we tried to hitchhike northwards and feeling homesick for Canada knowing that we are flying out of that airport in two months. We were told it is more difficult to hitchhike on Kona side due to most of the traffic being tourists but we only waited about fifteen minutes and a white Mustang convertible pulled over! The most obvious of tourist rental cars!

I knew the driver, Kevin, was a Canadian within five minutes of chatting with him. Mostly because his sentences were punctuated with the f-word. We blasted some classic rock tunes including Loverboy and he drove us to Hapuna Beach, a beach often judged the best in the country. And it was so nice! After a swim and some sun we all went to get food farther up the coast.

After local grass-fed beef burgers (yum!) Kevin graciously drove us to our next camping destination, Pololu Valley. What a great guy! I got my taste of Canada after all. At the Pololu Lookout we ran into some cool kids including a girl from Salt Spring Island and then we ventured down into the valley.

This was a perfect spot for camping! I'll post photos soon! Black sand beach, sand dunes covered in tall trees and a lake in behind. There are no facilities, you have to bring all of your own water but it is not crowded at all and is entirely mystical!

When we hiked out the next day we got a ride back into Hawi with yet another Canadian from Vancouver Island. We had planned to hitchhike to Hilo but after two and a half hours we gave up and went back to Hawi to get a hotel room. Nothing beats a bed and a hot shower after a week of working hard, hiking hard and sleeping in hammocks. Hawi is a pretty little town in North Kohala. We plan on coming back up here to whale watch (they mate and calve between here and Maui) and do some more camping before we leave.

We have almost made it around the whole island! Three sleeps until star mountain!

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