May 21, 2016 – We started our day with great espresso drinks and bagels (and avocado) at the Waimea Coffee Company. They don’t have a ton of tables, but we had no problem finding a spot to eat outside. Tony enjoyed an everything bagel with egg, cheese, bacon, and avocado, while Louisa had an everything bagel with cream cheese, veggies and pesto. The pesto was also very good.
Today was a driving day, exploring a few different sites in north Hawaii. First up was Puukohola Heiau, about 20 minutes from out lodging. Yes, we drove there with the convertible top down, the weather was perfect. The heiau is still very important to native Hawaiians, and only people there for religious ceremonies can enter the ruins. The rest of us can walk pretty close to them though, and also follow the short trail towards the water. Historians think the protected cove used to be the site of an older town/center of power, but nothing remains of it now.
Instead of going right back to the car we kept walking through a little park, apparently people can just set up their campsites wherever they want. A handful of people were enjoying the gorgeous weekend by the little beach. That beach was perfect – beautiful water, white sand, shade, and a foot rinse station.
Along Rt 270 we found a random beach with white and black volcanic rock, so we stopped to take a few photos and admire the turquoise water before continuing on to Lapakahi State Historical Park. It’s the site of an old settlement, with old building foundations and a beautiful view. Also, flies. Lots and lots of flies.
By now it was raining, so we stopped at Kohala Coffee Mill in Hawi for a coconut macaroon, a mocha and a cafe au lait. By then the rain had stopped, so we headed over to the Pololu Valley Overlook. We found a parking spot, got our hiking shoes on, and almost immediately realized that the trail was going to be a little too slick for us.
Instead we drove back into town to get lunch at Sushi Rock. We were hungry and everything looked good, so we got ahi nigiri and the Waimea platter. The ahi was fabulous, with a dab of wasabi underneath the fish. The platter was a chef’s choice selection of four rolls, including spicy tuna, mahi, the hokey pokey with ahi poke, shrimp, cucumber, lime aioli, and cilantro, and unagi.
After lunch we parked by the airport a few minutes away and walked to within site of the Mo’okini Heiau. There is a road, but it’s really best for four wheel drive vehicles. By then we were ready to head back through the hills, taking a shortcut to Waimea. Our destination for dinner was at Luna’s, a very nice Italian restaurant with fantastic home made pasta and good garlic bread.