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Above Waimea - 4 August 2017


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We packed up and said goodbye to our mosquitoes, and grumbled a little at the fellow who will make an appearance here after dinner for his failure to keep up with their abatement. We both got bitten pretty badly, and are happy to have moved along to a cottage on a ranch 3,000 feet up the North Kohala mountains, with an amazing view ... but I'm getting ahead of the story. You'll see more about Maile's Cottage starting below.

 

I have been trying to get a good picture of these showy fellows since we got to Hawaii. We had 'em in Kauai, and here's one again on the wall of our Bali Cottage. I also have a good close-up of the gecko's tail and hind legs that I want to put in here, but for reason beyond my comprehension I am no longer able to put insets into code. Maybe it's my crappy internet? Sorry.

 

We stopped in Na'alehu for a snack from the southernmost bakery in the United States -- this little chunk of Hawaii is the farthest south place in the US.


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We spent the day driving around the Big Island counter-clockwise, across the most volcanically active place on the island. Over the area where lava is pushing into the sea, there was a mighty cloud, and all through Hawaii Volcano National Park it was raining ...so no pictures of Halemaumau. This image is of the Kau and Puna districts of Hawaii, the windward, stormy, far south, looking northeast toward the presently active part of the Volcano.

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Hilo for lunch, a favorite restaurant right in the middle of the downtown, Pesto. We knew we had a big dinner in store, and so we went light: two beautiful salads with fresh local lettuce.


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North from Hilo along the Hamakua Coast. For a short stretch we were able to travel on the old Mamalahoa Highway, the original road from Hilo to what was then called Waimea, the seat of the Parker Ranch and our day's destination -- well, close.

We had time to take the side trip to the Waipio Valley overlook, another sentimental destination. Many years ago, we walked down the steep 4-wheel drive track to the valley with our packs on, and stayed overnight at Tom Araki's motel -- sadly no longer extant.

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Many years ago, we five -- Rochelle, Chad, Sienna, Damiana, and I -- walked 2,000 vertical feet down the steep 4-wheel drive track to the valley with our packs on, and stayed overnight at Tom Araki's motel -- sadly no longer extant -- and then walked back up the next day. A memorable visit.

Today, no heroic, jus back through Honoka'a and up the hill to Kamuela, and a bit beyond, then further up the North Kohala Mountains to Maile's Cottage, tucked in a little fold of the mountains with a view forever to the south.

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What you see is 50 miles of western Big Island coastline, both Kohalas, and in the blurry distance, Keahole point, where Kona Airport is located. Kealakekua Bay is about 20 miles south out of sight around the corner (even if the seeing was clearer, but this coast is cursed with vog (Volcano fog) and smog even on its best days. We'll hope for a clear view of Mauna Kea (off to the left)

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<p>Back down to town, and Red Water...

Back down to town, and Red Water for a reprise on a dinner we had in 2011 ... and it worked! If anything, the place is better than it was then. We started with a Kamuela Beet Salad with amazing pickled Maui onions, and a bowl of tomato coconut bisque. Rochelle got her Fuji Roll, a fat tuna sushi roll delicately deep fried. The chef's special was Mahi Mahi in a lovely sauce. We were stuffed, so we had them set us up with a flourless chocolate cake to go.

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