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The Big Island, part 2

Old May 20th, 2010, 08:35 AM
  #1  
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The Big Island, part 2

On Wednesday, we were out of the wilderness and on our way to part 2 of the vacation. We drove by VPN ranger station to report that we were safe. Then, we drove to Jaegar Museum to see the caldera. After that, we headed to Napoopoo.

Napoopoo is a little community situated on Kealakekua Bay. In 9 years of exploring the island, this was one place that I had not stayed and I only drove by it once. My thinking was it would be a good/quiet place to recovery from the rigors of backpacking. I was right.

We rented an ohana unit about a block from Manini Beach. It was a newer house and very reasonable in price. There was nothing fancy about the unit but is was clean, new and perfect for our needs. It was also very quiet. After procuring our food at the nice grocery store on the highway, we sequestered ourselves for three days.

On Thursday, we started exploring Napoopoo. First we went to Manini Beach. Not really a beach anymore, but there is a decent entrance to the water for snorkelers. The park there is very pretty and a great place for sunset pictures. Next we walked to the pier and reviewed the kayak situation. Finally we walked to the heiau. I was surprised by how large it was. I also met the lovely Aka who was the keeper of the heiau and sold a few Hawaiian crafts. We had a long talk as we quickly discovered when had mutual friends on the island. At the end of our discussion, she gave us a jar of Mac honey. It was ono! That afternoon we drove to the Farmer’s Cooperative. A word of advice, their chocolate Mac nuts are addictive. Later that afternoon we returned to Manini for a snorkel. The bay between Manini and the pier seems to be very rough on corral, but the fish were present and the eels were amazing. Saw a white mouth eat a large file fish and a zebra eel just swimming on the bottom.

Friday we were feeling a little less sore, so we headed for two-step. We parked at Place of Refuge and walked to the steps. It was an excellent snorkel. I am torn as to which is better two-step or Keauhou Landing. Without deciding, the water clarity and the fish were impressive as usual. The coral is big, diverse and magical. It was a fantastic hour or two of snorkeling. If you love to snorkel, this is the place. It’s the best place in the islands to which one can drive, but go early.

Next we walked over to the National Park and we hiked the tax trail. It’s only .9 one way and was a very enjoyable small hike. At the very end of the hike (mid-point) we walk through an abandon village area with another beautiful heiau. After the hike we did the obligatory walked through the park. This is a must stop. I walk it every time I am in the area.

Friday night we made reservation at the Kee’i Café. I am not sure why but some locals (on other boards) don’t like this place. I always enjoy it and find the prices to be very reasonable. The wine list is decent. The list was not a good as last time I was there, but at least there are a few Italian, Aussie, and French wines as well as the standard Cali. The food was very good. BTW, this is a cash only place, but they now have an ATM on premises.

On Saturday, we returned our car to the airport, got a taxi and headed to Kona Village Resort for the last part of our vacation.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Very interesting report, Bill. Now I eagerly wait to see the part about Kona Village, since I just got back yesterday. (And you missed some REALLY interesting events.)
David
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:45 PM
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jcb
 
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I enjoying your report!!!
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:46 PM
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jcb
 
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oops - I AM enjoying your report!!
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Old May 24th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Come on, David, spill! What REALLY interesting events???????
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Old May 24th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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OK, OK... For the Remember When reunion they unrolled the tapa cloth that was draped for years over the beams in the Hale Moana. It was significant because the tapa, which was the largest tapa in the world at the time-- 90' x 14'-- was presented to KVR by the Queen of Tonga in 1969. It became tattered and faded and had to be taken down and put in storage. (I'm going to add a page in my website devoted to it). The other event was a group brought over from Hilo to entertain at the special lu'au. I'd never seen dancing like that--completely authentic, and from a school that has been teaching that style for seven generations. I'm going to devote a page to them as well, but it will take a week or two to put it together. Enjoy your stay! I'm home, but my brain is still there...
David
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