Thursday, March 25, 2010

the kona coast...

The sunny Kona Coast stretches for about 60 miles along the Big Island’s lava-lined western coast...the leeward side. Here you will find everything from coffee farms to historic Hawaiian landmarks....and lots of tourists.

They come by boat or by plane...there is no other way!

We stayed in the town of Kailua-Kona...sort of the heart-beat of the area. Most everything in and about the town is old.

Mokuaikaua Church is Hawaii’s earliest Christian Church...built in 1820. Their slogan says...'but we are young at heart in the Lord!'

Across the street from the church is the Hulihee Palace...once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty...built in 1838.

I enjoyed wandering through this beachside cemetery...a most peaceful spot to be laid to rest. I'm thinking the grave markers have not withstood the assault of the sea all that there was not a name or date to be read!

While the tourists snorkeled...the locals fished in the same bay. They seemed to know exactly how to snag the fish they were after...and in no time at all they left with their 'catch of the day'!

Kona coffee is one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. It is grown on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano. There are about 800 coffee farms in the area...the average being about five acres. Because Kona coffee is very is often blended with foreign beans. Pure Kona coffee was selling for about $20 a pound at most places. We, however, found a coffee dealer who was willing to part with his beans at a much more reasonable price.

At first we weren't sure if we had the right place...does this look like a coffee shop to you? The proprietor was a delightful old German guy...who regaled us with tales. We finally made our leave...and had a suitcase full of coffee beans and macadamia nuts. West Jet willingly flew them home for us. It was definitely the right place to make a deal!

Just north of Kailua-Kona is Hapuna Beach...where we went to play in the water...
...and others went to play in the sand.

After an afternoon of 'play'...he left for home and his artwork stayed behind. I'm wondering how long it lasted!

He wasn't the only one playing the sand. This little gal had sand flying in all directions...and I thought of a few grands back home that would have liked to join her!

We ate at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. one evening...and sat on the deck listening to the waves crashing below as we enjoyed our seafood. It all seemed vaguely familiar...and now I know why!

I flipped through an old album...and found the photo I was after. Exactly ten years ago...we ate at the same place...with the same friends...and sat at almost the same spot. We were there before sundown that time...and I see they have replaced their furniture.

My favorite time of day on the Kona coast has to be sundown! We watched amazing sunsets every day. The canoe clubs practice their outrigger skills every evening as the sun sets...and that was always a treat to watch.

And one last photo for today...that of an inukshuk on the Kona coast. We just had to leave our trademark behind. I'm wondering if it will last any longer than the sand sculpture? I'll be looking for it next time...maybe in ten years.

Lest you are tiring of all things Hawaii over here...have no fear. I'm almost done! Soon I will be replacing my banner with something that looks more like British Columbia in spring.

Have a great day...


  1. Beautiful pictures, Judy. I especially like the 'roof' of leaves over the palace. Dairymary

  2. Love your photos from your travels. Good for you for leaving an inukshuk behind.

  3. Can never tire of pictures of Hawaii, especially the Big Island! :-) I was thrilled to see the picture of your inukshuk because I was tryint to remember the name of those so I could tell my sister. We will be moving soon to a place that we will be able to do as we please on our property (no more community rules and regulations :-), and I want to build one. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  4. Judy, you two know how to make a trip a journey!
    I love to journey vicariously with you - I could smell the coffee beans in that wharehouse photo!
    A friend once brought us Kona coffee, and a cousin sends it now and again from Maui - what a treat!

  5. Once again I loved 'travelling' with you..and I'm still thinking about that coffee...mmmm

  6. The "ten years later" shot had me smiling. Occasionally we talk about the fact that we almost never return to a far away destination; there are just too many places that we still want to see!

  7. You know how to make the most of a vacation. I like that you left an inukshuk there. I hope it stays for a long time.

  8. I am so enjoying your Kona pictures - to think - my girl will be walking those beaches in a couple of weeks. She just bought a new camera - it takes underwater pictures too - I know I'll enjoy following her adventures on Kona - just as I have yours!

  9. oh the photos are just beautiful and I am ready to hop on a plane and go see. .
    Thanks Judy.

  10. I never tire of reading your travel stories or looking at your photos Judy. You always make everything look and sound most enticing! I could almost smell those Kona coffee beans...mmmmm. I love the photo of the outrigger at dusk beautiful!

  11. Seriously, these posts have made Hawaii come alive for me. The island seems to create a peaceful calmness, especially the sunsets. By the way, you did not seem to age in the 10 years between the two pictures...lucky you! Do not apologize for sharing the pictures. It is better than the National Geographic Magazine...more personal.

  12. Loved seeing pictures of your dream trip. The mosaic of flowers was beautiful. I can just smell the Kona coffee--wish I had a cup right now.

  13. My family left Pennsylvania in 1995 to join the University of the Nations in K-town. I graduated from high school there in Holualoa, and this is such a sweet reminder of the beautiful place we were lucky enough to call home...


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson