Since we’re not too far from the southern tip of the island, we ventured out of the jungle and drove south in search of a new adventure. Within one day (actually, within an hour and a half) we visited the rainforest, a volcano and a desert. The Big Island has a climate and landscape for every taste. Even snow… but coming from Canada, Court and I have zero interest in that filth.
We originally planned an entire day dedicated to exploring the south shore beaches, but we were easily distracted by
something shiny the Volcanoes National Park sign. We drove in, paid the admission fee and then realized, “Wait. What are we doing here? Aren’t we supposed to be at the beach, and saving the park for another day?” I blame the vog and high altitude for my disoriented state. Since we were already at the volcano, we drove up to the view the steam vents and smouldering crater.
It was very windy and neither of us were adequately dressed. We went from +30 celsius to +5. My body thought it was back in Canada and began dying, so after snapping a few shots and touring the visitors center, we were back on track. To the beach at once!
Within minutes, we were driving across the Ka’u desert, which transcended into sprawling green pastures. The grass here is lime green. I don’t get it.
We arrived at Punalu’u beach shortly after. It’s the Big Island’s most famous black sand beach, and a great place to view turtles.
The absolute best: eating fruit under a coconut palm.
After enjoying a picnic lunch and a sunbathing session, Court and I headed up the road to another beach park. But first things first: I needed fresh plumerias for my hair.
During our travels, we stumbled upon the Punalu’u Bake Shop in Na’alehu. Actually our noses guided us – we smelled fresh donuts and baking bread from across the street. Court and I are like bloodhounds when it comes to food!
I wasn’t in the mood for sugar (?), and opted for an iced Ka’u coffee. If I would’ve been in the mood for something sweet, I probably would’ve ordered a coconut turnover or lilikoi glazed donut. I did sample a piece of taro bread though (yum!) Court got a Bismarck and an iced coffee. He’s a chocolatey-dessert person. I’m more of a vanilla/fruity person.
We enjoyed our treats in the bakeshops courtyard and people watched. When we head to Kona in a few weeks, I’d like to stop by there again for that turnover I never ate.
It was nearly dinnertime when we got home, and we created another delicious meal using ingredients purchased from the farmers market.
Coconut crusted chicken with pineapple salsa, roasted Japanese purple yam and papaya avocado salads.
I keep saying we need to open a food truck while we’re here – we make amazing food. A taco/ice cream truck. Yes.