Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The "Best" of Hawaii - Part Two

Venturing out from the coast one day, after snorkeling first, of course, we went in search of King Kamehameha's birthplace.  Our first stop was at an upcountry town called Waimea or as the locals called it, Kamuela.  The landscape quickly changed as we climbed our way into "cowboy" country.  Rolling hills, cooler weather and the largest cattle ranch, Parker Ranch, in the United States calls this area home.    The town of Waimea hugs the base of Mauna Kea, elevation, 13,796.  Yes, this is where you can snow ski in the winter!

We stopped, briefly at a farmer's market that was closing up shop.  One of the remaining vendors was "Pies in Paradise", manned by Fred and his lovely wife.  In his display case was sweet potato pie, chocolate macadamia nut pie, pecan and the one hubby chose, pumpkin pie.  We shared a slice, (what a tease) and it had to be one of the best I've tasted.  We vowed never to tell my mom who makes the best pumpkin pie in the U.S. on the mainland!  But, my mom makes hers with lots of love as an ingredient!

Fred and his pies!

We continued on, over the hilly eucalyptus lined road which reminded me of Monterrey, California.  A few miles ahead and we were in the tropics with lush palms, vine covered trees and waterfalls cascading from the hills.   The road hugged the coast but  only glimpses of the ocean were seen because  the dense foliage blocked the view.  The last stop (dead end) before we headed back for the day was Waipio Valley.  This is where I regret we didn't have our hiking shoes and clothes on.  The Waipio Valley is a sacred private area not easily accessed, except by 4 wheel drive, guided ATV's, horseback or on foot.   Just gazing at its beauty had to be enough, this time.  The only thing that would have made the area more majestic would have been  a misty rainbow framing the cliffs.  But wait! 

From the lookout at Waipio Valley

The rainbow appeared outside of Waimea town

As we drove a different way back to the resort, we took the high country road perched upon a ridge overlooking the ocean, where on a clear day, views appeared  of Haleakala on nearby Maui.  This was actually voted "the most beautiful drive in the world" by Travel Magazine.   Highway 250 dropped down into an area called Hawi-Kapaau, a small quaint Hawaiian town, the birthplace of the King Kamehameha. (the first one)

We continued back to our resort in anticipation of another awesome sunset!  Every day in Hawaii is a wonderful day!  More to come!

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