I woke up early, as usual in Hawaii, fully intending to go hike down the Captain Cook Monument Trail to the beach I had been unable to kayak to the previous afternoon. I had an appointment at 9:30 am, and I figured I had plenty of time to hike down and back up beforehand. But as I sipped my coffee on the back porch in the early morning light, I found myself wanting to linger. Why rush? Why not savor a tranquil moment in this delightful place, and just let the Captain Cook Monument go?
I entertained the temptation, and when the host Michael announced a breakfast of frittata, baked goods, and tropical fruit, I yielded. So I left a planned experience “on the table” as it were, but I don’t regret it for a minute. The B&B really was enchanting, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If I had to do it over again, I would have stayed two nights here and only one in Kailua-Kona.
When it was finally time to leave, I headed to my scheduled tour at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. This was completely different from the Buddha’s Cup farm I had toured the other day, or even the cocoa orchard. This was a 1940’s-era traditional farm that had belonged to a Japanese immigrant family and did everything – picking, drying, and grinding – the traditional way. Although I confess I don’t remember many of the technical details told me by the guide, it was fascinating to see the low-technology but ingenious devices they used as well as the house they lived in, decorated in traditional Japanese manner.
Although not cheap ($85, must be booked in advance), the tour was highly worth it because it was such a unique experience and I ended up getting a private tour from an affable and very knowledgeable guide because no-one else had booked that time slot. Of my three orchard/farm tours on the island, I would say Buddha’s Cup, while enjoyable, was probably the most dispensable – you’d get plenty of an enjoyable and educational experience with the cocoa orchard and this.
Leaving there, I swung by Kaaloa Super J’s again hoping for chicken laulau this time, but they were out, so I contented myself with more pork. Heading further south down the coast, the road wound on and on, until eventually I rounded the southern end of Mauna Loa and approached South Point Road.
Almost immediately after turning on South Point Road, I made an impromptu stop at Paradise Meadows Orchard and Bee Farm. This sounds like yet another “agritour,” but this one was a bit different. This was laid out more like a garden, with lots of different herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers growing in different areas. It was here that I learned that banana trees are technically not trees, but herbs!
They also had several beautiful tropical birds!
The tour was free, self-guided, enjoyable, and at the end there were lots of free samples of honey, chocolate, and cookies! Overall, I highly recommend stopping by this place.