I woke up several times in the night because of the unfamiliar surroundings and because I’m a pee-three-times-a-night kind of gal. Kai was awake at 4am and when I woke up more reasonably at 7am, she was gone. I found her on the lanai with the cats taking sound recordings of the birds, and we had a conversation about leaving me alone in strange places. We decided to get a start on our day so had a shower together in the outdoor shower, standing on lava rocks. So refreshing. It was very obvious we were not in Ontario anymore, which was exactly what we wanted.
On our way backtracking to a farmer’s market, we pulled off the road to check out a little side road, and it was a great instinct, because a trail we took led us to a beautiful rocky landscape by the sea where a hole in the rocks led to a giant geyser spewing water up every fifty waves or so. We got some great photos before we left for the farmer’s market, where we spent an awesome morning.
We bought macadamia nuts (a major crop in Hawai’i), honey, an avocado, a smoothie to share, sandwiches, and Kai bought a coconut to drink!
We then ventured into a drug store which was more like a grocery story. I had to use the bathroom – the women’s was out of order so I used the men’s. I learned then something that got reinforced many times during our stay in Hawai’i: the standards to which Canadian bathrooms are kept are probably among the highest in the world. The bathrooms in Hawai’i were almost never in good shape. This one was particularly bad. There was no toilet paper so I had to use a paper toilet seat cover to wipe, which my behind did not thank me for, and then I had to debate whether the act of touching the faucet, soap, and towel would leave me cleaner in the end.
Sunscreen and a toothbrush for Kai were on our list. I got some $16 organic reef-friendly sunscreen after much debate with my very frugal love, and we got some snacks as well. At the checkout, a Hawai’ian woman was checking out but didn’t have enough in her account for the pop she had purchased so I bought it for her. That led to a really nice conversation about paying it forward and kind gestures. I don’t care if the person that I pay for ‘scams’ me – that’s on them. On my end, I did a universally good thing and that’s what’s important. I can’t let myself get bogged down in assuming the intentions of others. Life is too short!
We took a long time driving down random side roads and seeing what the neighbourhoods were like. People had such lovely gardens! We drove by the Painted Church but didn’t go in.
We made a quick detour to Kaelakekua Bay Park, which was really gorgeous. I love the way the gloomy skies brought so much depth to the photos. We got pretty wet here, between the rain and the waves crashing up on the sidewalk we had to traverse to get to the stony part of the beach.
We stopped for a bit to figure out where to eat, and we were stalked by the most persistant rooster I’ve ever seen. It followed us around the car, stood by the car when we were inside, and would not leave our side, even running after us when we began to drive away! For whatever, I accidentally called it turkey more than once, so that became it’s name. And whenever we saw another rooster or a chicken, we would ask if it knew Turkey. None answered i the affirmative, but chickens are no snitches.
At 4pm, we went to a restaurant called Patz Pies for dinner. Because they had wifi, we were there for about 2.5 hours (we asked if that was okay). We had a delicious spring salad and a pizza, and we worked on our map to decide what our next few days would look like. We were circling the island widdershins, with the airport being on the Western side, so we moved south. There was so much happening and so many things to see, and we hadn’t even left Captain Cook! We had to get a move on or we’d be rushed.
We decided to spend that night in the car. Earlier in the day when we’d been driving around, we drove through an open gate into a development. There were hardly any homes there and though there were signs for an Open House, we never did see it! Now, looking for somewhere secluded to park for the night, our GPS led us to a trailhead that happened to be in that same subdivision. Because there was a trailhead, and because the initial gate was open, we assumed it would be okay to enter. We drove for about five minutes before reaching the end, a tiny circular parking lot with entry to the trail which led to Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, the Place of Refuge. According to Wikipedia and also the signs we read,
“The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawai’ians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or puʻuhonua. The offender would be absolved by a priest and free to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle.”
We didn’t see anyone else either time we’d been there. We organized our things and got the back of the Soul set up to sleep in. We only had my one camping inflatable to share but our plan was to plant it beneath our hips.
Before bed, we decided to see what the trail was like. Though it was getting dark, we explored it for about 500m. Unlike Ontario where most stones are smooth and slippery when near water, in Hawai’i they are rough, jutting, and angular. This is what the trail was made of. We turned around when we could no longer see at all without the flashlight, and let it light the way back. Our beam of light landed on a gecko, which stopped in the middle of its scurry. We looked at it and then I moved Kai’s hand with the flashlight away for a split-second and then back, and in that split-second, that gecko was gone! We didn’t even see the tip of its tail leave the scene. It was hilarious and perfect.
Back in the car, we were sweaty and didn’t seem to be cooling down. We had the back doors wide open to let around through, but when it was time to actually sleep, we had to close them so we could feel safe. It felt like a miracle to not have to contend with insects. The rain poured in the middle of the night as it did most nights, so then it was a game of windows-up-windows-down. I had a miserable time sleeping and so did Kai but we did get a couple hours each.