Iconic beach, loco moco, malasadas and an active volcano – glorious Hawaii

My sun bunny companion was yearning for a real beach where we could jump in high waves and walk through pristine white sand so we backtracked just a bit and went to the Kohala Coast.  We found what we wanted/needed. First stop was the Mauna Kea resort which guards access to a public beach on or near its grounds but we were told that the public parking was full (this was 10 a.m.) so no more room for the ordinary folk. No problem. We drove a little down the road, past the very famous Hapuna Beach State Park to a local favorite beach (that several locals including our waitress last night) recommended. The 69 Beach is a little stretch of caramel colored sand with lots of pretty shady trees and a few large black rocks hemmed in on each side by a jutting little cliff. So it created a nice little enclosed beach and waves that hit us from the front and the side (as they bounced off a rocky cliff.

We did drive over to Hapuna Beach to check it out and were dazzled by the color of the water – turquoise by the shore and cobalt blue beyond. Lots of people but lots of room. I’d be happy there – even if the locals think it’s too developed (it even has lifeguards and a snack shack.

On the way back to Honoka’a, we took the Old highway just past Waimea which was like stepping back in time – a two-lane road that felt at times like a country road, winding through green hilly farm and ranch country, lined in parts by huge trees or a jungle-like thicket. The road ended right at Tex drive-in which was on our list for lunch – so we glided right in, parking near two huge horse trailers (complete with horses) and joined the long line at the fast food joint. The best thing by far were the malasadas- heavy fried rectangles of dough dipped in sugar. I dared to try Loco Moco – the hawaiian comfort food which pretty awful. It was a styrophone cup  with rice at the bottom topped with an overdone hamburger, a fried egg and gravy. For some odd reason, they gave me two – needless to say I barely ate one. Dirck had another classic Hawaiian meal – the plate lunch. He did skip the more typical macaroni salad side but did have two thick pieces of roast pork covered in a gloopy brown gravy. Ick,

By 3 p.m. we were in Volcano  the little village just outside the national volcano park –  staying at the lovely Kileau Lodge in a large elegant room with the hawaiian bedspeads I love and lots of wood. The lodge itself is a cool old YMCA lodge – so lots of wood and stone and character. If only the lodge’s restaurant was better. After last night’s meal, the bar was set very high but even without that the meal we had was yukky. too bad because great setting.

Dirck and I did go over to the volcano park to check it out and got to see the smoldering caldrons. Pretty cool. Tomorrow we hike!


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