Day 7 started out with breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes – enough breakfast we didn’t have lunch. When in Hilo, stop at Kens 🙂
About an hour north of Hilo we arrived at Waipii’o Valley Overlook. The valley is 2000′ deep, with great sea cliffs just beyond.
A waterfall comes out of nowhere along the cliffs.
Hawaii has a number of micro climates, with the landscape looking very different. Once we passed Waimea (Cowboy Capital of Hawaii), it all of a sudden switched from rain forest to ‘Central California hills’.
Our next stop was one of the highlights of the island – Polulu Valley Overlook. With a bit of a hike down and toward the ocean, the view south was stunning. I realize after 7 days there are a lot of ‘cliffs and ocean’ photos, but this is one of the best spots.
The town of Kapaau is famous as the birthplace of Kamekameha. It is celebrated with a statue of him. Legend has it that this statue was made for placement in Honolulu but it was lost in a shipwreck, so they made a replacement.
Locals in Kapaau believed it was karma as they felt Honolulu should not have the statue since he is from their town. The original was recovered from the sea and sent to Kapauu.
Kapaau is a nice little Hawaiian town.
On the way back to Kona we stopped at the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Factory.
Some of their processing is located here where you can check out people preparing the nuts.
We left with plenty to last us the rest of the trip.
As we neared Kona, we headed 3000′ up a mountain (and from 86 degrees to 67 degrees) to the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation.
Kona is famous for their coffee, and this nice small family business gave us a tasting and a tour.
The beans after the first step of processing.
The coffee trees are grown on top of lava shoots, which provides the unique chemical balance that makes Kona coffee what it is.