I’ve been to most of all Hawaiian Islands, except for Hawaii Island also known as the Big Island. As you can guess it’s the biggest of all Hawaiian islands (you can combine the other islands to fit in this one). I was intrigued to it is home to four of the five major climate zones on one island AND an active volcano! So for my birthday this year we decided to go and explore this island. We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid hotel on the Kohala Coast – which we found out is the “sunny & dry” side of the island. The hotel is just magical. When we arrived at the hotel, we were warmly greeted with lei’s and a live guitar/ukulele player provided the background music to a red, orange, yellow sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Ahhhh! The resort is also located on a sugar white sandy lagoon with turquoise water and is home to the native Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that sleep at night on their beach. Just what I had dreamed off 🙂
Day 1 – Coffee Farm & Snorkeling
We explored the island and went to visit a family owned coffee farm. When we got there we experienced the first difference in climate zone as it was more humid and started to rain. They said it rains every day in the afternoon which is why the fruits and vegetables grow so well here. We took a tour of the farm and learned about the long process takes from a green coffee bean to the roasted ones we know in the store. We also saw the first coffee bean trees that the great-grand mother planted. On this farm they also grew other fruits like apple bananas and my favorite: avocado. They had about 5 different kinds of avocado, and most of them I had never seen in the store. One of them was deliciously creamy and smooth (forgot what kind). Funny story – the dog on the farm got bigger and bigger and the family found out that he was eating avocados every day (and more than one). Ha! He must have had very shiny fur too. My favorite encounter was when we saw a Jackson’s chameleon in one of the plants. I wouldn’t have seen him as he was well disguised in the same colors of the plant. After the farm visit we drove to Two Steps for some snorkeling. We drove past many farms with lots of (happy) cows. I imagined all the cows that live in a building all their life and get to stand on concrete and never see grass or sunshine. I can only imagine that the meat of the Hawaiian cows must taste so much better (I’m pescetarian so I wouldn’t know). When we arrived at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park there were many locals bbq and hanging out. We grabbed our snorkeling gear and jumped in the water. Now we know why it’s called Two Steps: as these are the natural rock steps to get in the water. The snorkeling was amazing – tropical fish, sea turtles and moray eels. It was an adventurous first day on the island!