Honoka'a and the Waipi'o Valley

Waipi'o Valley from the Lookout
We drove up from Kona yesterday, to visit a "Starbuddie" of Steff's from their time at Starbucks.  Zina, affectionately know as the "Warrior Princess" relocated to the Big Island last September.

We acquired lodgings at the Alegre Plantation House & Waipi'o Hostel, which we found on Air B&B.   Greg, and his family are welcoming hosts.
Waipi'o Hostel

Dinner was at the Waipi'o Cookhouse, just up the road, and anything on the menu is worth getting.  I had the ribs.  It is not often that you get to dine with a Warrior Princess!

This morning we started by driving to the Waipi'o Valley Lookout.  This valley has been home to Hawaiians for over a thousand years.  Kings lived in the valley, and looking down through the mists, you can see why.  A tsunami in 1946 destroyed the valley and the taro and rice fields.  Since that time, the valley slowly began to be occupied by Hippies and Vet's.  The entire area here has the flavor of Nederland and up through Ward, except it is along the coast.
Waipi'o Valley

The valley floor is privately owned, and difficult to reach.  Though once there you are treated to views of waterfalls, and a black sand beach.  To get there, requires 4 wheel drive, or a mule!  Or you can walk the mile to the valley floor.  It is only a 900 elevation drop, and the road is to get there is is a consistent 28% grade over much of that mile.

The Road
Steff declined the invitation to walk to the beach, and we headed to Waimea to get provisions.  We got salad, salmon, and wine,  (our needs are simple) and returned to the hostel, so Steff could nap.

I went for a walk, and ended up on the black sand beach of the Waipi'o Valley.  I enjoyed the walk, but Steff would not have.  Once on the valley floor, it dawns on you that the 900 foot drop, turns into a 900 climb when you come back up.  I love a challenge.

The Beach
Valley Floor
The road from the top to the floor is generally paved, with sections scored to give you traction when wet.  It is one lane, and uphill traffic has the right of way.  During my trek I encountered both vehicles, and hikers.  No mules.  One guy, who was coming down hill, asked me if it was easier coming down, or going up.  I said that it depended on how good your knees were.  He told me that he had one good knee, and one bad knee.  I told him that one would be happy coming down, and the other would be happy going up.

I finished my trek in time to put the salmon on the grill at the hostel.  We expect Zina to join us for dinner.
The Beach

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  2. Thanks for posting these blogs. The rest of us get to live vicariously through your photos and postings. I'll send you a check to cover my share of the expenses as soon as you get back to the mainland.

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