Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hawaii-Journey to the Big Island- Part 7 Waimea

Waimea, at an elevation a of 2500 feet, has moderate weather, but is close enough to sandy beaches to permit a day trip if that is your pleasure. It is also a very convenient place to stay on the Big Island. From it you can reach Hilo, Kona, Waipi'o, Mauna Kea (and the observatories) and various gardens in an hour or two.  It is not convenient to Volcano NP which is at the opposite end of the island. Check out my blog on Volcano NP for details.

We could see Mauna Kea from our "Dream Room" at Aaah the View. The night sky was spectacular and we could view it lying in bed since besides there being the usual window to look out on the graden and creek, there was a window at 45 degrees with its own shade. B and B's in Hawaii are limited in what they can serve for breakfast. The two we stayed at provided substantial variety, but real cooking requires a professional kitchen, basically stainless steel. Fruit, yogurt, granola, coffee cake, coffee!, tea and hot chocolate were the main ingredients.

Waimea has the stores you can expect in a small town with prices that are reasonable, for Hawaii). The highpoint was dining at Merriman's (you must have a reservation).  e chef is know for unique recipes favoring organic locally grown and raised ingredients.

We also drove up to the visitor's center on Mauna Kea. The videos they run are excellent describing the international use of the summit for observatories.

Another treat was taking a short hike outside the center and seeing the very rare plant "silver sword."

Silver Sword on Mauna Kea