May 28, 2016 – Sometimes you just want to venture out for breakfast and see what the local area has to offer. We found a little spot serving a more traditional breakfast – rice, Portuguese sausage, and scrambled egg, as well as coffee. Tony definitely enjoyed it, Louisa would have liked some sort of sauce (but that’s her thing). After breakfast we headed south. First up was the Punaluu Black Sand Beach. The sand is actually black, a product of volcanic activity in the area. The sand was course and warm, even early in the morning.
Our real destination was Papakolea Beach. We got there early in the day and had no problem finding a parking spot. There were already a few dozen cars, and a handful of pickup trucks willing to drive you to the beach for a fee. We decided to walk instead; the walk was hotter and dustier than we anticipated, but the green sand beach and turquoise water made for a very pretty reward.
Hana Hou is a small restaurant a few miles from the beach. We chose to eat outside, crossing our fingers that they sprayed for mosquitoes (we did get one bite, but fortunately it was a healthy mosquito). Tony decided to go with the Loco Moco – scoops of rice, hamburger, and brown gravy. Louisa went with a cheeseburger with (you guessed it) brown gravy over the whole thing. The gravy was fantastic. Tony saw a sign for coffee at a visitor center; Louisa was skeptical, picturing a tourist trap. Instead we found a small coffee and macadamia nut plantation with free samples of both. We tried almost everything, and left with two large mochas.
Since it was still early in the day we drove to Hilo in search of a beach and maybe some more coffee. After driving through the insanity that is Pahoa, we gave up on the coffee and instead went directly to Richardson Ocean Park. We grabbed flip flops and trekked out into the water, enjoying the warmth until we realized that there was broken glass on the beach. Not wanting to get cut, we headed towards a shaded bench and were rewarded with a sea turtle sighting. Dinner was back to Ohelo Cafe (yes, we made reservations again; otherwise try to get there early and sit at one of the four bar seats). This time we both got pizza with pesto and sausage, as well as HI beer.