Up early to partake of our host's B&B breakfast and chat with other travelers, then off up Hwy 11 to Kona. This time we sailed right past and took an inland road, twisting and turning through the foothills of Mauna Kea to Waimea again to visit the Keck Observatory Headquarters. Paradise for geeks, the centre boasted some Nobel prizes and discovery shots of exo-solar planetary system.
Wisely, we snagged a salad from a nearby McDonald's and wound our way up 3000 feet on the road to the Pololu Valley Overlook. We elected not to follow the trail down to the shore, instead appreciating why there was no road between that and the Waipio Valley Overlook that we had previously visited. Unbelievably rugged and precipitous coastline!
After lunch we headed up the coast road to Upolu Point. Reg has gotten it into her head to visit the extreme headlands of the island, and this was the northernmost one. There was little else to see there but a small airport, so we pressed on to Lapakahi State Historical Park. This was on the west or dry side of the island and showed how natives had subsisted there between 300 and 1200 AD.
Then on south to the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Reserve. We simply couldn't find it, so carried on to Kailua and our hotel for the night, the Kona Beach Hotel, the only hotel chain in the world owned by a Hawaiian family. Once installed, we moseyed out for a delicious Rib Eye Steak at the Kona Beach Steak House, overlooking the beach and Kona waterfront. A delightful end to a lovely day. All washed down with a couple of Long Board Drafts, of course.
Keck Observatory HQ in Waimia
Main entrance. Note window pattern which mimics the telescope sections
Model of the scopes that shows the mirror segments which allow the adaptive optics to work
One of the first pictures of extra-solar planetary systems
Roadless coastline at Pololu Valley Lookout
Beach we did not walk down to
Entrance to State ark with primitive shore dwellings
Ancient house footings on the beach
More of the village