Day 3: Painted Church

Since we are staying in Kona it seemed only natural that we spend a day touring the many coffee farms in the area. There are signs all along the highway that say “cash for coffee” or “buying cherry.” It seems that every other home along Napo’opo’o Road, where our house is, has a yard full of coffee.

A coffee plant looks nothing like what I expected. Given that I am a coffee fiend and have spent years watching Juan hike up and down the mountains with his trusty donkey in tow you’d think I would know better.

Speaking of donkeys… there is apparently a wild herd north of here on the way to Kohala. I can’t wait to see the “Caution: Donkey Crossing!” signs.

Unfortunately not only is it a Sunday but it is also Christmas Eve so few places are open. We stopped off at Bay View Farm (and boy, do they have a view of the Bay!) for a first sip of 100% Kona coffee and a little conversation. They weren’t doing roasting tours so we’ll have to head back another time and see how the coffee is taken from raw bean to roasted goodness.

During the tour we also stopped in at St. Benedict’s Painted Church. A priest stationed here at the turn of the century (not the most recent one) painted the inside walls of the church with some pretty marvelous “frescoes.” These were done with ordinary house paints for Hawaiians who couldn’t read.

While the kids were taking their afternoon naps I discovered what I’m sure will be a favorite spot: Ke’ei Beach. More on the beach tomorrow but, as the pictures will attest, I’m sure you can see that we had a great time when we visited just before sunset today.

Speaking of the sunset, those may be my absolute favorite sunset pictures yet. I’ve taken some great ones in Sweden and other places but I do believe this one overlooking Kealakekua Bay may take the cake.

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