I feel almost underwater my last morning in Hilo it was so humid. The searing sun amplified the drowning sensation and sweat poured from as I entered the coolth cocoon of the car. It’s a winding and slow cruise up the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, heading for the cow pastures and cactus in the rolling hills of Waimea where I’ll perch for the eve at the legendary Jacaranda Inn, home of John Rockefeller when he built the Mauna Kea Hotel and its surrounding golf links.
Twisting through the tree-tunneled two lane blacktop align the coast and hills, I’m soon at the gates of the Palms Cliff Inn which is a gorgeous B&B right on Onomea Bay. But I’m not staying here. I’m merely dropping off a bottle of Meomi pinot noir as a surprise for Brian and Jane Peacock who will be staying here in a week after our time together in Kona. I luxuriated here a couple of years ago when I wrote an article for the News Ltd papers titled From Hilo to Hawi.
Only time to leave a few footprints and bring back some memories, I’m back in the zircon driving to LOUD music as I wend my way up the coast to Cattle Country. Stopping for lunch in the small town of Honka’a, I spy the barn like Mary Guava shop where I spotted the bed cover I never got and this time decided I had the suitcase volume to do it. So here it is!
But tonight I’m sleeping in a grand old house called The Jacaranda Inn which has hosted celebrities, presidents and other royalty on a wide acreage just outside of Waimea. The entry brick path is an enticing pair of rows of perfectly groomed birds of paradise.
Once inside, the enormity of the lounge area and its plush seating embraces you. It’s a wood museum with antiques and even a poker room.
But it’s also a haven for sleepy times with cool busts of air wafting through the breezeway and into the classic rooms that are all decorated with four poster beds and original concept art.
Mine is a gigantic space that is dark and moody at first and then comes to life when lit up. The shower is obscenely large with its own tiled bench.
But the best is yet to come as I wind down the roads from cool Waimea to hot and dry coastal highway zooming to Kona but midway a sushi roll from Sansei to glide me into the Sheraton on Keauhou Bay .
And then into the hotel after picking up my mail to have a nap in one of the most comfortable beds with a spectacular view of the ocean.
And then a wake up in time to enjoy a long languid sunset here as the manta rays start to stir. The boats are already lining up to drop the divers into the water to wait on the rock bottom below as snorkelers hover on the surface. Up to about 20 4 metre wide mantas will be gliding between them sucking up plankton in an underwater ballet.
But as for me, I’ll just watch the orb drop.