We decided to stop at the Painted Church and we were glad that we did. Above is a picture of the cemetery. How would you like to be buried with that view?! :) Below is a picture of the painted church. I didn't take any pictures on the inside because as fascinating as it was, it just didn't feel right. It was a very small church with the walls painted with scenes depicting Bible stories as well as stories about the Catholic Saints.
After we left the Painted Church, we headed to the Place of Refuge. A couple of hundred years ago the Hawaiians had a very complicated system of proper etiquette, especially when it came to royalty. When someone committed a "crime" it was called Kapu, and usually the punishment was death, however, if a person could get to the Place of Refuge there were priests that would absolve them of their crime, and they could return to their villages.
Lava wall - this one was small compared to the one in the distance, which is 10 feet tall and 17 feet wide. These walls were put together with no mortar - just lava rocks carefully piled and balanced. It was quite the sight.This little inlet is full of giant sea turtles. We saw a bunch of them, but they were mostly under water and it was hard to get a picture of them.
After we left the Place of Refuge, we headed up the road to Kealakekua Bay. It was so blue and clear! This is a great place for snorkeling and if we weren't two very pale pasty people afraid of getting severely burned, we probably would have put that into the schedule. Maybe next time. Across the bay you can see a tiny white spot. That is Captain Cook's monument. Captain Cook was a Brit who traveled a lot around the world and met his end in Hawaii in a fight with the Hawaiians. It's a complicated story and what they did with his body (honor to the Hawaiians, gruesome to us) is something you don't want me to go into. If you are really interested, go here.
By this time we were starving so we headed back up to Kona and after looking at the Big Island Revealed book, decided to have lunch at Killer Tacos. Decent food if you are going for a Mexican food flavor in Hawaii. It's just a little taco place. Then we went to Walmart to pick up some stuff and then to Costco where I ran into Kristine, who had, ironically, just had lunch at Killer Tacos. I think we missed her by about 5 minutes. Weird. Especially because Kona isn't THAT small of a place.
We took our stuff back to the condo and headed to Hapuna Beach for the afternoon. We brought a boogie board with us, but the waves were pretty flat (strange for Hapuna!) so we just floated out in the water for an hour or so. It was a beautiful day and late enough in the afternoon that we weren't worried about burning.
Tuesday night was Kristine's bridal shower back up in Honoka'a, so we headed up there and Dave hung out with her dad and watched a movie while I went to the shower. It was fun and I finally got to meet Bango! We had been chatting since February on Facebook from time to time, so it was great to see him in person.
Next up: Hilo, Volcano National Park, What's Shakin' Smoothies, and Akaka Falls...