Into the West

The southern tip of Hawai'i apparently wants to be England

We drove to Kona today and only made a couple quick stops along the way. One was at the Punalu’u Bake Shop, where we ate the most delectable sandwiches, salads, POG (passion fruit-orange-guava) granitas and baked goods. Some of our party even bought small tikis and other such collectibles. Great food, if a bit overpriced.

Next we made a stop at the Pakini Nui Wind Farm near the southernmost tip of Hawai’i. This area was quite odd to me as it reminded me of England with its rolling green hills, small stone fences and sheep dotting the landscape. It was as if we had been transported right into a BBC film. All of a sudden we saw about 30 huge white (well, mostly… they were quite rusted) windmills, all of which were shut down. These were the remnants of the old Kama Oa Wind Farm that shut down in the 90s. Pakini Nui recently started up and put in 14 new GE turbines. This is interesting, because GE took such an interest that they bought into the company and helped finance the project to get wind farming to be a much bigger deal on Hawai’i. The southern tip of Hawai’i is known for its sustained winds and as an ideal spot for wind farming.

The author and the professor enjoying dinner at Bubba Gump's Restaurant

Once we finished our lecture time there we got back into our vans and headed on our way to Kona. Here we are in quite a large, beautiful house with enough room for all of us in one house as opposed to the two we had been in in Hilo. It has a pool, a large living room, many bedrooms and a spacious kitchen – quite lovely. We also got to have dinner at Bubba Gump’s, right on the beach. It was quite awesome.  And with that, I realize this is a short post, I’m tired and we have our first test and a snorkeling excursion tomorrow, so I best get some sleep.

The sodium lights used in Kona to cut down on light pollution and aid the observatories at the top of Mauna Kea... This one is right outside our house

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