Kona Coffee Farm Tour

There’s a couple of Irish guys outside, they’ve never seen a tangelo!

He hollers to the household before stepping outside to pick us some tangeloes (a cross between a tangerine and an orange). We’d called here after seeing an unmanned fruit stand advertising limes, grapefruit and tangeloes; we were most interested in whatever a tangelo was, however, and went looking for the owner. A few moments later we’ve seen his coffee plants, learnt he’d just eaten his last mango (damn) and marched off with an enormous bag of tangeloes. We’ve met nice people here.

The rest of the day was similiarly eventful; what started out as a coffee tour and then – when it became clear our tolerance for coffee wasn’t up to it – an aimless sight seeing tour of south Kailua-Kona:

  • First stop is Kona Joe’s coffee farm (where the coffee is grown like wine!); Dr. Joe’s patented process trains the coffee plant to grow along a trellis, maximising exposure to light and freeing more space for coffee “berries”.
  • A stop at Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook first landed in Hawaii and where he was later killed, in some sort of misunderstanding that has never really been entirely clarified. A monument to Cook is located a three kilometer hike away; we don’t bother taking it but do take some pictures of the Bay, regarded as one of the most scenic on the Big Island (when it’s not cloudy).
  • A lady at Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative points us towards Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (Place of Refuge), a former royal garden and place of refuge in times of war. This is a beach garden with royal family-era wooden buildings and tons and tons of coconut trees. Here I pick up Mark Twain’s “Letters from Hawaii”; we’ve seen quotes from this book at every single sight we’ve visited – he even stayed at Volcano House – and I’m keen to read the full thing.


  • Lastly, we stop quickly at the Painted Church. It’s called so for the painted scenes on the wooden interior. Here we see another honour system-based stall, this one selling some nice hand-made souveneirs. It looks fantastic bathed in the evening light.