Hawaiian Noir

Murder Calls

We moved over to the other side of the island Saturday, to a condo in Hilo. It’s not a bad little condo, but, as in previous trips, the condo in Hilo is the most disappointing of all. It’s a comfortable, two-bedroom place, but the furnishings are drab and lacking in imagination. The view is very different than the views in the Kona condos. No dolphins playing in the water. Instead, we look out on a tropical rainforest surrounding a series of tide pools. It’s very pleasant and relaxing. Because Hilo is on the eastern side of the mountains, we don’t get to see sunsets. Instead, get to see Hilo streets at night.

Downtown Hilo, 7/17/21

We wen looking for a place to eat and perhaps hear live music. We found Hilo Town Tavern, in the building with the mural of a woman. It’s a dive bar that we were told might have performers. Unfortunately on that night it didn’t. The burgers were big and delicious and the beer was cold, so what more could you ask. The bar is on Keawe St. which has a string of bars and eateries, so we will be returning to it.

One of the reasons we are taking an extended vacation is so that we can enjoy and savor the local culture. When the kids were with us, I regretted that we didn’t have more time to do just that. We were always going here and there to some new sight or beach, which of course was fun, but we didn’t really connect with the locals. Yesterday, Sunday, we spent some time wandering around a huge farmer’s market between Kea’au and Pahoa, the Maku’u market. The market itself covered several acres. It was row upon row of fruit and vegetable sellers, craft sellers, plant sellers, and food vendors. There were Hawaiian, Thai, and Mexican offerings. There were coffee vendors and a guy selling vintage aloha shirts. I had to force myself to stay away from his tent.

Maku’u Farmer’s Market entrance.
Lychee and Rambutan from the Maku’u market

W bought papayas, avocados, bananas, tomatoes, onions, and lychee from a Chinese lady who tossed in some rambutans for free.

It’s easy enough to eat your way across the island. On leaving the market, we passed a stand selling laulau and another selling hulihuli chicken. We stopped for the chicken and bought one whole one we will probably eat all week. The guy was also frying fish, which looked good and smelled even better. i would have bought some, but there was just the two of us. I did buy some lummpia—bananas wrapped in egg roll wrappers and deep fried. They were warm, so we ate them in the car. We stopped at Sack n Save for ahi poke and tako poke.

This stretch of coast doesn’t have much in the way of beaches. Instead, it has beach parks around tide pools among the lava. We have yet to visit the pools, but plan to do so soon.

Tide pools at Keaukaha Beach Park, Hilo. Mauna Kea in background with observatories on the peak.

I walked down the rod and came across some Nene, the Hawai’i state bird.

Nene in Hilo, 7/19,21

We have a tropical forest behind our condo, so the sun rise is hidden by the luxuriant foliage.

Sunrise, Hilo, 7/19/21

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