Friday, November 14, 2014

Waipio Valley Bed and Breakfast, Hawaii

Now that I've had time to think about it, I can safely say Waipio Valley was my favorite part of our Big Island trip. Graham and I stayed at Waipio Rim bed and breakfast, my new favorite place to stay. This place is worth every penny.

It all begins when you are greeted by Nancy and Steve, who are kind, laid-back hosts. Nancy brings welcome pupus (menu changes daily) and a bottle of wine is waiting for you in your room.

You won't share the building with any other guests or even the hosts, because the room is the upstairs unit of what looks like a study area. The view of the ocean and the valley below looks like a postcard. The yard is maintained nicely, too.

The room is tastefully decorated, and a lot of thought seems to have gone into the amenities. You can pretty much find anything you need for a nice cozy stay. Literature on local things to do and photos (for sale) are waiting on the desk. Need a flashlight or sunscreen for your hike down? It's there, along with many other helpful items.

We had a view of the ocean from our shower. It doesn't get better than that.

Graham and I decided to change and hike down to the Valley immediately after check-in. Steve gave us some advice: If you're going to ask for a ride back up from a local, be sure to ask at the bottom of the valley, because truck drivers won't want to stop on the way up. When we started the descent, we could see why. It's an exhausting hike up that steep incline —  25 percent grade.

I wished I had brought bug spray on the way down, because the insects really seemed to love me. But the views were the most incredible I've seen in Hawaii.

Waipio Valley's black sand beach is different from others we have been to in that it's fine sand vs. rocks or gravel. It felt so smooth below my feet. We walked to where the river meets the ocean and took it all in. Graham at one point stepped into a hole and was almost up to his waist in water, and we laughed as he made his way out. The surf was intense that cloudy day, but there were some brave souls in the water. The beach was never too crowded. We watched as the rain created waterfalls over the cliffs into the ocean. I wished we had more time to hike in the Valley and along the coast.

The hike back to the bed and breakfast was a workout. We sure earned our wine and pupus. The rest of the night was spent watching the sunset and the rain, relaxing, eating dinner and snacks, and listening to the sounds of the storm, frogs and birds. It rained all night, and although I am not used to so many sounds, the next morning I felt more rested than I have in a long time.

A tiny frog stopped to say hello.
It was still raining at breakfast time. We sipped coffee and tea as we waited for our food, which is served on the deck. Nancy made us beautifully presented banana-nut pancakes with homemade syrup. We had various fruit on the side. The plates, napkins — all of it was adorable.

From across the valley we could see newly formed waterfalls. Binoculars are kept in the room for your viewing pleasure.

We lounged and watched the rain, savoring every moment.

I was depressed to have to leave. I'm hoping to be able to make this a yearly trip to celebrate our anniversary. Who knows, maybe we won't live too far away.