Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.

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On Our Own - Keaau Village Market, Fancy Gates
& Surf Camping
by Don and Peggy Doman

Peg taking in the view from atop the lava cliffs in front of the House of the Deep Blue Sea in Paradise Park, Puna District - Photo.

A beautiful, but simple gate - Photo.If you're near the water on the island of Hawaii, most roads will lead to a fantastic view. In front of the Irwin home is an access road that runs parallel to the shoreline via the cliffs above. Monday Peg and I decided just to relax and drive around by ourselves. We headed away from the house a couple miles and then drove closer to the water. We enjoyed looking at the houses and some of their gates. Some were ornamental, some were plain, and some were artistic, but they were all interesting. As we continued on, we ran out of road and discovered a beautiful viewpoint, in the shade. Pine needles covered the ground giving a soft and quiet seclusion to a shelter where we could look out on the world of waves and beach.

A secluded view along the shore of the big island of Hawaii - Photo.There were a couple of trees on the border between light and dark. They were bent and twisted from their life facing the wind. You could stand behind them and peek out at the world. Beautiful.

A week later our friends Randy and Sue brought us to this same spot. It was one of their favorites. Since Peg and I were first-timers, we didn't look for turtles, but they must have been there. With Randy and Sue and Darlene, they all spotted turtles flying through the surf and crawling on the sand and rocks. Sometimes it's good to look with fresh eyes, and sometimes it's better to look where others have gone before and learn something from them. Regardless, it's a beautiful spot.

Wrinkles of lava filled with pine needles - Photo.As we travel around I take photographs of what I think is interesting, but also I work with the whim of my wife. Peg says take a photo of this or a photo of that and I usually obey. This time she wanted a photo of wrinkled wave of frozen lava. The pine needles filled the cracks and some green plants found a foothold as well.

The photograph turned out well. It makes you want to run your hand across the surface, but believe me, you wouldn't want to walk on these wrinkles bare footed.

A beautiful place for a picnic in Paradise Park - Photo.

Under the trees with the pine needles and lava, this shoreline oasis could pass for campgrounds on Mt. Rainier (originally a volcano) with the Nisqually River running past it. Mt. Rainier is in our own backyard and an easy drive from Tacoma.

B & K Ono Grinds in the Keaau Village Market - Photo.We continued on our own and sought out the Keaau Village Market. We had been there with the group, but had never gone there by ourselves. We only had to ask directions once, "You're not close." We found the market and were a little disappointed. Their bakery was closed, and one of the little food shops was also closed. That shop sold pasteles. I kept returning until I found them open. Dedication pays off for the hungry.

The market is located on a corner. There are two buildings and several fresh produce stands, which all together form a "U." The middle of the U has tables and chairs under a canopy, which keeps the rain and the sun off.

Fried ahi from B & K Ono Grinds in the Keaau Village Market - Photo.We decided to try the Japanese-Filipino Fusion food stand of Kathy Kataoka. Soon we were made happy and full again. We tried their fried ahi. It was wonderful. I told Kathy how much I liked the fish and she told me that her brother is a fisherman and he supplies her. I mentioned that we had bought fresh ono and ahi at Suisan's in Hilo. "My brother supplies them, too." I like talking to people and if they are good cooks, it's even better.

What we liked about the market is that there is constant movement between the vendors. The cooks from the food shops buy fresh vegetables from the produce stand and the produce stand buy lunch from the food shops. It's a big happy family.

Portuguese sausage to accompany our fettucini - Photo.We left the market and drove across the street to a regular market, Foodland, where we bought some French bread, sausage, dried pasta, Parmesan cheese, whipping cream, and half-and-half. Sue was going to cook her fettuccine in the evening, so we knew we would continue to eat well.

Peg and I looked around to see what else Foodland had to offer. Thanksgiving was coming up. We weren't going to buy a turkey, but our group had decided to buy a complete Thanksgiving Dinner complete with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and stuffing. We were going to take the easy way out. For dinner we bought some Portuguese sausage, which Randy cooked on the gas grill in time for dinner.

Everyone working together to make dinner in Paradise Park - Photo.We returned home for a nap and then everyone started helping with dinner. The roles would change with each meal, but the dining room table had to be set, side dishes needed to be made, and then dishes had to be cleared and put into the dishwasher.

In the photo to the right, it looks like everyone is cooking except Sue, but really she was just standing clear as other people did their bit. The fettuccine was excellent. We all appreciate good food. When we all traveled to Italy several years ago, we gathered every couple of months before the trip, so we could go over plans . . . and eat pasta.

Fettucini by Sue Lord - Photo.Sue has cooked her fettuccine before, so it was no surprise that everyone loved it. I think there was one little bowl left-over, but when I looked for it the next morning it was gone. Randy was smiling and their might have been a noodle stuck to his beard, so I think I could name the culprit.

We had an early start the next morning, so after dinner, we relaxed and called it a day. I usually call it a day, while it's still day, but others stay up a bit longer. I got up each day anywhere from four to six. The closer to six the more people there were around.

Secluded piece of heaven in Paradise Park - Photo.

Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.

Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.

Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.

Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.

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Keaau Village Market, fancy gates, surf, big island hawaii.