Thursday, December 19, 2013

Big Island: Dipping in the Queen's Bath at the Mauna Lani Resort

All along the South Kohala Coast of the Big Island are anchialine ponds—where fresh water and saltwater surface just inland. This little beauty is tucked away a hundred feet or so from several lakelets at the backshore of the Mauna Lani Resort. "Queen's Bath" is a generic term for many such ponds you will find in the Islands, although it is also literal: Royalty would also bathe in them.

The stroll around the lakelets (big fishponds) is through a tropical arboretum, and is also next to a path through an ancient village site, with rock ruins and petroglyps. The beachfront at the Mauna Lani is also one of the best in Hawaii, with safe swimming and excellent snorkeling. You can also take a stroll to the also-posh Fairmont Orchid Resort, about a half-mile away.

If in the area on a full moon night, after howling, be sure to attend a free Talk Story (music and talk) hosted by Danny Akaka (son of the senator). It's held beachside (by the fishponds) at the tiny and charming Eva Parker Woods Cottage Museum. On the aloha scale, give it a big fat Ten. I wish I was there right now.