Thursday, January 21, 2010


The View is Terrific -

or it was, before I ate it all. Yesterday, Robin and I came to Lava Java to eat breakfast and use the internet. We managed the breakfast part, but the internet eluded us, and eventually we gave up  in disgust. In the meantime, though, I heard somebody talking about Lava Java's best breakfast, and this morning I came back to try it out. It consists of half a papaya filled with yoghurt and then smothered in a house-made granola that is heavy on the coconut and almonds.

When people ask me what I liked best about Hawaii, I'll have to say "breakfast." Oh, and I sleep really well here. Maybe that's because during the day, we're driving all over the island, so by the time we get home, I'm fighting to stay awake long enough to have a bath and watch the Australian Open (tennis) on television before I collapse. Not that I'm driving. For the first time, I'm strictly a passenger. Robin is the only official driver of our bright red PT Cruiser, so I'm just along for the ride. It is a very strange experience.

On Tuesday we drove to Volcano National Park, about ninety miles south of here. Along the way we found a fruit stand where we bought "lemonade"  that did have lemon juice in it - but didn't taste like lemonade at all. The dominant flavour was passion fruit. I considered moving in and living on lemonade for the rest of my life. We also stopped to check out Black Sand Beach, which was just that. I saw my first sea turtle there, but unfortunately he was dead. I'm hoping to see some live ones before we leave the island.

When we got to the park, we paid our $10 and drove in, only to discover that most of the park is closed off indefinitely (something we would have known if we had troubled to read the brochure before we set out) because a new vent opened not long ago, and the sulfur dioxide levels are too high to allow for safe travel in many places. So we saw what we could. People keep telling me that the best way to see the volcanoes is to take a helicopter tour, because the helicopters go right over the volcanoes and you can stare right down into fiery death while you listen for the tail rotor to give out. (Actually, they don't say that, but that's the image that comes to my head while they're gushing about how stunningly beautiful the experience is. Right.)

Having sort of seen the volcanoes, we headed back to Kailua Kona by way of Hilo, on the far side of the island, and then over  the road that cuts across the island. I don't know how high we had to go to get across, but the temperature dropped from the mid-80s down into the 60s - no - the high 50s - in the course of the drive. I seem to remember being at 4,000 feet, but that was two days ago, and my memory is short. Not only that, but part of that road is just awful, and we were both thinking more about getting back to the coast (and the highway) before dark than about anything else.

Yesterday, we drove north in search of several destinations marked on our map. We got all the way to the top of the island, from which we could see Maui (I think) in the distance. It is very windy up there. We got out of the car to check out a whale (we saw lots of whales yesterday) and I nearly lost my Tilley hat. Finally, unable to find the sites advertised on our map, we gave up on the north end of the island and headed south to the beach that we discovered the other day (the one that reminded us of Cornwall). This time, we had our bathing suits. Robin went into the water and played for a long time. Finally, I put away my book and joined him. The water temperature was perfect, and we were both glad that we had worked on our tans before we came to Hawaii. We came away glowing but unburned. There was a NeNe (I've been waiting to see one of those. It's a bird, btw) somewhere along our trip, and in the parking lot at the beach there was a cardinal chirping furiously from a tree. We have also seen all sorts of birds that we can't identify. One is black and white with a bright red head.

Hmmm. I just tried to put a photo in, and the internet started acting squirrelly again. I think I had better post this while the posting is good. Aloha.


John Hayes said...

Wow--passionfruitade: we might move in, too! I think you're making the right call on the volcano copters.

willow said...

I am toooootally green with envy!

Karen said...

Ah, the food, the drink, the sites and sights! What a wonderful vacation! Lucky!!

Debbie said...

I got to go once and it was incredible! Didn't get to see a NeNe though:(

Blog Archive