Hawaii - Big Island (1)

November 24, 2009 - Hilo, Hawaii, United States

Alrighty peeps

So a twenty minute flight brought us from Maui to The Big Island, which is actually called Hawai'i. Picked up another Jeep (a green one) and drove down the West coast of the Island, the lava coast in the Kailua-Kona region, to a place called Keauhou where we stayed in a big hotel over the weekend. It's called the lava coast because there are miles and miles o solidified lava that the road goes right through the middle o. Ye widny believe that much lava can fire oot a wee cone halfway up a hill but that's what happened. Yer just thinking tae yersel - jings I hope that thing disny go aff while we're sitting here! The last eruption (on this coast) wis in 1801 though. They're no expecting one onytime soon phew. What's smart is that there are also miles and miles of grafitti written in coral on the black lava - "Wullie lvs Agnes" sorty thing. Pretty original.

Hotel wis lovely with some ancient sites oot the back, ponds with fish and turtles swimming in them, right next tae a beach, five minutes up the road fae Kona - a smashing, chilled oot wee town. A pleasant time was had by all.

Friday we just went into Kona and had some scran and a look aboot. Saturday we drove up to Hapuna Beach, a really classy wee beach up the coast a bit, and did some sunbathing and swimming then drove back down to Kealakekua Bay (through amazingly lush coffee plantations) tae try and see the Captain Cook monument before we realised ye canny get tae it withoot a kayak. This Bay is where Captian Cook was murdered in 1879 after he went ashore tae retrieve a boat that an Islander nicked off the HMS Discovery - aye the one currently anchored in Dundee. Ye can read the full story here if yer interested (http://www.coffeetimes.com/cook.htm). After that we want tae a place called Puuhonua o Honaunau which was a sanctuary for criminals and defeated warriors back in the day and has a huge, long, 550 year old wall made oot o lava blocks. Nae mortar, just bricks so kind o like a dry-stane dyke. Pretty smart.

On Sunday we just hung aboot the hotel in the morning and then made our way up to the HQ of Hawail Forest & Trail, an adventure tour company, who gunned us up Mauna Kea mountain in a bus wi a bunch o other tourists. Drive up was cool, ye stop at a wee ranch where Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain both stayed and have a bowl o stew. Then ye fire up tae 14,000 ft and watch the sunset among all the international observatories that are up there. Then they bring ye back down tae 9000ft (where its no as cauld) and the boy digs oot this giant telescope and shows ye some stars (a binary star I forget the name o and Pleiades or the seven sisters), a galaxy - Andromeda, Jupiter and four of it's moons - Io, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa and then our Moon. Very, very cool indeed. According tae the guide, he had Don Henley fae the Eagles on the exact same tour a few weeks back. He bought a ladder with the tip Don gave him (he's building a hoose).  

And that basically took care o the first half o oor Big Island trip. Today we drove roond the coast tae Hilo, where we are at the moment so we can start Volcano spotting the morn. We are in a B&B which seems tae be in the middle a rain-forest and has frogs whistling and squeaking ootside like naebody's business.

Check oot the videos and photos fae the last couple o days if yer at all interested and hae a wee listen tae the sound file I just uploaded with the flipping frog chorus oot there.

Should hopefully get some good volcano photos up next couple o days. We're pretty excited about it.

Take it easy people.


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