Hawaii - Big Island (2)

November 28, 2009 - Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Hey Hey

So after leaving the Kona coast we drove round the North coast of the big island, stopping briefly at the Waipio Valley which wis smart I suppose fae an elevated vantage though we could not be arsed walking doon tae it.

But...boo...the East Coast is a flipping rain forest so bye bye lovely Hawaii sunshine and hello noisy frogs. We stayed in a B&B in an old port town called Hilo which wis pretty nifty and run by a really lovely couple but pretty much bang in the middle o a mini rainforest so we saw (and heard) a lot o rain and the frogs....well ye've heard the frogs (if no look under audio). Also them wee lizard things did manage to sneak in through the windown mesh somehow and had a tendency tae plop onto yer arm or something when ye were lying reading. Uy! Hilo itself could either be described as 'having an olde worlde charm' or 'could dae wi a lick o paint' depending on yer perspective. We had some pretty interesting conversations wi the couple that ran the B&B about what it's like running a small business in Hawaii and they had some pretty good stories about their llama farming days up in Oregon. Though Claudia, who seemed tae be running things, did try and kill us with eggs (eggs every morning for breakfast - must have had a deal wi a local hen hoose) and had difficulty understanding our accents (and may have been slightly deaf). At one point the conversation turned to kids TV and how bizarre it can be and so I, in my wisdom, decided to ask her whether they got the Teletubbies in the States...

'The what? The tinseltobbles?

'No the TELETUBBIES'

'The Tillingtabbies?'

'No the TELE....TUBBIES it's a kid's TV show'

'The Tollie....sorry honey I'm not getting that at all can you spell that? The tettie whosits?'

'No it's T...E...L...E'

'OK Tele...'

'T...U...B...B...IES;

'Teletobeys no I don't know about that at all'

'Aye never mind'

Quite funny. Anyway she was nice and so was the place but it more or less rained the whole time we were there so that was a bit rubbish.

So we went to the Volcano National Park on day one and spent most of the day there and, wooo it's pretty cool. There is a big crater in the middle of the park called the Kileau Caldera, which 150 years ago was a boiling lava lake but has obviously completely cooled now and all ye can see is a smoking hole right in the middle which glows at night. Obviously they dinny let ye anywhere near the hole and the day we went they had closed off half the park because of Sulphur Dioxide emissions. It does blow up fae time tae time though but ye'd need tae be pretty lucky tae be there when that happens. Or unlucky I suppose depending on how big it wis. My camera wisny good enough to get a photo of the glowing hole which was a bit of a pity but take my word for it...it was very cool and not a little eerie.

There is another active volcano a wee bit doon the hill towards the coast a bit called Pu‘u ‘O‘o but ye have tae walk a weak trail through a dense rainforest tae get tae it and the park service tell ye no tae dae it because if ye get lost or injured yer snookered so we didny bother wi that. This fella is spewing lava doon the hill intae the sea though and has been for a couple of years so we drove way down there one night as they open a road that lets ye up tae the lava flow from 5-8pm every night and then ye walk another mile or so by torch light over bumpy hard lava tae get tae the shore but they only let ye get a safe distance away fae it. Still when ye get to the end of the trail though ye can see the glow and the steam where the lava is spilling intae the sea and expanding the USA right in front of ye. Again quite cool. Bit disappointing that we didny actually get up close and personal wi any flowing lava likes but, well it is dangerous and ye would need tae take a few risks tae get up tae it. And of course, the US being the litigious society that it is, they make damn sure ye are seeing anything fae a safe distance away. Ye can take a boat or helicopter ride up tae or over the flow but they charge a flipping fortune for this and oor budget just didny stretch tae that. Nevertheless though what we did see was pretty amazing. Photaes arny too good though unfortunately. It wis dark. Ye can see all the newish lava along that coast though and where it closed the road a few years back and there is a town that isny there anymore that is now just a black sand beach that is so new it disny have a name yet.

And talking o lava, one of the best things aboot the big island is the radio station. Lava 105.3 FM (Big Island favourites from the 60s, 70s and 80s. We don't just say 'em....we play 'em) which kept us bouncing wi funky soul tunes in the main while we were driving aboot. Good lot of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Temptations etc but also Stones, Beatles, Doors thrown in for good measure. Best radio station we came across yet in the US. 

So wi the bad weather we were a bit stuck for other stuff to do in Hilo so missed out on the Botanical gardens and other outdoory gardeny type things. We did go to the local astronomy centre though and saw a couple o quite smart planetarium shows. And we accidentally drove through a mango grove one day on a really bad road which I think may have been hiding some quite different kinds o plantations - if ye ken what I mean. That's just speculation though.

All in all, a good time had by all and a real departure from the beach bumming, ocean swimming, ice-cream eating stuff we'd been doing for the previous two and a half weeks.

So that's it for Hawaii (and the USA). It's been braw. I'm sitting writing this in the hotel back in Honolulu airport and should really be getting tae my scratcher as we are on the plane early the morn for a biggish flight to Sydney and then on to Auckland.  

Better go the noo then. Catch ye's aw later and next post should be fae Kiwi land.

Can. Not. Wait.

Paul

 


Pictures

The Big Cheese, The Head Honcho...
Jacs vs The Volcano
Smoking
Lava Crater
 
 

4 Comments

Wifie:
November 28, 2009
I have just caught up wih the photos, the blog, videos and now audio as well.
Keep up the good work

Mxxx
Elliot:
November 30, 2009
Been reading your logs, not in a bizarre fortune telling tea-leaves kind of way you understand.........but you seem to be a bit de-hydrated if I so say so myself.

Looks like you are having a braw time, very jealous.

Off to NZ I see, top place and lots of good beer, go looking for the Mac's stuff, it's good a bit like a kiwi Brewdog. Muffins.....check out the muffins they love them in NZ, size of your heid they are.

Enjoy.
Nicky:
December 4, 2009
Hello - your travels look and sound amazing! Wish we were there too. Do you want contact details for my pal Elizabeth in New Zealand or have I been rubbish and left it too late? Swim with the wild dolphins in Kaikoura if you can ....
June 14, 2010
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