Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aloha From Hilo

Hello Faithful followers and Aloha from the beautiful State of Hawaii.
Today March 25th we have the great fortune to be in Hilo which is the first of two ports of call. For those that don’t know, Hilo is on the “Big Island Of Hawaii” and just so happens to be the gateway to a land of fire and brimstone, waves, waterfalls, lush forests and craggy coastlines.
Hilo is on the east side of the island and we ported here very early in the morning because U.S. Immigration was to commence at 7:00 a.m. for all passengers and crew before anyone could leave the ship. Needless to say it was a process, but a very painless one to say the least.
Because Rick and I had been to the island before we planned our day so that we could do the things we were unable to do on the last visit. Such as visit the west side of the island, Kailua-Kona and Kilauea one of two active volcanoes on the the island. The Last time we were here Kilauea was emitting noxious gases and was basically closed to visitors. I am happy to report though that this time we were indeed able to visit, yeah!
Since we’ve been on board it understandable that we have now made a variety of friends. So we hooked up with another Canadian/American couple presently residing from Iowa. They are so much fun and such a refreshing change from all the fuddy duddy’s on this ship. Naturally we are almost attached at the hip and it doesn’t take long for other people around here of the same mindset to be on the lookout for people like us too.
Anyway we shared the cost of a rental car and here are some photos from our day out together….
Aloha_Chevy_Hilo
Go figure we would rent a GM vehicle eh! Below is a photo Rick took as we entered the port of Hilo. Hilo_PortG
Kilauea and Mauna Loa make up The Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park and is actually a World Heritage Site. Kilauea is more volatile than Mauna Loa, which erupts occasionally and lava flows can be seen to this date flowing to the pacific ocean. Kilauea is its near neighbour (25 miles apart) has been erupting continuously for the last 20 years.
As we drove from Hilo to the volcano the island offers up the best of both worlds. Hilo provides the lush and typical rainforest climate which is were you will undoubtedly find an abundance of flowers and luxurious vegetation. We did not have enough time to do everything so as I previously mentioned we chose to do the things we didn’t do the last time. However as you travel the route 11 to the west side of the island the terrain turns to magma upon magna with very sparse vegetation and scrub brush. Below are a few photos from our visit to Kilauea.
Surprisingly enough beauty can be found even in the most harsh enviroments. 
Kilaua_Fauna
Below are a few photos of Kilauea’s crater which is also known as the house of everlasting fire.
Volcano_Crater
 
Crater_Closeup
steam vents are aplenty
Volcano_Vents
as are lava flow tubes
Lava_Tube
and the vegetation that surrounds them
Volcano_Fauna
 
Sandra_Fauna
As we continued our way to the west side of the island we made two pit stops for our friends Ken & Jane. We had been to them before but thought they should see these two as well.
We stopped into this roadside coffee shop of sorts. the big island is famous for it’s Kona coffee however this locate establishment.
John Bull’s ka’u pure Hawaiian coffee is spectacular and is just as good or not better for half the price. If you ever find yourself here please stop in for a free sample as it is about 2 miles east of the next must see location, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach.
Coffee_Stop_Sign
Some of their bumper crop
Coffee_Crop
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Black_Sand_PalmTrees

Rick_Black_Sand

Sandra_Black_Sand
Well we will sign off here because we ran out of time and once again never made it to the the west side of the island. We needed to get our rental back in time to make our all aboard 4:30 p.m. deadline.
We will sail away at 5:00 and tomorrow morning will arrive in Honolulu, Oahu.
We will have more photos for you to enjoy once we get them uploaded to the blog. So take care friends, until tomorrow…
Love Rick, Sandra and Wee Shaemus
(who accidentally was left behind today)
xoxo