I'm sure some people get up early here, but I'm not one. Food is always waiting when we go down to eat and the place is always spick and span. Ten o'clock seems a reasonable hour. Does it not? I had a delicious waffle, thick slices of pineapple, two papayas, (and a waffle for desert.) Ready to hit the road, we had the other guy drive while we sat back to enjoy the scenery. Most of the land around the resort is covered with volcanic rock. Well, of course the whole island is volcanic rock, but we were driving on a road that went right through it.
I didn't venture out onto that kind of surface. The Hawai`ians call that rock ah-ah. That's what I would have said had I tried to walk across it! Instead, I focused on other vistas, such as the snow-capped top of Mauna Kea as we left.
From sea level at the Kona side, we drove up to Waimea (or Kamuela) at 2,500 feet elevation. It's a cattle ranch town turned retirement/tourist village huddled at the northeast side of Mauna Kea. There's over 150 years of some pretty dramatic history...the Parker Ranch. Really Big. Some say 175,000 acres. The Princess looked it up on her computer. (She said to click on this link if you want to know more about the largest privately owned ranch in the USA.) http://www.parkerranch.com/history.html
Anyway, seems King Kamehameha I gave the land to a young man named John Parker 150 years ago? More or less. That's nice. Maybe someone will leave me a small piece of land once they realize who I am.
We journeyed down the Hamakua coast on the east side of the island and believe me, it's an entirely different world than the mostly barren Kona side Look at this old home we saw along the highway. Look at that rainforest! I was beginning to feel at home!
The entire coast is a series of tropical gorges and lush flowering tree vistas. Rivers from heavy rains and melting snows rush from the higher slopes of Mauna Kea and carve away the most spectacular canyons! We must have stopped at no less than five such spots on our way to visit the other guy's brother who lives in an old sugar cane village named Honomu. Just look at this amazing view!
We found out that it rained so hard on the day we arrived, that they'd closed the highway. That's a lot of rain! Each gorge has it's own personality, its flora unique to its place along the coast and influenced by those who first lived there. Look at this gorge...at what are some of the hundreds of palms clinging to its steep sides.
Well...this certainly reminded me of my childhood lands...the temperature and humidity. Let me say right here that I was more than pleased that there were no pushy lions around on the island...no foolish beasts expecting to garner undeserved attention based on nothing but travel-log myths!
Within the hour we arrived at the other guy's brother's home...a most delightful place indeed! The man had turned a small backyard into a virtual paradise. He seemed very nice...not nearly as loquacious as my biographer and allowed the Princess to take a few pictures of me recreating in his garden.
The Princess relaxed. I explored the gardens. The lanai offered a perfect retreat from some threatening sprinkles so I retreated to the sanctuary of her side.. Ahhhh. She's as lovely as the garden, and it's obvious that I'm (me in her lap?) enjoying my present position!
My biographer's brother, an artist by inclination and education, showed us through his small single-walled, corrugated iron-roofed home...gave a most informative talk about Hawai`ian culture and served a tasty cup of herbal tea. I was having a splendid time until he offered a chair for me to sit upon. I became immediately suspicious about him wanting us to extend our stay. I suspect it had something to do with the fact that his brother was boring us to tears with tales of his time spent on the island. What do you think? Were we being nudged out the door?
Let me tell you! I had trouble sitting comfortably for an hour after the visit! When we got back to the hotel I took a little nap before dictating Day Four to the other guy. As usual, and I hope this doesn't make you think of me as lazy, I felt better after getting some rest.
So....until tomorrow, and always faithfully yours,
Warty...the Alii Hog