Vacation Experiences


Hawaii; the Big Island & Waikiki, 2005


Okay, so we were there last year, and on the same dates, so what could I possibly add to Well, I didn't mention black sand beaches. There are several on the Big Island that were formed when molten lava shattered as it entered the sea. The sand is very clean and sharply granular. This beach on the South shore, shown above, is home to an endangered species of large green sea turtles, which we have seen on every visit, but I found impossible to photograph. Only their noses stick above the surface; their shells remain submerged.


We had heavy surf for a few days on the Big Island. Here, Eleanor watches from a "place of refuge". In ancient Hawaii, if a lawbreaker, sentenced to death, could elude his pursuers and reach the area's Pu'uhona (place of refuge), he could perform certain rituals and then return home as if nothing had happened. All was forgiven. Defeated warriors could also wait here to pledge allegiance to the victors and live out their lives in peace. Otherwise they would be clubbed to death.

Chain of Craters Road was once an alternate, South shore route to drive between Volcano and Hilo. But a series of lava flows from Kilauea, between 1986 and the present, permanently blocked the road and wiped out a community and campground. The flow shown here occurred in 2003 and shortened the road even further. Now 8 miles of road are covered and 600 acres of new land have been created.


Eleanor prefers to take our Winter breaks in Hawaii because "everyone speaks English and nothing bites". The latter is generally true but I'm not so sure about this fellow lurking in the bushes. If there are any spider experts in the class, please comment.


The Royal Kona Resort is the largest hotel in Kailua-Kona. As the picture shows, it was built about as close to water as you can get. We stayed there twice before we started to rent nearby condos and found that parts of the open-air dining room could not be used when a heavy surf was running.


Waikiki, arguably the most famous, overrated, man-made beach in the world. Fine sand, a protected area for safe swimming, numerous lifeguards, swaying palms, Diamond Head as the backdrop, scores of kiosks and hordes of tourists.

For the Japanese, this is still the place to visit and numerous wedding parties can be seen in nearby hotels.


Again there were a number of human "statues" on the main drag of Waikiki. One was done in copper with the slogan "Support your local Sheriff". The other was obviously in a Panda costume and his note read that he was trying to pay off his student loans.

One big disappointment this year! In the report of last year's visit, I observed that we had never been panhandled in Hawaii. Alas, this time, one old guy, really old, almost as old as I am, asked for spare change.


Upper left, a hula lesson on the grounds of the former royal palace in Kailua-Kona. I tried to get Eleanor to enroll so that she could learn to wiggle her hips but failed to get so much as an answer. Upper right, two solitary kayakers paddle through the Oahu "wilderness" on the Ali Wai canal.