feb 11 another tour of paradise

Re-entry after 10 days on the Big Island was tough last week. The return to winter weather didn't bother me; the cold actually felt lessened by being hot for a week. The difficulty was the return to work and life responsibilities beyond the basics. I had easily become satisfied with no greater stress than deciding where to hike, bike or snorkel, doing laundry, and making meals. One of the highlights of the trip was a concert by Grammy-winning slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson. I played two of his CDs over and over again last week to keep my aloha grooving.

Like last year, this trip incorporated biking, hiking, and snorkeling with our gracious hosts Pam and Roger. We rented mountain bikes the first weekend. On Saturday we biked to the end of the road in Puna where the lava flow has taken out more houses and one of the beaches that we hiked to last year. Paul and I split a mahi-mahi burger at the Kalapana cafe. Then we pedaled back to the car, which was conveniently parked at the Ahalanui hot ponds for post-ride soaking.

The four of us drove to the Kona side for a couple of days of snorkeling. Like last year, the surf was high and our options for the water were limited on the first day. After Pam and Roger went to visit some other friends, Paul and I hiked to the Captain Cook Monument in Kealekekua Bay for a fun afternoon of exploring the lava point and snorkeling. We were grateful for the clouds when we hiked back out.

We hiked to these idyllic beaches the next day. The far beach had decent snorkeling and a great lunch spot in the shade of an ironwood tree.

Back on the Puna side, we completed the trip with two long dips in our favorite snorkeling spot - Kapoho tide pools. I bought a waterproof, pocket-size camera for the trip and had too much fun photographing and filming the fish and coral (and Paul). On our next trip, I'd like to hang out at Kapoho for several days - snorkeling when the tide is high and watching the ocean (or napping or reading) when the tide is low.

I came home a few days before Paul did so that Pam and Roger could put him to work on the house. I hear that he did a wonderful job trimming their front door with ohia logs. I can't wait to see photos. He arrived with a plumaria lei for Bhikkhu.