Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And Then We Went to the Big Island

The thing that surprised me when we arrived at Kona International airport on the Big Island, was the vastly different landscape.

The coast there is arid, lacking the rich foliage of places like Honolulu. And the coast includes wide swaths of dark brown and black, broken and crumbling lava.

It looked to me, as we drove north from the airport, like the lava had flowed sometime in the last 10 to 20 years. I learned, though, that the lava we drove through -- imagine a two-lane ribbon through broken black rocks -- flowed down the mountain and into the sea in the middle of the 19th century. It was in 1850 or some time around then.

But we stayed in a created oasis amid all that lava. Someone had ground up acres of the ineral-rich rock, added topsoil, and created a lovely green spot at Waikoloa. We were in the huge Hilton portion of Waikoloa, which includes at least two other hotels, two shopping malls, two golf courses, condos and villas.

Later in the week, we drove around the Big Island and found other landscapes, volcanoes, tropical forest, and mountains.

We had an active time. We swam, we saw sea turtles, we snorkeled, we hiked, we ate well and I got to play some golf. But those are future blog posts...

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