Miho and I decided to spend a wonderful few weeks exploring Hawaii. It was my first time there, and in order to see a few different areas, and to see a few friends and family, we dedicated to check out Oahu and The Big Island. A few photos from our Hawaiian Adventure.
Exploring Diamond Head State Monument, we discoved an apocalyptically beautiful spiral staircase deep inside the summit structures of Fort Ruger.
Top of Diamond Head.
Looking into the outskirts of Diamondhead, it’s easy to see the Hawiian housing districts conforming to the shape of the valleys and ridges of the newly-formed volcanic landscape.
Hiking around the outskirts of Honolulu, we found the rocky shore area of the famous Shangri-La manison. It’s idillic location befits its name for sure.
Naturally, while we were in Honolulu, we felt compelled to (briefly) dip into the tourist vortek of Waikiki Beach for some all-too typical, but still fun hula dancing and frozen drinks.
Another absolutely essential stop in Honolulu was Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. A powerful and thought-provoking experinece.
A few weeks after we visited, this dock was crushed by a wayward navy ship. The monument remains though, and is certainly dramatic to visit.
Hanging out at Ka`ahumanu Hale, downtown Honolulu.
The vast National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the center of Punchbowl Crater outside of Honolulu is a somber, peacefull memorial honoring the veterans of 4 wars.
Food trucks are all the rage in Hawaii, and this one served deliciously spicy shrimp and rice – with fresh coconut water!
Spicy shrimp and rice. A perfect lunch by the sea.
At the Dole Plantation, we learned how Pineapples are grown, as well as a number of other local produce. Pineapples take a LONG TIME to grow. Respect.
Matsumoto’s Shave Ice. Delicious, essential.
First stop on The Big Island was in Hilo, where we stayed for a night with a family member. Hilo is rainy and lush, with a relaxed local vibe.
Sea turtles enjoing a morning swim in a tidal pool in Hilo.
Hilo, Hawaii gets a ton of rain, and as a result is dramatically lush and beautiful.
The Hilo Farmers market is an essential stop, and we enjoyed Papayas, Mangoes, and lots of other local flavours.
At the Kirpali Meditation Retreat, we rented a private cabin tucked away on the edge of the jungle.
The Big Island is Hawaii’s youngest island, and the volcanic formations are beautifully intact everywhere.
The remains of a very recent lava flow, which took over part of the Hilo recycling facility – but mercifully stopped just short of destroying the entire facility.
Freshly cooled lava comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Lava stops for nothing, not even local ordinances.
The local spirit towards the volcano is inspiring – people have great respect and reverenace for it, but also are proud of their community, and stand their ground when practical.
Our jungle cabin was down a long and winding jungle pathway, surrounded by impenetrable marshes and expansive papaya farms. We even had a hot springs just a short walk away.
Also a short ways away from our jungle cabin was the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary. Unfortunately, despite the delicious smoothies we were sipping on, no “Star Visitors” appeared to take a sip.
Out of the freshly cooled volcanic earth sprout new palm trees. We were astounded at how quickly life spreads out over the charred new earth.
Lava tubes form mysterious entrances into the earth.
The jungle around HIlo is thick and dramatic, reminding us of what a prehistoric jungle must have looked like.
Daily rain showers keep things lush and glistening.
Amidst fog and fading light at Volcanoes National Park, we took a quick 2 mile run along the rim of the massive crater.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-see attraction.
Live appears quickly from the cracks of freshly cooled lava.
Hiking on the undulating, dramatic, freshly cooled lava fields.
Miho examining the dramatic structures formed by flowing lava.
Inside the crater, lava can be seen bubbling and boiling at night.
Our crappy rental car couldn’t make it to the top of Manua Kea, so instead we hitchhiked.
Our wonderful jungle cabin.
Lizards were everywhere, and greeted us when we returned home in the evening.
Hiking along the beach outside of Hilo. The surf pounds the fresh lava rocks in to pocketed, round boulders.
For our final nights in Hawaii, we decided to dip back into the ultra tourist vortex, and booked a room at the Royal Kona Resort in Kona, Hawaii. It’s certainly not our core style to stay at resorts like this, but we still had a great time checking out hula parties, beach sunsets, fruity drinks, and nighttime walks.
The inside of our jungle cabin. Airy and comfortable.
Green sands created by Olivine in the rocks above this beach give it an especially otherworldly feeling.
Honolulu, as seen from the apex of Diamond Head. After flying halfway across the Pacific and landing on a remote island chain, it’s a bit stunning to see a modern, bustling city, with every typical element of modern life – chain restaurants, strip malls, skyscrapers, and crazy traffic. Honolulu is a fine town, though, and an essential jumping off point to the rest of hawaii.
We stayed with Antarctic friend Ben while in Honolulu, and had a great time grabbing mexican food and ice cream. Thanks Ben!
Local brews, too. Big Wave Golden Ale was especially delicious.
Spam is a local specialty, so Miho and I decided that we needed to try the trendy new “Portuguese Sausage” spam flavour.
Rain and Waterfalls.
Exploring the astronomical observatories at the summit of Mauna Kea.