Hilo – Day 1

16 Jul

Rather than take the free bus to Hilo, I got a lift from Lauren, one of the girls in the hostel.  100 miles later saw me in a hostel way out of town, 100 yds from the beach, with frogs croaking and birds chirping.  No people, though.  Like a ghost hostel.  Just me and the two 6″ centipedes – which caused me to move quickly to the top bunk.

However, I got a good offer on a trip up to Mauna Kea, one of Big Island’s five volcanoes.  Following a brief stop at Rainbow Falls we set off on the ride up into the mountains.  A brief stop to acclimatise at 9000 feet found me walking up one of the cinder cones on the mountain.  It was a truly eerie experience – as one of my companions put it ‘like walking on a barbecue grill’ – crunchy, lava rock underfoot.

(this is just the VIEW from the volcano)

Next stop, the summit.  Because of the unique climate in Hawai’I ( clouds form an inversion layer, which means that weather happens BELOW the top of the mountain leaving clear skies above) the mountain at Mauna Kea is dotted with observatories and radio telescopes.  But the real star was the mountain – casting its shadow over the town of Hilo below, and looming over the glacial canyon below, where the lava had been ground and shaped by the slow progress of glacier ice.

By the way, in winter, Mauna Kea actually has snowy peaks (the name means ‘White Mountain’) and the surfers leave the beach, grab a board (or anything they can find) and ride the snow instead.

In the distance, the long slope of Mauna Loa (long mountain) can be seen, and the volcanic summit of Maui’s volcano, Ihaleakala, peers through the cloud.

As the sun sank below the ridge, I was overcome with a sense of awe – and an understanding of who I am and why I am here.

Quite an experience – and more at http://amanofgod.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/goddess-of-fire/

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One Response to “Hilo – Day 1”

  1. Nikki Rose August 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    How incredible, Tim!
    Oh, how I would glady give up everything here right now, and come out there with David and find the simpler life…
    xx

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