Hilo, Day 3 – Hey, no hurlin’ on the shell, dude… just waxed it

17 Jul

Today… was a day for watching the wildlife.  We’ll ignore the two little dogs that chased me up the road… spent the morning watching the world go by in downtown Hilo chilling, reading, drinking kava (‘awa) – nothing to do with cava and everything to do with a strange root that’s meant to relax and destress you.  Worked for me.

My guidebook likens Kailui-Kona and Hilo to cops in a buddy movie – Kona is the good looking surfer type, always chatting up the girls, while Hilo is the grumpy one in the raincoat, asking questions and solving the puzzle.  Most tourists prefer Kona, but for me Hilo is more real, more genuine – old style shops, not a lot of tourism.  I won’t miss the oil terminal and the port side industry that’s between the hostel and town though.

Not many real beaches, either – but south of Hilo run a string of bays, coves beaches and rocky outcrops that I explored this afternoon.

I went snorkelling for a while in Richardson Park – nowhere near the number of fish that I’d seen earlier in the week, but I did manage to spot this cheeky chap, the reef triggerfish or humuhumunukunukuapua’a – which means ‘fish with a pig like nose’ – sounds a bit unfair.

(by the way, I don’t have an underwater camera with me, so these are stock photos!)

And then out of nowhere (and scaring the living daylights out of me) comes this, rather larger dude… the great sea turtle.

so, he and I kinda swam about a bit, hung out, shared some sea together… until he swam off.

Another one I saw later seemed to be doing the turtle equivalent of Alton Towers, riding the surf off the rocks on the beach further down the road.

I stopped off in one of the other parks for a little more snorkelling, and just after I had dried myself off, God played his high card for the day as a shoal of flying fish skipped past me.  Time to go – it couldn’t get any better….

[Side note – I had to chuckle at the Hawai’ian port-a-loo companies… Hawaiian John’s and Rent A Lua (Lua is Hawai’ian for ‘cave’)]

This evening I took a walk back into town, past the oil terminals and the port of Hilo in to Ken’s House of Pancakes for my weekly treat of a meal out.  I had to try ‘loco moco’ the Hawai’ian fast food of eggs, hamburger, rice and gravy.  And, yes, there is a vegetarian version.  Or you can have it with SPAM – the Hawai’ians love this comfort food!


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