To Volcano – To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.

18 Jul

(quote for the day courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer in ‘A Knight’s Tale’.

Today was a day for trudging.  And for changing plans. Originally I had a really good plan that involved swimming with turtles, catching the bus downtown and then the bus from Hilo to Volcano.  It was a good plan.  If executed on a weekday.  On a SATURDAY, however, the plan missed one vital ingredient.  No bus downtown.  So, A three mile walk.  Cancel the turtles, start walking.  However, a new plan formed in my mind.  Stop off at Planet Cafe for banana pancakes. Trust me, it was only the thought of banana pancakes that kept me going with a pack on my back that doubled my weight, and another pack on my front.

On the way I passed Keuakaha beach park where the locals put up huge tents and equally huge barbecues – and even have their own Port-A-Loo – and the tragic clock, stuck on 1:05, that commemorates the 1946 tsunami and the destruction of east coast of Hawai’i

Eventually, I stumbled into Hilo and began my search for Planet Cafe.  Under renovation.  My banana pancakes were NOT going to materialise.  HOWEVER, a quick check of the area revealed a farmers market with a lovely Thai lady in the smallest mobile catering van on the planet making green papaya salad.  I ordered Thai Hot.  I think the chef threatened to make me cry.  But that salad was the best thing I had ever eaten, for about two minutes.  Because two minutes after finishing my salad, I had the banana rolls.  Two orders.  Heaven!

Anyway, a quick bus ride later (buses are free, but you pay for baggage) and I was in Volcano at the charming Holo Holo In (yep, only one ‘n’) with the charming Satoshi Yabuki and his equally charming wife and young family… and a school party.  Now in the space of three hostels I have gone from backbacker international with Russian, French Canadian, German and US travellers, to solitude in a nearly empty hostel, to an all American school trip.  It’s variety, that I wll grant you!  By the way, Holo Holo means “leisurely journey” – I am not sure if that is apt or not!

On the up side, the teachers decided that if they didn’t do something I might collapse, so fortified me with spaghetti sauce and cookies.

So, a peaceful night – which might be a good think. Yabuki-San is threatening to take me to the farmer’s market at 6 am tomorrow… and I foresee a day of hiking round the volcano.  Or was that ‘trudging’?

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