11 February 2008

Hawai'i 2008: Highlights from The Big Island

I hate shoes.
Hawaii 2008
They are so oppressive.

It's amazing how easy it is to adapt to island life - yet it's so difficult to re-adjust once you get home. Florescent lights, why?

This Hawaii trip was a little different than the last one. We hit The Big Island and Maui. So first, here are the highlights from the Big Island - Hawai'i.

For a diver, the whole point of going to The Big Island of Hawaii is to dive with Manta Rays.

The video above isn't from the exact dive I did, but it's the same dive site. The dive lights attract plankton - food for the 8-12 foot rays. How they get so big eating such tiny things, I have no idea. Manta Rays are completely harmless. They come very close and you can look them righht in the eye. It's not the least bit scary though, the rays have no teeth and no stinger. Also, when you look them in the eye, you can tell the lights are on but no one's home.

Volcanoes National Park roadWe also visited Volcanoes National Park where (for now) it's not possible to see a live lava flow. The lava is coming out at an inaccessible part of the park so all you can do is drive around and look at cold, hardened lava and smell volcano farts. The situation seems to change every few months, so check the Nat'l Park Service website for current volcano activity.

It was still kinda cool.

You know what else I really dug? As we drove around the island we listened to an all Hawaiin music radio station. It's called KAPA. Can you imagine? A whole radio station devoted to local music!*

* Unfortunately they also had a station that seemed to play nothing but Huey Lewis and the News.

Shirakawa Motel signSo we're cruising around the island in this minivan, right? We're listening to KAPA and thinking maybe we'll save a couple bucks and crash in the van (hey, it's Hawaii not like we're going to get cold). Then, while driving back to the Kona side of the island we found the Shirakawa Motel. It's the Southernmost Hotel / Motel / Inn in the United States. Why the heck not?

South Point Porta PottyI already peed in the southernmost porta potty.

Okay, couple more tips if you ever make it to The Big Island. You won't want to miss eating at Aloha Angels and/or The Coffee Shack. Both are on the way to Volcanoes, South Point, the Black Sand Beach etc.

Lastly, I hope you'll enjoy this clip of my favorite Hawaiian hit. It's called Kane'ohe.

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