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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Island: Beauty in Hilo

This morning I woke up around 6:30am but decided to stay in bed till 7am. When I opened the drapes, the very first thing that greeted me was the most glorious and very brilliant rainbow! The colours were so vivid that the part of the rainbow that started at the water’s edge was reflected in the water in the ocean so that it looked like there was a rainbow going up to the sky and one going into the ocean.


What a sight to wake up to. I ran for my camera and exclaimed so loudly that Bena and Sophie both ran out with their cameras. I got a couple of really good pictures. I have seen more rainbows in a few days than I think I’ve seen for several years in Winnipeg.

We had breakfast on deck with mom. Karran left the ship early to get in a game of golf (18 holes) but he could only complete 9 because he was behind some Japanese tourists who were taking their time on the course because they were playing for money. The rest of us decided that we would head for the beach but when I picked up the rental car, the agent said that Hilo is not a beach place. We wanted to see the volcano but we were told that the best way to see it is by helicopter at a rate of something like $249 per person. We decided that we were not that eager to see it after all. Sophie and I stayed at Starbucks and Mom and Bena went to Macy’s to do some window shopping until Karran was ready to be picked up.

I did that and we went off to the Mauna Loa macadamia farm to buy some more nuts. We were quite disappointed to see that although the orchards and processing plant are located there, it was less expensive to buy the nuts at Walmart than it was to buy it there. So we headed off to Rainbow Falls. When we arrived, we had a light lunch and walked up almost 40 stairs to see if we could actually see rainbow since the falls was named after a rainbow. Indeed we found one over the falls but not as bright as the one we saw first thing this morning. Beautiful nevertheless.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls!

Rainbow |Falls!
After the falls, we headed over to the botanical gardens on the east side of the town. I cannot describe how many species of unique flowers and other foliage there were in that garden. Some of those flowers were so unusual, that I have never even seen pictures of them. The colours ranged from silvery blue to reds, oranges, pinks, yellows and even a blue flower. There was a spectacular pink flower that looked a bit like it had scales with vivid bluish-purple secondary flowers growing from the sides. I wish we had discovered it earlier in the day because we only had about an hour to cover a large area, resulting in us not getting to see some of it. Maybe next time.
Pink quill

Heliconia

Cat's whiskers

Heliconia

Red Wing Heliconia

Anthurium

Bird's nest anthurium

Bromeliad

Bromeliad

Dwarf pineapple


Orchid

Anthurium

Anthurium

Anthurium

Anthurium

Anthurium

Mini anthurium
Ice Blue calathea

Yellow plume flower


Amazon lily



Tennis Ball ginger



Agnes, if you are reading this, you can send me back here so that I can blog about Hilo or anywhere on the Big Island as a travel destination. We got back to the ship about 4pm and had a bit of a relax and chat before heading off to dinner. We decided to skip the formal dining room tonight for the more informal but might I say, equally as good if not better cafĂ© on the 11th floor. There was such variety of stuff to choose from but as with the Guyanese in all of us, I think we all had some bits of curry. I had the veggie curry, dhall and the fish curry with pita bread and some rice and a caprese salad with marinated atrichokes. Then I had a cheesecake crepe for desert with a nice cup of Darjeeling tea. Karran had almost the same thing except for the fish curry. He doesn’t eat meat or fish on Tuesdays. Bena and Sophie had roast beef but with some curry on the side. Mom had chicken and something else and said she was so full, she couldn’t eat another bite. When I offered her dessert, she had a piece of pecan pie and several pieces of fruit (for someone who couldn’t eat another bite). Bena and Mom went to their cabins and we stayed and chatted for a while. That’s the part of the vacation that I think we are all liking – that we are spending time with each other in various combinations and sometimes all together. By the time the three of us got back to the room, Mom and Bena were sound asleep – and it was not yet 9pm! Bena said that this is the best sleep she has had in some time and I can believe that. Last night she was talking to me and I heard her breathing change the next minute so I looked around to see if she was doing some meditational deep breathing but she was fast asleep and that took about 90 seconds from the last word she said to me. I have to say that I have been sleeping quite well too.

Tomorrow we arrive in Kona at 7am. The ship will be anchored off shore and we’ll have to take a tender to go to shore so we all decided that we would skip the shore trip. By tonight we had all decided that maybe we’ll go on shore and take one of the free shuttles provided by several shopping centres and either do some shopping or look around town. It’s now 9:50pm and I am going to call it a night. That means good night to you.

sandra

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