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Third Age Adventures

Kona coffee and Submarines

UNITED STATES OUTLYING ISLANDS | Thursday, 12 July 2007 | Views [158]

!We disembarked from the ship when it arrived back in Honolulu and flew straight to Kona on the big island. We are staying in another time-share resort - right on the water. It occurs to me that we are done for if there's a tsunami (one has hit on the western side. This side is sfaer I think). The sunset is glorious. Next morning I decided to go for a walk into the Kona Marketplace and I took photos, wandered into the shops,(bought a wooden gecko) and generally mooched around. The woodcarving shop was pretty empty and the lady in there asked where I was from (the cute accent again).  She asked me what Australians thought of George W Bush and what people were saying about their upcoming (2008) presidential elections. This is a fairly presumptuous question. It presumes that everyone else knows all about the US – which, of course, turns out to be true. So I told her that most of our papers seem to be tipping an Obama win next year. This cheered her up – obviously she is a Democrat, and she told me stories about Obama having grown up in Hawaii and people she knew who knew him. I hadn’t realized he was a local. (Then she gave me a discount!)  I walked back to the Condo and eventually we drove up to Safeway and Walmart. After we came out of Walmart we couldn’t find our car. We pushed the button on the keys, thinking that it would activate the horn or similar. We tried the doors of some similar looking cars (they all looked alike to me). While we were doing this one car kept flashing its lights at us. I thought they were trying to give us a signal of some sort – but it turned out that was our car – reacting to the button pushing. Lucky we didn’t get arrested!

Next day we decided to go on a submarine ride under the harbour to look at the coral reefs. This was amazing - down to 100ft – we all had our own portholes to look out. Coral, Fish, Some wrecks. At 100ft the water was translucent – just ultra-violet light. So the fish weren’t as highly coloured as I’d imagines. They said that when people film this, they add the colour back. We spent about an hour underwater and the time just flew by as if it was ten minutes. Of course (these are volcanic islands) there was a huge underwater crater – the coral just dropped away. So we hovered over this crater at times. We learned that 80% of the white sand on Hawaii comes from the coral and comes from “the south end of a north swimming fish”. The fish eats the coral – crunches it up and shoots it out the back as sand. Each fish makes 1 ton of sand per year.   Think of that next time I dip my toes in the sand!!!  In the  evening I watched the sunset again. Never get tired of it. Never.


Today is a shiny sunny day. Not the oppressive heat of yesterday.When we were here last week (on the ship) we visited what was called The International Market. Actually just a cluster of tourist shops. But we both saw things that we liked and so we decided to drive back there today to see if we wanted to buy. Marie was interested in some jeweller she saw – for her granddaughter and daughter, and some fun T shirts for the grandsons. I’d seen some pottery – made with Hawaiian green sand, which I eventually bought. There was a nice coffee shop there and we sat there for a while and I did my people watching exercise.


 From there we drove to the Sea-Horse Farm – not at all what I expected, but very interesting. I thought it would be very commercial – more like, say, Sydney Aquarium. It’s run by a husband and wife team of biologists who breed seahorses for the pet-trade in an effort to save them being harvested from the sea. We got to look at all the stages – then we put our hands in the water and they twisted their tails around our fingers and hung on. In the same tank a male was giving birth in the other corner ( Yes. The males give birth!! They have a pouch and the female puts her eggs into the pouch where he fertilises them. They then grow there till he gives birth.)



(Try to stop a Writer Writing!!)

Over the two weeks of this trip I’ve been reading “The Mists of Avalon”. And the thread through it is of the old Celtic religions of nature/goddess worship. Attuning to the sun, the moon and the seasons.

Here in Hawaii I’ve been captivated by the sunrise and sunset. Shortly I’ll be off to the water to watch the last of the sunsets over the water. And on Maui the unforgettable spectacle of the sunrise over Haleakalà. And the rituals of the Goddess Pele, Goddess of Fire. The two things have intertwined in  my                                               head for two weeks. The ancient ways. Like  a pilgrimage.


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