Sunday, March 31, 2013


Oh My! How behind I am. I was determined not to let it happen this trip and even had a notebook so I could make quick pen notes if I got too tired to open up my laptop.

Our trip over the Saddle road with coffee at Waimea was last Saturday. There's no way I can remember all the details in between then and now.

Sunday we went again to the local Pahoa Farmers Market. We did not buy very much but I was looking for some green veggies. I ended up with a few things including a bunch of bok choy and a bag of tomatoes. The tomatoes from the market taste like tomatoes should. Other than that it was a day for not doing very much. By 2 am the next day I was feeling really unwell and for the following 30 hours I was either sleeping or in the bathroom. John enjoyed a day without driving. He watched TV and read our book on The Big Island Revealed.

Tuesday I felt well enough to try a drive to the Volcano Park for another visit. We had missed out on the walk to and through the lava tube and I had worked out that the best Orchid Garden to visit was up that way.
The Orchid Garden was a pleasure to walk around. They specialise in Cattleyas which have large showy flowers which are sometimes fragrant. I would have loved to have bought a few that were packed for transport with agricultural approval for mainland states but they would never have got through customs in New Zealand. There was an excellent gift shop and I couldn't resist buying some of their lovely souvenirs. I did find it difficult in the warmth and humidity which was necessary for the plants but not so good for my still fragile state.

We found our way to Volcano Village which is off the main road. We'd heard there are lots of Galleries and you could spend a day there. First we needed lunch and stopped by the Visitor Centre where there was a grocer and a Thai Restaurant. We only ordered one meal and I picked a little off the side of John's dish and sipped cold water. The people were friendly and I took a few photos. This restaurant was beautifully decorated in contrast to what seems to us, the careless, almost tatty insides of most places we've been in. One thing I can say for certain is there is the America we see on TV and the real America. I often come home thinking we try too hard to look like the America we see on TV rather than simply be ourselves.

We visited one Gallery and garden where we talked to the goat with dire warnings to be careful because he gets stroppy. The buddhist influence is strong around here and maybe all Hawaii. Many gardens display various types of Japanese statues.

We needed to continue to the park before the afternoon got any older. It was a short drive to the entrance where we were waved through after showing our ticket from the visit a few days earlier. We walked half a mile from the car park to the lava tube trail. The Thurston lava tube trail was quite steep with steps going down at the beginning followed by a short climb then the rest was easy.

We took our time chatting with a family from Florida with three little girls. There were several tour buses full of people but we let the groups pass us and so kept away from the crowds and had quiet moments in the forest.
 I love walking through forest and this was beautiful with frequent bird songs along the way. We even met a bird which looked like a fancy domestic hen and was about as wild too.

From Wikipedia. Lava tubes are natural conduits through which lava travels beneath the surface of a lava flow, expelled by a volcano during an eruption. They can be actively draining lava from a source, or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has cooled and left a long, cave-like channel.

I was very pleased by how well I managed the walk since I had gut pains most of the day. Still not very hungry I ate a small banana and yoghurt for tea and was in bed asleep earlier than usual.

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