FC: the Big Island of Hawaii | Photography, words and layout by Price Dempler. Copyright 2012 | Visiting
1: HAWAII | BIG ISLAND HAWAII | ARRIVED 3 OCTOBER 2012 | After 26 long years of waiting, Miriam finally made it to Hawaii! She dragged along her husband Price, their eldest son Bryan and his wonderful girlfriend Hannah for a week of exploring! A long late evening flight and arrival late at night left us with no idea where we really were, at least until we woke up and saw outside the condo!
4: What an otherworldly place! We spent the first day simply getting ourselves ready for the week ahead. Foodstuffs, alcohol and other staples were acquired. On our way to Costco, we learned that our previous night's drive was spent driving through lava fields, both desolate and alluring. But that ocean - stunning!!
6: OUR FIRST BEACH VISIT was such an adventure! Everything about it was just so perfect. Water was warm but very refreshing. Sand was comfortable and the breeze delicious! We all got a little waterlogged but isn't that really the goal? Plus the plants and the lave were all so different from what we are used to. So much to see!
8: MOUNTAIN THUNDER COFFEE PLANTATION | was a radical departure from only one hour previous at sea level. As we ascended the mountain road to take a tour of the plantation, our perfect sunny day turned dark and misty, bordering on rain. It was also much cooler. The tour was fascinating with a look at the actual steps in processing pure Kona coffee beans. Of course the tour wrapped up in the store which smelled divine! Coffee was purchased along with chocolate covered coffee beans. Not being a coffee drinker, I wandered around with my camera and shot pictures of wonderfully textured and aged old things.
11: LAVA LAVA BEACH CLUB became a go to spot for atmosphere, phenomenal food, wonderful service and scenery (and a variety of drinks).
14: TOWN OF HAWI | bamboo restaurant | 5 OCT 2011
15: HAWI, HAWAII was a real study in contrasts. Lush forests to the north, lava fields to the south, old and new in between. All in the space of 20 miles! We maintained our tourist expressions throughout, photographing the whole way.
17: lava lava everywhere
20: pololu valley | N. KOHALA
22: Your intrepid travelers pose for 5 self-timer images. This is the 5th one!
23: From North and the Pololu Valley to the South (in fact, Ka Lea or South Point, the southernmost point in the United States) we found more amazing things. From a 30ft deep hole in the ground where the ocean rushed in to a gorgeous natural arch off the cliffs of the shoreline, your intrepid travelers saw it all!
26: On our way back from South Point, more snorkeling was in order so after a quick late lunch at a Captain Cook fruit stand, we visited Kealakekua Bay. Price was out of steam so he went exploring while Hannah, Bryan and Mim chased a sea turtle.
28: THE BLACK CRABS WERE ALMOST COMPLETELY invisible. Upon closer examination, it turned out the camouflage was so good and that they moved so quickly you would not normally realize they were even there. Getting just these 2 shots required a great deal of time waiting and barely breathing. They move very rapidly (sideways and as a group). In the picture on the right there are actually 2 crabs - one large and in the upper right corner a very small one!
31: NOT EVEN 200 FT. FROM THE BEACH WAS A SMALL neighborhood. Clearly this group of homes had been there for quite some time. A walk down one of the small streets revealed the 1980s K5 Blazer, properly modified for any beachgoing activity. The owner was more than happy to let me photograph the vehicle. Just a couple of doors down was a boat with 2 massive fishing reels. Knowing nothing material about fishing I was still drawn to the machine work and the engineering of the reels. Really amazing!
32: FROM THE WEST SIDE OF THE ISLAND AT WAIKOLOA TO THE EAST side of the island to Hilo all for some pancakes! On our way though we visited Mauna Kea, the northernmost volcano that tops out at 13,796 feet. Paved road ends at the Visitor's Center at about 9,000 feet where there are telescopes for public usage, even one for looking directly at the sun. As we headed back down the hill we kept stopping for photos, mostly of the Mauna Loa volcano to the south. Breathtaking!
36: KEN'S HOUSE OF PANCAKES in Hilo was indeed worth the trip!
37: NOTHING COULD HAVE PREPARED US for the stunning landscapes at Volcano National Park. We started at the Visitor's Center, went through a rain forest area to go through a lava tube. Running low on time, we decided to forgo some of the craters near the top of Chain of Craters Road and head toward the ocean. At one point we crested a small rise and the trees disappeared and the vista before us rendered us silent. We made our way to the end of the road stopping very frequently to just absorb the scenery and take pictures. We hiked around the area where lava had once flowed to the ocean, creating varied and wonderful natural phenomena. Hard to believe that after molten lava, plants and greenery returned creating a wonderful contrast.