Hawaii 2013 "Paradise"

I must say that Hawaii is all it's cracked up to be, beautiful, picturesque, constant breeze and breathtaking views and beaches!  So off for our adventure to the Big Island, Hawaii in the area of Paauilo.  That's what we would be calling home base, on the ranch lands of Hamakua ranch on the slopes of Mauna Kea.  So our journey from Tampa to the middle of the Pacific Ocean takes us first to Hilo and the sound of invading frogs from Puerto Rico the Coqui frog and hence the silence of the peaceful Hawaiian coast is shattered by alien invaders.
We soon notice that the dry volcanic area of Kona provides a perfect opportunity  for some pretty popular and harmless graffiti.  So without without making a lasting impact on the surroundings, we take up the white rock tradition and mark our stake on the volcanic rock so you know we were there!

You can thank the US government shut down on our inability to actually set foot on Volcanoes National Park, how ironic when that was really one of the sightseeing goals I wanted to accomplish.  O' well, guess Shana and I will have to schedule a trip back one day to knock that off our list.

 so, almost every view looked like this, amazing!  Waipio Valley

 On our way to Waipio Falls in Waipio Valley.  Here is Summer in a really cold watering hole.  the water, as you can see is crystal clear and that would be a common theme throughout our visit.

We actually had to do some serious bouldering to get to out destination (Waipio Falls) and some of it turned out to be a bit challenging but never too difficult.
 Summer enjoying a relaxing cooling off.
 Best friends acting like kids, go figure!
Waipio Falls, fortunately the water flow was not there.

Darn horse getting a bit fresh.  They were hungry.
Although the photo does no justice to how big the waves were, they were big enough for me to decide it was not worth taking a dip.

 Almost to the falls but the water was barley flowing.  That does not make for a breathtaking view but it sure assists in the amount of water flowing down the river/stream.  it made it so much of an easier hike.

Wild horse. 
 Wild horse very excited to see Shana.  It ended up biting her in the thigh when she did not feed it.

 " I would like to come home with you, please"
 Looking down Wiapio Valley

Summer, acting funny.

 Summers "cottage" and where we stayed throughout the duration of the trip.

 The chickens, man were they friendly and Summer let me feed them everyday which ended up being really fun and fulfilling.

 Part of Summers garden

 Anticipating going on an awesome hike.
 Our host Summer and co-host Coco, my backseat buddy.
 Cycling is popular on this island.
 Lunch snack before our hike to the beach.
 Ouch, this hike is going to hurt.

This stuff makes for a difficult approach.  Ouch is what my shoes would say if they could actually talk.

Finally a break in the trail with some flat terrain.

 Yes that is a goat you see.  Mmmm get into my belly.

We are getting closer.
Finally, we arrive and the hike was well worth it.

This is a protective cove and it was such a pleasure to take a dip and play.
Nobody on this beach except out hiking party.  Now that is awesome.
I have no idea what it is but it squirted water at me.

Strawberry gauva,mmm.

Finally made it to the lookout but now we head into the next valley and see what is in store for us.

We had to descend about 700 feet via rope to the valley floor and it was steep! the pictures just do not do it justice,  But the reward!

Tress leaning because of the constant strong winds of the coast.

Made it to the ocean.

Shana and I would decide to use this as a wish bone.  Later will find out she won.  She always wins and it pisses me off!

She beat me again on the wish bone challenge.  What upsets me the most is she always wins despite me picking what side I want. And even more painful is this has been the biggest wishbone I've ever seen. I'm starting to call into question my intellectual prowess on this one.

Yes, that's a trail we are about to head into.

Well once you go down you have to go back up.

Our shelter for the evening not bad for a pinch to put together.

This looks like a snack.
How are we going to get these coconuts down?
This coconut has no idea I'm going to bash the living shit out of it, he he!

Preparing to unleash terror on the unsuspecting Coconut.
And let the battle begin! I seriously would hate to see what she might do to a human skull or boyfriend.

It did not stand a chance.
Damn, that's pretty darn good.
More lava.
The lava can wreck some real havoc on your shoes.  Mine are pretty much totaled.
This is a real good photo depicting the flow rolling down a small hill top.
Here is a view a bit further away

 Cool fresh water pools fed by lava tubes.

These little fellas are called super shrimp and they live in fresh water pools.

Here was our final destination, "the crack".  A fresh water pool fed by lava tubes.  The water was around 72 degrees and crystal clear.  Just beyond the pool is the pacific ocean battering waves against the rock.

This is a salt pool that Summer collected some fresh sea salt from, pretty cool.
Summer taking the plunge.
Now it's my turn.
Double rainbow, how pleasant.
Here is a series of macadamia nuts.  The bottom two are in there husks before the nut is pulled out.  You can see where the nut has been removed from the husk and the final product is the white nut at the top of the photo. 
Damn, this sucks.
Thanks goodness for the specific made mac nut cracker.
Ahh, my back-seat buddy for the entire trip, 

These palms were actually planted.

We were headed out on the lava field to see Mauna Kea's lava glow for the evening, so with headlamps and legs we departed for a 10 mile round trip hike.

Loosing the Sun.

 I'm right near a cliff face in this photo.

This is what happens when lava flows over a small tree.  By the way this is actually a color photo but since there is no color, you guessed it.

 Look at the pride in their pose.

 Damn, that was one big banyan tree,
 We picked up two Swedes while going up to the summit of Mauna Kea (the observatory).  Man would it end up being a pretty cold sunset.
 Yes, that is snow.
 For god sakes, it's snowing in Hawaii
 Hurry up and take the photo.
 The three freezing mice.

 The observatories.

 Walking up the Summit.

 Tour group wearing stupid orange warm suits.

 And this is what we came for.

Nice panorama.

Wow! what a view just awe inspiring.

 Time for a tour of the only chocolate producing facility in the US from start to finish.

 Chocolate pods growing form the tree.

 A pod cut open, mmmm soon to be chocolate.

 Even the Gecko wants in on the bounty.
 Where there is one there has to be more.

 Now for a tour of a coffee facility.

 Coffee beans drying.

 This is the true southern most tip of the US.

 Always the ham.
 I would recommend that you not get too close to the cliff face here.

Pretty cool.

 Today we brought the four wheel drive and the video will illustrate why:

Take a look.

Green sands beach where there is green sand as a result of olivite rock being crushed by the waves and turning the sand, well green.

What a way to end a perfect vacation in paradise!