Hawaii: Young Turk, Old Dude, and Rugged Survivor

We’ve been on the Big Island now for nearly a week, and it is definitely different from either Oahu or Maui.

Oahu reminds me of a young, single man who got a good job and has lots of disposable income. He’s looking for a good time – lots of night life, hot women, and a flashy lifestyle. He works hard and parties even harder.

Maui is like an older dude with a grayish goatee. Although he also likes a good time, his pace is more laid back, and his tastes are somewhat different. He takes walks on the beach, watches the occasional sunset, and likes to wind things up (or down) at an earlier hour.

He may also smoke a fair bit of weed, but I’m not one to judge.

Hawaii … well, I haven’t quite figured him out, yet. First off, he is rugged. There are very few sandy beaches here. What there are, though, are lots of very interesting places where you can, if you’re not careful, invite a quick trip to a medical facility.

For example, we were at a tidal pool area a few days ago. Imagine a coast made up of lava rock – the stuff you might have had in your barbeque a few years back. Black, hard and sharp. With pools of water filled with marine life.

Really cool, but a bit hazardous. I hadn’t worn the proper foot wear, and I ended up cutting a good chunk out of my foot.

Then I fell over and cut my hand. I said “Oh dear. I should have been more careful.” Or words to that effect.

Neither of these things are life threatening and, aside from gimping around for a couple of days, I’m fine. I don’t recall ever getting “injured” on the other islands, though.

There is also an active volcano flowing lava about 30 minutes from here. It might be just me, but I think that anyone who lives near an active volcano is tough as nails and possesses a large pair of kahunas. Or the female equivalent.

So rugged is a good word.

Friendly is another good word. We were out walking the other day, and a guy stopped to ask if we needed a ride. When we said we were just walking, he looked at us and, I’m sure, said something like “White people.”

He waved and drove on.

There are hitch hikers everywhere, and they are always getting picked up. We decided to get into the island way and picked up a hitch hiker ourselves.

He was a very friendly guy named Tom. Tom is a university student, and it was fairly apparent that he was enjoying his island lifestyle. He may have even received a baggy of “supplies” from his older cousin on Maui, but I’m not one to judge.

He rode with us for a few miles and then jumped out, shook our hands, and wandered down a side road. And we lived to tell the tale.

We also visited a black sand beach. This is really a misnomer. It was a beach, and it was black, but “sand” is not that accurate. It’s actually lava (OK, the whole island is made of lava, as are they all) that has been broken down into fairly fine gravel.

The cool part was that this beach was a resting place for large sea turtles – like the kind you saw on “Finding Nemo”, except these didn’t talk. Nor have any of the fish we’ve seen. There were about a dozen turtles, just hanging out.

Cool beans.

On our way from the volcano to this beach, we passed a desert and a rain forest. In about 30 minutes. Also cool beans.

We are on the wet side of the island, and it has rained every night. The days, except for this one, have been hot, so I have no complaints. Except for the heat.

Anyway, I’ve taken about 2 pictures, and I don’t have plans to post them, as I’m feeling lazy. They are both awesome, so you can let the anticipation build.

Aloha,

Ron

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