Friday, July 3, 2015

Washing Machine!

Here is an update from the last couple of days on Hawaii. On Wednesday we packed up our things and left Volcano Village and headed down to Hilo once more to check out the beaches there. I was very excited to go snorkeling, because we now have a waterproof phone case that we can take with us underwater. The first beach was just wonderful for undersea adventures and we saw a lot of fish and even a turtle. The pictures weren't always great because the screen on the phone is hard to focus with.

There were lots of fishes! And I love TURTLES!

We hopped out of the water there and drove a short ways along the coast to yet another beautiful beach where we sat and had lunch in the shade. The beaches in Hilo were really stunningly gorgeous and different from the ones we've seen elsewhere on this trip.

We don't have these signs in Sweden.

Beautiful lagoons to swim and snorkel in
Our next stop was a farmer's market/ craft fair. We walked around and picked up a few souvenirs and some giant avocados, tahitian limes and fresh corn to make dinner with later. The heat and the sun started to get to us so we made a quick stop to pick up mochi from a store that sells only mochi(!) before making a break for the air conditioning in our rental car.
$2 for a bag of 6 papaya!

Mochi flavors from Two Ladies Kitchen (they quit their old day jobs and now just make mochi!)
A scenic coastline drive north from Hilo landed us at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden with just about an hour left to explore before closing time. We tried to stick to a quick tempo, but there were so many amazing plants to photograph that it was pretty difficult. One hour would not have been enough for some of the botany enthusiasts in our life to make this tour, many of the plants looked very poisonous as well. Sam used her Ollo clip iphone lens to get a lot of close up shots around the garden.
Multi-coloed bamboo plant thingy

Beautiful hanging flower balls

Colorful pinecone like plant with flowers growing out of it (yeah, we got very scientific with names)

Leaves were bigger than me
We ended our day up in Waimea at our next place. This one is up in Cowboy Country, and we can confirm that there were a lot of cattle grazing along the road as we drove to get here. The house is very nice and we were really eager to use the washing machine here. We did a load of laundry that was basically every article of clothing that we packed with us on this trip (well neither of us has used our running tights yet).

We had dinner and caught up on a little internet. Ross found a jigsaw puzzle of a Hawaiin reef (does that count as snorkeling?) and worked on that until bedtime. Being out in the sun can be fairly exhausting.

This morning we got an early start so that we could try to beat the heat. Our goal was to go running in the Waipio valley, a remote area along the north coast. The road that heads into the valley is so steep that only 4WD cars are allowed to attempt the trip, and so we parked at the top and started our run from there. Despite the early start it was already scorching and heat was rolling in waves off the pavement. Our guidebook claims that Lance Armstrong biked up the road from the valley in 9 minutes on a bet, so we were happy to make the careful descent in about 10 minutes. Then it was a long stretch along a quiet beach, crossing a fast flowing river in the middle, and then up the other canyon wall. Rosses are not designed for mid 80's weather and direct sun, so the pace slackened noticeable at this point. We switchbacked our way up to the ridge, taking in the views along the way, and then promptly turned around and ran back. Our last segment, the road run back to the parking lot was run almost as a workout. Sam made it up in just over 12 minutes, though it might have taken a bit longer on a bike ;)

We made it down, across the beach and to the top of the far cliff before turning back.

Hydrating as we near the top. Too hot.

We showered and headed to Merriman's restaurant for lunch. The server told us about the soup of the day, and did such a great job describing it that we both ordered soup. It was delicious but neither of us can remember what it was made with. The run and the food made us sleepy so we took a nap at a  beach on the west coast before going snorkeling. The late afternoon was perfect for beach hopping so we tried to visit another beach for some snorkeling but the parking was full and we weren't allowed in, so we ended up at third beach which was great for swimming.

Thanks for the tip, Katie!
Despite our beach time nap, the pace of the past weeks has really tired us out, so it's early bedtime for us tonight!

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