Campbell and Chris are in town, and I didn't have work today (Did I mention I'm only working part-time now? I'm only working part time now.), so I took them up Hamakua for the day. It was a gorgeous day (a few light, brief showers notwithstanding) and we had a blast.
We took the little four mile Old Highway Scenic Route between Papaikou and Pepe‘ekeo, stopping and pulling over at Onomea Bay and taking the shoreline access trail. I taught them about One Lane Bridges, ‘awapuhi battles, kukae pua‘a vanishing caterpillar tricks, native and non-native plants, Hawaiian myths and legends, how to collect and eat shoreline foods, how to sex a crab, and how to greet people like a local. We poked around the streams and wild shoreline, climbed a banyan tree, and obtained a coconut.
We stopped in for lunch at The Fruit Stand a.k.a. The Smoothie Place a.k.a. What's Shakin' (I think it's actually called) for lunch and smoothies. This place has become famous, and deservedly so. Their smoothies are 100% fruit and fruit juice, no added sweetener, and most of the fruit is picked fresh from their own gardens. I had a delicious wrap too, with chicken and black beans and salsa and melted cheese, and green salad and fresh papaya, pineapple, and banana on the side. DELICIOUS.
Next we drove down to the shoreline access trail in Pepe‘ekeo, which was fabulous. We had the place to ourselves, and enjoyed walking along the tops of the cliffs under the ironwood trees, watching the massive breakers roll in and hurl themselves onto the rocks. We saw koa‘e kea (white-tailed tropicbirds) and sea turtles. We watched a massive pod of dolphins swim by, intent on reaching their destination to the south, with one (duly christened 'Bob') lagging behind the group to goof off, jumping and spinning and flipping. We visited the sea arch and poked in streams, and we scrambled down the cliffs to the shore and explored caves and tidepools and discussed constructing beach homes out of live ironwoods. I taught them about blue-eyed hermit crabs and rock-boring urchins and tubeworms and sea cucumbers, and Chris and I enjoyed a refreshing impromptu soaking courtesy of a rogue wave. We collected a strange orange fruit with bright red seeds (later determined to be a kind of bittermelon) and headed back to Hilo, stopping off for malasadas in Papaikou on the way in.
Chris had been slowly deconstructing the coconut, using only his hands and spare rocks and fenceposts. He continued this exhibition of manliness at the end of our driveway– with great success!– and we enjoyed fresh coconut and coconut water.
And then we had the first Blues class of the workshop, and lots of people showed up and there was awesome fun and dancing. Really really looking forward to the rest of the workshop. And tomorrow night, after classes... Hale Pohaku for stargazing! :DDD
In other news, the lava has slowed down since the initial outpouring. But HVO's got the cool pics and videos up!