It is late November and it has been pelting down with rain for the past two weeks in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. We left those ominous battle grey skies to arrive in the beautiful hot sunny Kona. We visited a dear friend who coaxed us to enjoy a bit of sunshine during this time of year. During our ten-day stay it was warm and sunny and it only gets warmer in the spring and summer. This was our second visit to Kona; our first visit was some ten years ago.
We decided to repeat some of our memorable excursions of our last visit to Kona. We drove to the volcanic site again. This time it was different; we could not drive around the volcanic circle as the volcano is emitting harmful volcanic ash-laden particles in the air that is known as a “vog.” As we drove in we could not spend much time there as the authorities proceeded to close the site to any further visitors. We had to leave and drove on to Hilo, the nearby bustling town.
During our drive to Hilo we recalled our last visit to this volcanic site. It was a jaw-dropping experience witnessing the continual eruption of the volcano where lava flows steam into the ocean causing a lasting imprint on one’s mind. We recalled our drive around the volcanic circle, our brief hike along the lava rock trail and our visit to Devastation Trail filled with different formations of the lava rock. We could not repeat this experience due to the presence of “vog” in the air that blurs out the beautiful ocean blue vistas and the dramatic views of the erupting lava flows.
We spent time in Hilo exploring its history and being fascinated by the huge banyan trees dotted along the coastline. As we drove back to Kona via the scenic route, we were fascinated by the unique flora and fauna of Hawaii. The warm temperature definitely enhances the environment.
Apart from all the sightseeing we continued to enjoy our visit with our friend as we engaged in stimulating conversations ranging from political issues to exchanging pearls of wisdom on the meaning of life as one ages gracefully in the winter solitude of one’s span of life; all this happening in the midst of preparing meals and then eating these delicious meals on the deck of his beautiful home accompanied by the late evening sun and the gentle breezes of the night.