Hawaii Day 6 – Kiholo Bay

Today, I ventured out alone to Kiholo bay.  This is about 40 minutes south west of Hawi.   Jim and Leah let me borrow their Suburu Legacy and I packed up my back pack with a towel, orange, apple, water, snorkel gear, camera, Jim’s underwater camera, and sunscreen and took off.

The dirt road is not marked.  I was told that I should start looking at it right around mile marker 81, so I kept my eyes open for it, and glanced at the blue direction dot on google maps on my iPhone and found it.  The drive into where you can park is about a mile down a dirt road.  Thankfully the Legacy is an all wheel drive car  so making the drive down the dirt road was not a big deal. (Steven, it’s looking more like we will be getting a legacy now that I drove one and liked it!)

Jim suggested that I look for a sign just off the trail that says, “Keanalele is not a tub, a toilet, a sink – nor an ashtray… Enjoy it… Respect it.”  Keanalele is puka (hole) that has fresh water in it. There is a ladder leading down to the fresh water and there is an underground area that goes on for about another 15 or 20 feet.   I’ve never been in a cave before.  Never come close to spelunking, so this, even this small fresh water hole that has miscellaneous crabs running around in it was amazing.  I used Jim’s underwater camera to take pictures inside the hole and you can see them in the link to my flickr set at the end of this post.

The forest next to the beach is overrun with the Keawi (pronounced Kee ah ve) tree.  These trees are non native and were originally planted by the missionaries that visited the island.  The reason?  The native Hawaiians walked barefoot, and they thought that no man should walk without shoes, so they planted these.  The Keawi tree has thorns.  Man is fucked up like that.

The lava at the beach, since it spilled out of the ground and cooled makes some very intricate patterns as it found it’s way to the see.  This will be eroded into sand in many years, but for now, I enjoyed being able to bear witness to this beautiful dark phenomenon of once molten rock, cooled in layers that captures the ripples of the once liquid substance.

It was a slow go getting to the little island, but I finally made it there.  There were many little spots to place my backpack and set up to snorkel.  I tried for a few minutes to take Jim’s camera out but wasn’t too successful.  I needed to be closer to the fish and got a little freaked out being out there by myself AND holding a camera and snorkel gear.  After a few failed shots I opted to put it down and swim to the island.  The small island is a habitat for the Hawaiian sea turtle.  There was only one out though basking.  I sat about 30 feet away and watched him for a while and then swam back.

Coming back, i was tired.  This was a long slog on gravel, pebbles, and the last part to get into the cove was up and down on the lava rock… but it feels so awesome and fulfilling to get to places like this.

I found a piece of coral witha small hole in it.  There was a large fallen tree near by that created a great stage for this and I took a few photos.  I think these were my favorite ones.  I immediately thought of my Aikido teacher, Bob Noha Sensei.  He has taught us a practice of circle and center, where we open our arms and move our bodies, carving out a circle, then, as if we are holding our jo staff, we spiral the staff up and down establishing our center.  For our school this is an essential practice and I’ve learned to see this in as many things as I can.  I saw this here and thought of Sensei as I photographed it.

Coming back I would see the occasional couple or group walking down the beach, I was also accompanied periodically by the many goats that graze around this area.  I came back into town and had lunch at Sushi Rock.  Jim said that I should treat myself to Sushi Rock so I did.  It was very good but I was a little disappointed with the selection.  I was hoping that there would be more variety for the chef’s nigiri plate.  The special roll I ordered was awesome though: ahi poké and mango wrapped inside out with ono, a cilantro puree and crushed macademia nuts.

I came home and crashed for a bit.  This evening, Leah made a wonderful pumpkin lasagna.  I finished the evening reading Dr Suess’s ABC, 5 Little Monkeys Make a Birthday Cake for Mom, and Pinkalicious to Jim’s little ones.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve had kids crawl on me while I read. It was a real special moment for me to read to them.  I’ve enjoyed my friends generosity and friendship immensely here.

Tomorrow I have one more adventure.  I will need to be up early to pack, but Jim has a couple locations at the 4000′ level to give me a different perspective of the island.  I will look forward to that.  i won’t be looking forward to getting on a plane, but I will adjust fairly quickly.  It’s felt like a very long time I’ve been here and at the same time, the length of a blink.  I will treasure this though and never forget this trip.

But I’m still here and we have one more thing planned.  I will look forward to that!  Here’s the link to the last set of pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/markdeso/sets/72157630629753498/

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