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Hawaii, The Big Island

Two times, we have visited the 'Big Island'.
One of our first sights is this greeting.

Welcome to the Big Island

These displays are along the highway, as soon as you drive out of the Kona Airport. Spelled out with white coral on black lava, they are a striking and welcoming sight.

They are also confusing to some. While I was taking pictures, a French girl pulled over her car and asked me, "What does eet all mean?"

I debated over telling her about the long history of ancient astronauts, tiki gods, and white coral messages from the sky.
But this was vacation, so I just told her, "It means hello".

Up Close and Personal

Of course, whenever we're in Hawaii, we spent a substantial part of our time under water, playing Jacques Cousteau. Which reminds me of a question I have. If the suffix '-graphy' means writing, (i.e. photography is 'light writing', and then there's seismography, calligraphy, and pornography), then what the hell is oceanography?
Water writing? We used to do that in the snow in Northern New York.
So, then, what's the difference between oceanography and marine biology? I'm soooo confused.

Anyway, this turtle was a regular visitor on the beach that we snorkeled.

The Obligatory Coconut Bikini Shot

When we weren't snorkeling, we sat in the sun, drove around the island (in a convertible Mustang - I highly recommend it), ate lomi lomi salmon, and wandered through lava fields.

Everyone should spend at least an hour of their life staring at petroglyphs (rock writings) and trying to connect with the thinking of our distant relatives.  It's like playing Pictionary in the Twilight Zone.

The Goddess, Pele, is visible everywhere on the island of Hawaii.
She is present above ground, manifested in the hula.

This raises another old question of mine. Is a coconut bikini ever an appropriate gift?
Someone should let me know, because I'm truly confused as to the guidelines of giving such a gift.
You see them everywhere, and it's a very tempting souvenir.  But for whom?

Pele is also present below ground, manifested in the energy that is the life force of earth.
A close up view (and listen) of the volcanoes explains everything about the origin of the drums of the pacific rim. (It may be the wrong explanation, but then, I'm just an amateur anthropologist).

Unfortunately, this is as close as we got to the volcano. Mr. Bill had decided to close all the National Parks, to co-coincide with this visit to Hawaii. Due to money shortages. Apparently, it costs a lot to have all those people in uniforms protect us from ourselves.

Pele continues to gift Hawaii with more real estate to sell to the Japanese.

This actually turned out to be a blessing when it came to visiting the heiaus (temples). All one had to do is park his car a short distance from a heiau, then walk into the grounds from any direction except the front. He would then find himself alone in a heiau. No guides, no lectures, no tour groups, no fees.

Theoretically speaking, of course. To actually do this would mean breaking the law. And no one would want to break the law of a country that so well respects the needs and wishes of its' native peoples.  Right?

That's what I thought.