I got back from Hawaii in the early hours of 20 May, and decided that with the next weekend being a bank holiday, and hoping it would help fix my jetlag, I booked a holiday to the Isle of Wight with Tim. But first, I went to see Blade Runner at the Prince Charles Cinema in London; another good classic to see on the big screen.
( Isle of Wight )
And finally, here are some of the things Emily and I got up to on Big Island that don't fit anywhere else. I might add more things later if I realise I've missed anything out, but for now that's it for Hawaii....
( Akaka Falls )
( Hilo Tropical Botanic Gardens )
( Nani Mau Gardens )
( Hilo Beachfront )
( Merrie Monarch )
( Paleaku Peace Gardens )
( Kaumana Caves )
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a significant proportion of Big Island, and we were living within cycle distance of it, which meant I had plenty of time to explore it, both with Emily in her car, and by myself on Emily's bicycle. It's a really diverse place and this is a massive journal entry; sorry! (But lots of photos too.)
( Kīlauea Iki )
( Sulphur Banks )
( Chain of Craters Road )
( Petroglyphs )
( Thurston Lava Tube )
( Chain of Craters by bike )
( Napau Trail )
( Kau Desert )
Along the north coast of Big Island are the eroded remains of the extinct Kohala volcano, which makes the landscape there similar to parts of Kauaʻi. Along the coast are the beautiful Waipio and Pololu valleys, and a bit further west is the lovely little town of Hawi, where cowboys and pirates sit at cafés.
( Waipio Valley )
( Pololu Valley )
( Hawi )
I thought splitting Haleakalā off into its own post would make writing up Maui a fairly short exercise, but I had forgotten just how much there was to see and do there! This is a very condensed summary, but hopefully I can get across how lush, exciting, and unique the island is.
( Mokulele )
( West Maui )
( Big Beach )
( Hana Highway )
( Redwood trail )
Ah, Kauaʻi. Anywhere you look on this island is beautiful. We spent a week and a half here and made the most of the time, visiting canyons, beaches, caves, swamps, and walking numerous lush green trails. Let me show you them all here.
( Helicopter around the island )
( Waimea Canyon )
( Swamp trail )
( Beaches and Sunsets )
( Kalaulau and Hanakapiʻai Falls Trails )
( Kayaking to a waterfall )
( Caves, blowholes, and natural baths )
This is where Emily and I got engaged!
We actually made two trips to Maui to visit Haleakalā, first accompanied by a friend of Emily's where we took a trip around the whole island, and a second time when a cancellation for one of the cabins inside Haleakalā's crater meant we could go and stay the night there.
( Sunrise at the summit )
( Down one side... )
( ... and down the other )
We took several trips to Hawaiʻi's kona (leeward) side, as there were lots of things to do, and it was a place we could guarentee some good weather. It was rather nice living somewhere where you could decide what kind of climate you wanted today, then drive there in a couple of hours at most.
( Swimming with wild dolphins )
( Coffee and chocolate )
( Kaʻawa Loa )
( Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau )
While on Hawaiʻi I was living in a village called Volcano, which was indeed on Kīlauea volcano, about 5km from the nearest active crater. Fortunately the village is broadly uphill and upwind of both!
While the other eruption from Kīlauea, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is unfortunately largely off-limits, Emily and I would often visit Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which was always captivating.
( The Glow )
( Lava Lake )
( Pele's Hair in our hair )
( Through a telescope )
( Good bye, lava lake )
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I spent a 12 week sabbatical from work out in Hawaii, and it was a really special time. The state has so much diversity and a huge range of things to see and do. I'm abandoning my usual chronological style of journal to talk about all the various excursions and experiences in hopefully an easier to follow way.
( Language )
( Weather )
( Pele )
Other topics should hopefully appear on your screens soon! It is wonderful to write these as I reminisce.
February ended with me getting off a plane in Hawai'i and being given a lei from Emily (I'm still here!), then listening to the cocqui frogs in Hilo before drifting off to sleep.
My photos server is offline at the moment but I will add photos when I return to the UK and get it working.
( Family Dinner )
( Homemade ottoman )
( Cake alchemy )
( Hawai'i )
January started early with a trip to Heathrow to see Emily off to Hawai'i. I kept myself busy working on the dining room, finally getting all the rubbish taken away in a skip, and also found time to sign up for canoeing in Shoreditch.
( Heathrow Hamsters )
( Canoeing in London's canals )
( One Art Please )
In December Emily and I took a short break to Venice as a Christmas present to each other. We had beautiful weather and because it was off-season, the whole place was virtually deserted.
We then had a few days at her mum's place, then I went back to my family for Christmas, and Emily joined me for my birthday and the rest of the year.
( Gondolas, Doges, and brightly coloured buildings )
I got it into my head at some point that it'd be fun to try to make chocolate from scratch, and so last month Emily and I got hold of some cocoa beans and found some guides on the internet. Here's what happened!
( Roasting, blending, and conching )