Canadians are Fun!

Trip Start Sep 17, 2012
1
5
28
Trip End Nov 11, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Canadians are Fun"

We woke today of the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii with a full rainbow right outside our cabin a small local Based on how clearly I could see both ends, I'm almost certain that whole pot of gold thing is a myth.

For the first time we got off the ship to cloudy skies, no rain. Ironically, all of our previous stops were on the dry sides of the islands and this was our first stop on the wet side, which gets about 300 inches of rain each year.  Our tour group for the Gourmet Volcano Adventure was small; a total of 8 of us, 6 from New Brunswick and the two of us. We were met by our guide Chelsey, hopped into her van and headed off to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. On the way we made the obligatory stop at a local coffee grower, the Hilo Coffee Mill in Kurtistown. This is another small, relatively new company reviving the local coffee industry. The land they occupy was used for coffee until the late 1800’s when sugar cane companies moved in and took over. It seems they used to grow sugarcane on the land (are you getting a feeling of déjà vu?), but now it has switched back to coffee. Their coffee is excellent, even if you drink it black. They also had delicious coconut candy, sweet potato chips, and some not-so-delicious chocolate-wasabi coated Macadamia nuts.

We continued our journey up to the Kilauea visitor center in Volcanoes National Park, thoroughly enjoying each other’s company and Chelsey’s stories about the island and how she came to live on it three years ago. On our arrival at the caldera (a big crater) the first thing we discovered was that everyone was freezing in the van, but, in typical Canadian fashion, nobody wanted to say anything because each of us assumed that he or she was the only one that was cold, and didn’t want to make the others uncomfortable. We walked up to the volcano visitor center and found that, in typical American fashion, there were two armed park rangers standing outside the information center*.

The caldera is huge and impressive. There’s a fissure in it which releases a constant cloud of sulphuric acid causing acid rain in the immediate vicinity and “vog” (volcanic organic gases) into the area. As a result, nothing grows for a few miles downwind of the caldera, and the town of Kailua, at the base of the volcano, has the highest incidence of COPD of anywhere in the U.S.A.

Our tour continued, in a warmer van, stopping at many interesting sights left behind by Kiluea’s eruptions. Check out the pictures for some of the more interesting things we visited.

We headed off to lunch at a very unique place; Ira Ono’s Volcano Garden Arts (www.volcanogardenarts.com ). Ira greeted us with a glass of white wine (Yellowtail-it was excellent) and told us the story about how he was from New York and purchased the property about 10 years ago after he visited Hawai’i and fell in love with the place. The house was built in 1908 and in severe disrepair. He restored it and turned it into a museum/art gallery/bed & breakfast.

After lunch we headed back to Hilo to Big Island Candies where, following Chelsey’s recommendation we sampled everything and had some delicious homemade mango ice cream.

As we arrived back at the ship Chelsey commented how she had had a great time on the tour with us and that “Canadians are fun!”

All in all it was a very pleasant day. Everyone got along, nobody whined or complained, and we all had a great time and made some new friends.

WYWH

Peter & Annette

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall?
"Dam!"

* No offense to our American readers. We realize that it’s Canada that had armed security at Toys R Us at Christmas.
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Comments

Brian and Stella on

Looks like you guys are having fun!! Keep on boating.........

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