It was time for our Christmas rendezvous, this year in the central location of Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. Since summer has been a no show in New Zealand up until this time, we most enjoyed the tropical weather and warm water of Hawaii.
The snokelling was great, we felt like we were swimming in a huge aquarium with all the colorful fish and sea turtles. The turtles were remarkably tolerant of the human crowds and went about their eating and resting as if we were not there.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, or place of refuge, is a special place where those who broke the taboo laws on ancient Hawaii could be saved - if they made it there alive. The site is very beautiful and contains some impressive stonework.
We stopped in for a peek at the Painted Church and were glad we did. The interior has some
terrific paintings. We also visited with the church kitten, and Zane caught a holy Gecko.
No trip to the Big Island would be complete without a visit to Volcanoes National Park. Seeing all the fresh lava and reading the accounts of the various eruptions certainly adjusted my perspective on the ever-changing nature of the earth. Unfortunately the present lava flow was not within walking distance so we did not get to see molten lava. Maybe next time.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to Kealakekua Bay, where a marine reserve provides some of the fines snorkelling and diving in Hawaii.
Also located in Kealakekua Bay is the Cook Memorial, which marks the spot of his untimely demise by the Hawaiian natives. It seems they invited him to dinner - as the main course.
We went for an evening walk out to visit some petroglyphs.
It was eerie walking across the liquid landscape.