Saturday, March 28, 2009

House of the Sun.

Through the wide angle lens of my camera this morning, you get a pretty good view from my vantage point from 10,023ft up.

From the above photo to my left was one of the impressive ridges that make up Haleakala Crater. BTW-the last 'a' in Haleakala should have a macron over it and if my keyboard has the ability to do that......I don't! 

The weather can be very unpredictable at the summit so as I soaked in the majestic quiet of one of the most glorious places on the planet, I kept my eye's on the cloud bank that threatened to push up the crater wall. 

Years ago I had a friend told me that the first time he went up to the summit with his girlfriend his fantasy was of romance, tranquility, a spiritual connection, your basic full blown magical experience. So he was in shock when instead of just the two of them kissing, cuddling and sharing the dawn's breathtaking arrival, it was the two of them and coach loads of parka wearing, camera clicking, shaka signing tourists......not quite what he'd had in mind. So this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find the parking lot half empty and people in quiet reverence which is easily accomplished with a view of a broader perspective on the world. 

Here's the live webcam It's  pretty nifty because you can type in any date and it gives you a short timelapse clip of that days weather.

I could have watched the clouds spill over the peaks all morning.....

....but it's cold as shite up there and when the wind kicked up, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (or more correctly because I can't roll my 'R's -BUR). I've always maintained the opinion that when travelling it doesn't matter where you are or how long it's taken you to get there, it is so easy not to be present. You could be at one of the seven wonders of the world but if you need to pee or are bloody starving guess what you'll be thinking about?. Such was my case as my fingers got numb with the cold my desire to cloud watch diminished. 

The park is home to many endangered species, the most famous being the Silversword. It only grows above 6,000ft elevation on the slopes of Haleakala and can live as long as 50 years, but (as with so many magnificent creations) it blooms just once then dies.

Death by blooming. 

Not a bad view from the office but it's just a bugger of a commute. What's up there? Well here's the best copy/paste I could find:

 The LURE facility, for example, bounced lasers off reflectors left on the moon, to measure tectonic movement on earth. Another, an Air Force observatory, is part of the USAF Ground-based Electro-optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) system. In 1996, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab installed a system using one of this station's 39-inch telescopes to monitor space for asteroids that might pose the threat of a collision with Earth, as part of NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Tracking program (NEAT). Over 5,000 asteroids have been detected by the system already. The Air Force also maintains a large satellite tracking and monitoring station here, part of the Air Force Research Lab called AMOS, or the Maui Space Surveillance System, which includes a supercomputing center elsewhere on Maui, and one of the most powerful optical instruments ever designed to identify and "characterize" enemy satellites. Also on site is a solar observatory. 

"lady in the back with the blue hat....yes you, oh I'm glad you asked" The dormant volcano has not erupted in over 200 years and is 3000 ft deep, 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, a total of 22 miles in circumference. 

I'll shut up now and let you have a moment.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hither and Yon.

Pack your bags kids we're going all over the Island on this post as it's a combination of my adventures from the last week or so, let's start on the West Side. If you could read palms, what would this one say?

The idyllic beauty of Lahaina: I sent this picture to a friend and he said it reminded him of his home of origin - Ceylon. On the other hand this vision reminds me of no where in England.

Back to the  North Shore and another tranquil setting, if it weren't for the gate. At lease this gate has a purpose (for cattle), but there are gates in the most inexplicable places on Maui, much to the chagrin of it's life long residents who grew up without them. If I had grown up in a place that had great memories attached to it that I now want to share with my family, I think I'd be pouty too if that experience now has to occur in a condensed version before 8pm when the gate closes. Anyway enough of that, let's go get some food..........

Let me take you down (or technically 'up' because these delicious orbs are in Kula at the fabulous farmers market conveniently located at the start of one of my favourite bike rides) 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields....

....nothing is real and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Fields forever. 

Still on my bike ride I I dismounted at "The Horse and Foal", good name for a pub.


......and great big bovine ginger beast, but one day someone will say "come in #20 your time is up".

OK-let's hop across the Isle to the Iao Needle for a bit of touristy sight seeing, trust me it's well worth the ride as the views as you head deeper into the valley are spectacular if not a little spooky.

There are no rivers on Maui but the Iao stream makes a good pretend one, by the sound alone.

Ahhhhhh and finally home where you can relax and rest your paw's for a while.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ha'iku Ho'olaule'a & Flower Festival

Joe is as much a part of the Pa'ia community as well....the community center. He spreads his own unique style of Aloha by blowing kisses or giving loving boxing jabs as he takes his daily run (always in flip-flops) along the Hana Highway. He tends the gardens at the Holy Rosary Church on Baldwin Ave and says he works for God and in his case, I'd say that's true. "I love you" he said as he moved on quickly after my paparazzi snap, "I love you too" I spontaneously said in return.....that's what Joe does, he moves people to love.

And talking of love there was a lot of that going around at the Ha'iku Ho'olaule'a & Flower Festival this past weekend. Great music inspired young and old to dance on the grass and enjoy the sun. It was a weekend of Kona weather so while Haiku was (for the most part) spared the showers......

.......earliey in the day I sat outside the gym not 20 miles away looking at this for 10 minutes, whilst waiting for a lull so I could start my work out with a mad dash!

The event is a fund raiser for Haiku School, the Boys and Girls Club of Maui and the Haiku Community Assn. It's a fabby array of locally talented artists from musicians to lei makers. I'm a bit of a closet fan of these types of events, the flowers and the jewelery always grab my attention (I'm such a girl) and I confess to dropping a tenner for a rather fetching necklace, a simple shell on a leather thong.  

Drink or transfusion? Well in this case the hole just had a straw popped in it and your thirst was officially quenched. However you see this phrase is brandied everywhere about this delicious liquid  "It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It's the fluid of life, so to speak." In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers." 
I believe it .....

I liked the sign more than the stick, so a little imagination required

Marty Dread doing his Marty Dread thing.

The Chicken & beef were cooking away on a huge tripod of a BBQ with the grill suspended by wire so it could be spun and cook evenly.

Cowboy Bill was ably assisted by his sidekick Ginger Spam, who I saw delivering food hot off the grill to hungry vendors. Nice Aloha, nice event, nice visor dude

Monday, March 16, 2009

Moonshine and sunshine.

While dinner was cooking Tuesday night, the glorious full moon was rising spectacularly through the trees of my back garden.

Yes, yes yes, I know there is the wind speed, duration and fetch that create waves but for sheer convenience and tie-in-factor from the previous picture, I’m going to say ‘the full moon did it”. Wednesday was glorious and (despite a bit of wind) the swell was good enough for most to jump in the briney. Here's a nice little surfer boy trifecta!

The ironic thing about a good watching session at Ho'okipa is that sitting there on my arse can actually be quite invigorating.

There's just no way you're going out in this kinda surf and coming back in feeling the same way. Whether your dialed into the conditions or not the paddling, focus, traffic, energy of the waves and emotional highs and lows are gonna jiggle your mojo around (for better or worse). Probably better if you're the one on the board, not  so much if you're the one about to get worked.


With the surf pounding on the outside, these little kiddiewinks were having a blast paddling up and down on the real 'inside'. Enough of this practice turns into this.......

I think this is Matt Kazuma and his sprog, look at that little ripper go! Unbelievable.

Ow, Ow, Ow....

For the most part the surfers at Ho'okipa are just ordinary people with a true connection to the sea that makes them feel alive.  It's as essential to their well being as other rituals to the rest of us, such as gardening, train spotting or ping-pong.

A penny for his thoughts.....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The (not so) beautiful game.

I’ve been watching a lot of footy lately; it must be a latent British gene similar to the tea drinking one that didn’t rear its delightful Earl Grey head until I was in my mid 30’s.

Now don’t get me wrong, just because my viewing hours have increased - in no way has this transferred into actual knowledge as to how to play the game. In fact I watch a game now the way I always have done– with a proportionally balanced lack of knowledge for the rules and a ‘people magazine’ type interest in the players. Does that make me any less of a fan....not on your nelly. I drive home and salivate with the knowledge that I’m going to be watching Milan v Juventus or Man City v Chelsea. I oft think 'God there's so much more I could do with my evenings', but watching 22 men run after that ball for 90 minutes is consistency hard to beat. Good grief ( I blame Giampaolo).

With my current diet of at least two or three matches a week I sit on my couch eating dinner, enjoying a glass of wine and wondering ‘how hard can it be to run, pass, strike and fake injury for 90 minutes’? A naive question I know - as I rarely work out for more than an hour at a time and get puffed out after 20 minutes of running (ok maybe 15)!

So one ill advised afternoon I grabbed my dirty rarely used football and went to the park to see what those lads are actually made of . Ladies and gentlemen, my answer was all too apparent ‘sterner stuff than me’! Let me put it this way, the first thing that hurt was my big toe nail and I know how to kick a football!!!

Meanwhile, in honor of his extended stay in Milan, Beckham got a new tattoo!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Beauty supplies.

Half way up the mountain (aka Haleakala) the conditions are perfect for growing protea. There are lots of different varieties, but these bright and beautiful pinsushions grabbed my attention. 

A floral Sputnik on steroids. Not keen on the yellow or red variety ?? No problemo.....

..... e voila!

Back home I gave Cozmo bonus points for his feline creativity in fnding a spot that wasn't wet.

In contrast, half way down the mountain are visions like this which are so frustrating. No one should ever be allowed to make another plastic bag again....ever. Sharon's new rule: if you need a plaggy bag just drive by your local landfill and pick one up.

I can let the trash bum me out, but we all know everything has its purpose. Without those ugly plastic bags would we see the glory of the protea? I wonder if everything was perfect in our world, would we still find something to whinge about? The contrast is what makes us grow, appreciate and fine tune our existence into that which is pleasing to us. 

Take two: I can appreciate everyone who threw away those plastic bags because without them, I would not have had that startling wind blown vision. Which in turn wakes me up to be a more conscious recycler and allows me to cherish nature even more than I already do. Mo bettah.

Beauty is in the eye...and all that.