peat o’neil

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Posts Tagged ‘surfing

Living the Dream on Hawai’i Island

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The Lava has come and gone, as it has for millions of years. Some folks are heading back to the mainland or Alaska after losing their homes to the will of Pele, goddess of lava. Many farm families shrug off the inconvenience of access roads to markets that are still blocked by lava.  They continue planting and harvesting, bringing papayas and avocados, rambutan and coconuts to the farmer’s markets. Everyone in the farming community hopes the local authorities will rebuild all major roads instead of routing dump-trucks, short-bed trucks and cars along narrow forest tracks better suited for bicycles and pedestrians. Surely, the roads will be repaired as in other disaster areas in the United States. Change is part of life; everyone copes.

People still dream of living on this mostly rural island and they are snapping up property. The Island of Hawai’i attracts newcomers and people from other parts of the state because of its relatively lower cost of living compared to Honolulu and Oahu. Puna, the southern district on Hawai’i Island affected by the 2018 lava flow, is said to be one of the fastest growing area on Big Island. The skies are clear again, the lava gone, quakes finished and the living is easy.

Some families are leaving the island, selling their dream houses and businesses.  Others changed their lifestyle and moved closer to Hilo, trading fire ants for fine arts.

One friend is headed back to Europe.  She is selling her gorgeous one acre estate with splendid house and many ornamental trees, notably a mature Bismarckia palm.

Bismarckia nobilis is a slow-growing majestic tree named for the first chancellor of the German Empire Otto von Bismarck. The is particularly poignant to me because with considerable effort, I dug the hole for my own small Bismarckia palm a few years ago. The space needed for my young palm and its bulbous root system was about 61 cm (24 inches) deep by 61 cm across which I excavated through dense lava rock from the 1955 lava flow.

Bismarkia nobilis

Alas, my Bismarckia perished in 2018 because of poisoned air during the lava inundation.  Lava didn’t smother or burn it, the noxious VOG , a by-product of the eruption, killed the palms, ornamentals and other trees.

A few photos of my friend’s piece of paradise are below and the listing is here.  I wish I had the resources to buy her house with the thriving Bismarckia nobilis in view of the lanai.

 

House and palmsBismarckia nobilis from lanaiBismarckia from bath

 

 

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Congee Beach to Bondi Beach

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Last week of January, 2012, I hopped on a bus to Congee Beach and walked up the coast line on a really nicely constructed walking path that skirts the coast for 6 KM up to Bondi Beach. The point north of Congee is notable for a metal and concrete memorial to the Australians killed in a bomb attack on a tourist club in Bali.  Reported sightings of the Virgin Mother Mary have brought a home-made memorial nearby.

The walk follows the limestone cliffs, park land, playing fields, past houses with expensive views, old boat houses, and fancy flats.  There’s also a huge cemetery overlooking this segment of the ocean.

Bondi is famous for surfing and the sun-tanning body culture. The surf-life guarding tradition is active in all the beach front communities. 

Strolled through the Bondi Pavilion, built in 1928 and opened in 1929.  Wandered into a large exhibition space and spoke with photographer Hilton Luckey about Australian surfing traditions, the manly-matey culture, and the alt lifestyle back in the day.  Reminded me of Santa Cruz, Big Sur and points south during the mid 1970s when we would sleep in vans or under the stars, and pass the time hiking in the forests or lolling on the beach.  Did the strong gut ”’get-‘er-done” ethos from Australia migrate cross the Pacific?  I don’t know.

The coastal path was well marked and graded with stair and teak railings for elevated areas.  While the sun burned down, the physical part was easy for me and the infrastructure is so highly developed that there are filtered water dispensers and fountains every kilometer or so. 

After slurping down a chocolate milkshake from the beach bar at Clovelly (Shark Point on the map) I paused to paint a little watercolor.  My idea of paradise — walk, look, paint. At the end of the day, I watched young surfers, then took another bus back to town.

Written by patwa

02/02/2012 at 1:07 am

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