Tuesday, November 15, 2005

First time on the Big Island

[Oahu and Big Island, Saturday September 28, 2002]

I sat on Backyard's picnic bench with Roberto watching fairly clean head high and double overhead waves carry surfers on swift powerful rides. He did not say a word, just letting the waves speak for him. Part of me was in shock. I could not believe my day of departure had arrived so soon. The unknown zone appears like a wave in the dark and is about to carry me away. I had packed what I thought I needed. I'd done this hastily and I was afraid I'd taken too much [I had way too much]. Liz drove me to the airport weaving in a trip to Cosco and a mail drop off to Kris. Caio grew excited and said "I love the airport!" Soon enough, I began the arduous process of making my way thru the various airpot security screenings thanks to the 9/11 knee jerk response. They singled out my check in baggage for "further screening". They checked my didjeridoo. After sitting around for a few minutes, time to board the plane... but... wait a second... they need to check my carry on bag, my shoes and wave the magic wand metal detector around my body which will secretly ward off evil.

The plane ride was brief and I did not drink any of the high fructose corn syrup that the stewardice gave me disguised as juice. After grabbing my bags fro the carousel, I was told by the information lady that there's no bus. Mentally, I was prepared to hitch hike but my resolve crumpled after feeling the wieght of my backpack on my back and observing the long road out. I ended up in a mini van taxi with a friendly guy named George driving. He talked quite a bit although I had difficulty deciphering his heavily accented english.

He dropped my off in the 2nd half of the 2 block town that is Pahoa. I went to the health food store and drank some real juice with super greens. The locals I spoke with were exceptionally friendly and I learned of a hostel up the road. I found it on my second pass. Initially, the woman in charge claimed that the inn was full - so to speak. I persisted and she said I could put my tent up under the Banyun Tree. She said that I could store my stuff in a beat up old shack just behind it.

Leaving my stuff in the moldy shack, I was able to walk thru town unencumbered. I stopped at a hippie-ish rainbow colored cafe type restaurant (Papa's) and met the manager/cook, Dean. We talked for a while and he really helped me feel at home. He invited me to a gathering at this place next Saturday. After dinner, I walked down the street and met a guy selling honey. He really liked my sandals. Once I said they needed repair, he offered to do it. I agreed and so it sounds like he'll do this in about 8 days.

After a second visit to the health food store, I walked back thru the 2 block town and made my way back to my new temporary home. I am in my black Walrus bivvy inside the beat up moldy shack where the mosquitos cannot reach me.