March 20, 2013

Pahoa to Hilo

Filed under: General — mmrobins @ 12:12 pm

My week of work around Pahoa was pretty mellow. Unfortunately, the wifi access where we were staying was too flaky and slow for it to be useable for me for work. It’s just an internet connection over cell phone that the owner has attached a router to, which is fine for occasional email, but *not* for downloading even a couple megabyte file or video meetings. So I had to go to town to work. There’s only one little coffee shop in town, and they’re so small that they have a 30 minute limit on sitting in there, so it wasn’t a good place to work. I ended up working out of various restaurants and eating breakfast at those places, and then from a bar in the afternoon.

Kim and Geneveve spent a lot of the week swimming at the local Alahanui warm pools. It’s definitely nicest to go at high tide so you can swim around. Geneveve made a lot of progress learning to swim here since with the warm water she can stay in without getting cold for a long time. She still can’t swim on her own and is hesitant to put her face underwater, but she practiced swimming a few feet between us and is completely independent floating around on her tube now. We also visited the tide pools very briefly because it’s really rocky and was cloudy and cold, not a good recipe for a happy toddler. The Champagne pond was nice and kind of like the Alahanui pools in that it’s warmer, but it’s harder to access since to get there you need to go over a lava road that’s only 4 wheel drive accessible – we walked.

Besides swimming we went to a lot of local farmers’ markets and events, which seem to be happening frequently. There’s definitely a lot of interesting people in the area (not more than Portland, but that’s a hard competition to win), and we ran into a lot of them repeatedly. I think the most amusing person for me was the tall skinny white guy who wore nothing but a little loincloth like setup and smashed poi on a rock.

Toward the end of the week we left for Hilo to stay with our friends who had recently moved from Portland to Hilo. They have a girl a few months older than Geneveve, which was fun by the end of our stay, but initially she was not excited to share anything with Geneveve which resulted in a lot of screaming on both sides. I worked a day in Hilo at a coffee shop, and then we had a few to hang out.

We went to local zoo which isn’t a big, impressive zoo, but is free and great fun for little kids as it includes a nice playground. We attended a rally against Monsanto’s GMO practices on the island, which was a fun way to interact with some of the locals. We browsed the shops, went to the beach one day, ate at the local restaurants and generally just hung out for a not so touristy feeling couple of days. It was sunny for a few days, and cloudy for a few.

The last night was eventful since Geneveve woke up around 11pm throwing up. Not sure what prompted it, and she was fine the next day, so it was a thankfully short bout of sickness. We left Wednesday morning to continue seeing the north part of the island.

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