Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!
I knew I wasn’t in my bed at home when I woke up in the middle of the night and heard the ocean roaring outside. And when I grabbed my camera at 5:45 this morning, this is what greeted when I stepped out on the deck of the house we’re renting:
Yep, definitely not Kansas anymore—or, in our case, the Sacramento Valley.
This is the eastern shore of the Big Island of Hawaii. We’re renting a house outside of Pahoa, also known as the Big Islands “hippie capital.” I can’t attest to that yet, having just arrived yesterday evening, but I will report back.
I do know that this area is far away from everything, which is why it is quiet and so reasonably priced. We’re spending six days here to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the west and the Hilo area just to the north.
The house next door
After sunrise, we took a walk through our neighborhood, which seems to be a good mix of local residences and vacation properties. Every house has lush landscaping, either installed on purposes or provided for free by mother nature. Some of the plants I can identify, but many of them are unknown to me.
The difference between this area and the manicured resort properties we saw in Maui last year couldn’t be greater. While I enjoyed the glitz of Maui, this is closer to my heart. Quieter, more natural, and less in your face.
Shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)
Casually growing outside somebody’s front yard: real pineapples!s
At least these agaves looked familiar
Lava rock wall with plants I couldn’t identify
House on our street
Screwpine (Pandanus tectorius)
Strange looking fortress down the street from us
Does anybody know what these large leaves are?
Sitting here at the dining room table overlooking the restless ocean, I can’t help but think that I’ve never written a blog post in a more beautiful place.
And lest you think you have to be rich to rent a house like this: We’re paying less per night for this three-bedroom house right on the ocean than the Marriott in Portland, Oregon charged the Garden Fling attendees a few weeks ago.
P.S. For those of you who like maps, here is where we are: