Day #195 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…More on Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii…Island hopping?…

When the trolley in Hilo stopped to pick up passengers in a strip mall, we spotted this orchid.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2014 while on a cruise port of call in Hilo, The Big Island. For more on this date, please click here.

Gosh, it would be great to be in Hawaii right now. As one of the 50 states in the US, we could fly there and stay without any visa concerns while we wait out the virus. But as mentioned in a post a few days ago, the numerous flights with added exposure to COVID-19, the long-distance, and the cost of living is such that it doesn’t work for us right now.

Gazebo at the park in Hilo.

Instead, today, we revel in some of our past experiences in the Hawaiian Islands, which in my old life, before Tom, I’d visited the islands on many occasions. But, as often the case, 30 years later, everything looked very different, although each of the islands was still charming and appealing to tourists.

The designer shops, the upscale restaurants interspersed with popular chain retail shops, and cozy oceanfront restaurants made these towns in Hawaii a shopper’s paradise for all ranges of tourists, providing expansive views of the sea with a quaint and delightful environment.

Pretty scenery at Liliuokalani Gardens.

Although we don’t shop much, it was fun to wander the areas, do window shopping, and search for photo ops, some of which are shown in today’s post. While there that day, we walked the surrounding area, knowing that we’d be returning to stay for six weeks within a short period.

During that stay, we returned to Hilo on the Big Island, and we scoured the entertaining areas, dined in restaurants, and explored the varied shops. More on that in a later reminiscence post. Hawaii is unlike any other island we’ve visited in any other part of the world. There is very little apparent poverty. Structures are well maintained. The streets are impeccably clean and uncluttered. The infrastructure is sound.

Sky at dusk in Hilo.

Although the opposite of those particular facts is often what has made “island-hopping” exciting and exciting for us, the run-down cafes, bars, and shops; the “lean-to” shops and produce stands; the colorfully dressed locals selling their handmade crafts for a song; all contribute to the exquisite appeal of many places we’ve lived throughout the world.

An example of this is the three months we spent on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji in 2015 in the small village of Savusavu, a breathtaking experience. We may have been two of a dozen Caucasians in the village, and for that fact, we stood out. But, we were treated with the utmost kindness and welcome, often being hugged openly by people we’d just met. Helen, the meat market owner, hugged us each Friday as we left her store carrying bags of free-range chicken and grass-fed beef and pork.

We took the trolley in Hilo, enabling us to get some good shots along the shoreline.

Hawaii, although friendly, possesses an entirely different demeanor than other islands throughout the world, and we enjoyed them both, along with other islands more like Vanua Levu, Fiji as a more exotic island offering more appeal for our taste while traveling the world.

Speaking of islands, right now, there are a select few flights from Mumbai to the Maldives. The visa restrictions allow only a 30 day stay. With their outrageously high prices, this isn’t an ideal scenario for us, as much as we’d enjoy going there. According to the US State Department, the country is not requiring many precautions with COVID-19. If a tourist were to become ill there, this island nation’s medical facilities are marginal at best.

Shoreline in Hilo.

We don’t mean to sound so picky, but it’s our lives we’re playing with. As safe as we are here, although it’s not easy, we feel we must choose our following location with sensibility and caution when opportunities present themselves. South Africa, Namibia, and Madagascar are but a few African countries we’d prefer to visit, if and when it’s possible. Their borders remain closed to US citizens and anyone from India, a double whammy for us. We wait.

No word on our package yet, especially since it’s Sunday, and FedEx is closed today. Maybe by tomorrow, the front desk manager will have discovered a means of paying the customs fee and receiving the package. We shall see.

We hope your day is pleasant and relaxing. I’m still working on finishing all of our tasks, so we can sit back and relax a little too.

Photo from one year ago today, October 4, 2019:

Farmer John was showing us the old apple press, which they still use today. “An apple press makes the whole process fun and simple. The press essentially grinds up the apples into a pulp and then presses the juices out. Once you get going, the liquid gold keeps flowing. You go from press to glass in 30 seconds! The process may not be as quick using this old equipment. There are many presses from the simple hand press to the traditional cider press with a grinder.” Tor more photos, please click here.

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