On the road again…Kauai never disappoints…

Do I recognize this scowl, similar to Tom’s when driving in traffic? Just kidding, honey!

Yesterday, when the sun wouldn’t cooperate as we sat by the pool in the clouds, we decided to go check out the Kilauea Lighthouse where we’d planned to visit today for a tour. 

These bulls were lounging under a tree. Notice the grumpy one on the left definitely annoyed at us for stopping.

Since it’s not possible to book tours at this particular first-come, first-serve venue, we thought it might be a good idea to check it out to see what type of waiting line there would be. 

Once we arrived, we were shocked by the line of cars and the number of people waiting for the next tour. With no required admission fees, we should have realized that January and February are busy tourist months in the Hawaiian Islands and it would not be a good time to attend a free tour.

Ocean view from Kilauea.

After getting stuck in the long lines for a while, we decided to come back in April or May when the tourist traffic has slowed down. Most travelers from the northern hemisphere seem to visit Hawaii before their own spring season arrives, spring break perhaps being the exception.

Instead, since we were already quite away from Princeville, we decided to explore the general area. We couldn’t have been more excited by the scenery we discovered in the little town of Kilauea (same name as the erupting volcano on the Big Island) and its surrounding beaches.

Mynah Bird.

Each time we drove down what appeared to be a dead-end road heading toward the sea, we gasped over the breathtaking beauty before us. Haphazardly, we made our way down one road after another, finding many roads that simply come to an end. 

Yard of one of many massive private residences in Kilauea.

However, the route required to come to that end, left us in awe as one interesting point after another awaiting our exploration. Often, one of us catches a glimpse of something wonderful and Tom doesn’t hesitate to back up or turn around if necessary. 

Away from the ocean, the sky is clear.

I‘m surprised Tom doesn’t mind backing up or turning around. In fact, he freely offers to do so, hoping we’ll get a good view of yet another of Mother Nature’s treasures.

This quaint church in Kilauea is definitely eye-catching.

Unfortunately, the sky was overcast most of the day and there was a dense haze in the air, referred to by the locals as a “vog.” See the description below for an explanation of vog:

“Vog in Hawaiʻi

Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The word is a portmanteau of the words “volcanic”, “smog“, and “fog”. The term is in common use in the Hawaiian islands, where the Kīlauea volcano, on the Island of Hawaiʻi (aka “The Big Island”), has been erupting continuously since 1983. Based on June 2008 measurements, Kīlauea emits 2,000–4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day.

Apparently, the vog wafts over all of the islands as we’ve witnessed these past four months since we arrived by ship on September 29th. (Gosh, that four months went quickly. Surely these next 111 days will pass as quickly). Dense humidity also covers many areas due to the vegetation covering the mountains, hills, and parts of the beach, only adding to the impeded view at times.

The red Ti Plant, commonly used in landscaping in the islands.

As we sit here now with the view of the mountains out the window when we lift our heads and the view of the sea when we wander out to the veranda, the foggy view even on this sunny day is a constant. We’ve yet to see a clear view of the mountains or the sea from our lanai.

Then again, who’s to complain? So, our photos look a little hazy taken by this less than professional photographer attempting to capture a feeling, a view, and a memory that need not bespeak perfection.

A beach along the road.  More beach photos to follow tomorrow.

So, today, we share our “voggy” photos with enthusiasm and aplomb, hoping our readers share the joy of nature with us, however humbly we may present our perspective.

It’s Saturday night!  (Do you recall, “Live from New York!  It’s Saturday night!)  Enjoy!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, January 31, 2014:

It was a year ago today, that we moved out of the Hornbill house over to the Khaya Umdami house when our hosts and new friends, Louise and Dani offered that we stay in this upscale house (at no additional fee) until their next guests would arrive. How did we get so lucky to stay in this gorgeous house, priced well beyond our budget?  For more photos of this fabulous property, please click here.