Monday, 6 January 2014


Well, I'm still 'love struck'; everything reminds me of our extraordinary recent adventure....thousands of sea leagues from here in Hawaii, an island chain in the South Pacific.

I'm anxious not to weary who ever may be sharing my recollections through this blog. I guess it's inexperience on my part; after all, the word diary has not long been commonly prefixed by the words 'on line'. Calling a diary a blog doesn't deceive me; a diary is a diary is a diary (say I thrice!). I'm confident that my first ever diary had a little lock and key and 'Top Secret' writ large across it. It takes a real call of confidence to share in this 'modern way', denying the voice of insecurity that whispers: 'desist' or someone will catch you out for over sharing...over thinking...being boring!  In Hawaii they refer to sharing love and celebrating what is beautiful as living in the spirit of aloha. With reverence, I'll therefore continue in this spirit.

So, whole heartedly, in the true spirit of aloha, today I'll share every colour of the rainbow with you!  Hawaii; the land of sunshine and showers is perhaps where the colours of all rainbows are divined.   I believe we may have hovered above the mercurial centre of the world! - Mt Waialeale Crater, Kauai, the wettest and rainiest place on earth. Here majestic waterfalls cascade thousands of feet breaking beyond mans gaze, refracting brilliant colour into their spray as it meets the sun bright sky. If the universal colours of the rainbow are mixed anywhere surely it's here!

The climate across this paradise archipelago chain is fairly constant throughout the year, reliable bright sunshine, brilliant heat cooled by gentle (occasionally temperamental) trade winds and rain...plenty of rain of the showery kind. The daily weather forecast varied between 'sunshine and showers' and 'showers and sunshine'! This being the case, most days we admired rainbows; broad brushstrokes of luminous colour flourished with artistic aplomb against the canvas of the day. Some days we saw them high above the ocean forming perfect arches, others stretching out from the mountains, burying their tails, reputedly along with their treasure, where they met land, deep within the islands lush interior. Sometimes they fell fragmented across the landscape; where isolated rain clouds burst or irrigation fanned out across manicured lawns.We even glimpsed their magical colours caught up fleetingly in the sea spray along the islands costal fringes. But my most vibrant memory of all is of when their colours brushed our faces as we explored the mountainous terrain of Haleakala National Park, to the east of Maui.

We set off early that morning to drive 'The Road to Hana', reputed to be one of the most beautiful drives on earth. In my estimation, it's rather like the reputed treasure at the end of the rainbow, not everyone who seeks it finds it! Neil, being the driver actually found the constant twists and turns along the so called scenic drive a little tedious. According to historic record, once upon a time it proved a challenging journey. It was first constructed in 1926 from volcanic cinders by prison trustees; rain filled pot holes dimpling it's patchy surface, it presented with treacherous bends, narrow stretches and sheer drops to either side. Today; re paved and widened, winding ever onward with little opportunity, save stopping at limited points along the way, to admire what you are driving through, it is perhaps, dare I say it (it being famous and all!) a little boring! At least, as the passenger, I had the privilege of snatching glimpses of waterfalls, flourishes of tropical flora and views towards the rugged windward coast. Neil had to keep his eye on the seemingly endless road. To add insult to injury we'd left our picnic behind, so no snacks or drinks to boot!

We eventually found snacks... of sorts; vegetarianism is not the way of the road to Hana! Lunch consisted of some delicious banana bread and some rambutans (of all things; exotic but certainly not Hawaiian!). Water was even more difficult to source but bizarrely we found a roadside seller with a giant refrigerated unit...mostly full of coca cola, with a corner to spare for water; well, technically it is America!

I guess our day really picked up when we met a lady along the way at the foot of a spectacular waterfall selling shell leis, and sharing the spirit of Elvis. I know; quirky aside, but it's another days story! From there, Neil decided that he couldn't bare the boredom of the same journey in reverse. Boasting off road savvy; feeling intrepid at the wheel of our bright red jeep...with the blessing of the remarkable shell lei maker we therefore set off, off road to complete our journey.

The road became much more exciting, bumping, grinding, winding and eventually widening, opening out into the most amazing mountainous terrain. Majestic, cowboy territory, even boasting the occasional lone goat, adding to that remote Western movie vibe! We wound closer to the coast too...the awesome windward coast. We took every opportunity to stop the jeep, step out and gasp in sheer wonder at what our eyes surveyed. Surely it was impossible to be more awestruck, yet as   I marvelled at the sheer grandeur of the mountainsides we were flashing by I noticed them flush magenta...and cyan and turquoise blue, the colours of the rainbow were chasing us! We stopped and stepped out of the jeep yet again and found we were all but bathing in their light. It felt like a tangible blessing and still does. We were captured by the joy and luminosity of this spectacular rainbow light until it faded. For some forty minutes we gazed into it as it seemed to gaze into us and light up our hearts. Aloha, pure aloha.

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