As I was flying in on Thursday, the usual clouds were a little bit less dense than usual and I could get fairly clear views of our island's coast...I started snapping away from the time we started flying right by the Big Island.
I hope you enjoy!
The NW tip of the Big Island - North Kohala Coast. At your extreme left is Pololu Valley. Hiking down to Pololu Valley is an adventure in itself. The climb is a steep 1000 feet down a moderatedly difficult zigzagging trail and depending on your stamina can take about an hour. Give yourself at least a couple or 3 hours for the strenous climb back!
North of Island - Waipio Valley on left and Waimanu Valley on right. You can't really tell, but those are steep pali (cliffs) all along the coastline. Waipio Valley is accessible via 4-wheel drive or hiking down a VERY steep road. Waimanu Valley is only accessible by hiking. There are a total of 5 valleys in the 12 mile strech between Waipio and Pololu Valleys, including the two, where you can only go in by walking or sometimes by mule...but even then, not an easy ride.
As we passed the little town of Hanoka'a, the clouds started opening up and we could glimpse a view of Mauna Kea (one of 5 volcanoes that form our island) peeking through the dense cloud cover. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and the tallest volcanic mountain in Hawaii standing at 13,796 feet... if meassured from the ocean floor (33,000 feet) it is the tallest in the world, including Mt. Everest.
There are several observatories at the summit. It is fun to drive up there, but you need to take precautions, as it can also be dangerous. Snow blizzards can happen unexpectedly and the terrain is hazzardous, even with a 4-wheel drive.
Getting closer to my area of the island. Hakalau Gulch is right in the middle of the photo. At one time there was a thriving sugar mill right across where you see a little tip of sand reaching across the stream. It was washed away by the tsunami of April Fool's Day in 1946 that devastated much of this coast, including Hilo Town.
The village where I live can be seen on the left of the pic...Kolekole Gulch on the extreme right. I have written about picnics and cookouts held at Kolekole Beach in the past. The clouds are covering a view of Akaka Falls which would have been seen just following the line of the gulch on to higher ground (mauka or toward the nountain)
A better view of our village. I can see the roof of our house!
Just past our village and before reaching the next one...the white covers you see are the greenhouses of the Hamakua Springs Country Farms owned by my friend Richard Ha and his family....They grow gorgeous tomatoes and I have written about the farm and their tomatoes a few times in the past.
Sweeping view of the North Hilo - Hamakua coastline
Approaching Hilo....Onomea Bay on your left.
Flying over the coast and a glimpse of a waterfall on the way into Hilo.... Landing was just 2 minutes away...
I hope you enjoyed the views of our beautiful Big Island of Hawaii from the air!