Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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After living in LA for so long, the fresh air in Hawai'i tasted so sweet, and carried many new scents as we travelled around Maui and Big Island.

One of the strongest flavors we encountered arose from the fresh fruit dropping all around, lying rotted along roads, and run over by cars (and pecked at by birds dodging them). I didn't mind that smell, but I think it got to Shelley after a while.

In addition to olfactory stimulation, the air carried numerous new bird songs, particularly those of myna birds, who have quite a repertoire of tunes.

Further, most of our hikes took us to roaring water falls, often with swimming holes, or through light to very heave rains -- all of which generate sounds not often heard in LA. One of these trails wandered through a huge wicked-cool bamboo forest so tall that it virtually blocked light from the ground and required a flash for photos.

The air also brought us weather, of course, via tradewinds from the southeast. Apparently we drew an unlucky time to visit Hawai'i for we had a terrible run of overcast, chilly days at the end of our trip.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, the weather turned so bad that lying on the beach with a drink was out of the question. We went to see movies two days in a row, since hiking and snorkelling or other outdoor activities would leave us cold and wet in a tent all night.

On Maui, before the spell of bad weather, we found out why Hawai'i has a rainbow on their license plates. Half the time we'd turn around there would be a rainbow in view, it seemed. I got tired of taking photos of them.

Yeah, that qualifies one of us.

Memories of smell stick with me a long time. This trip's olfactory memory will be of this: road-killed fruit. Many, many birds peck at this stuff as time allows between the numerous tourist vehicles travelling the Hana "Highway" on Maui.

Our jaunty little island hopper flew us almost over Molokini Island, off Maui, where we snorkelled in a spot of beautiful morning sunshine during our first week.

The weatherscape on Maui reminded me both of Ireland and Scotland, with fast-changing lighting conditions and cloud formations scuttling and scurrying over the volcano.

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