With a three month break behind me, I’m ready to re-enter the blogsphere.
Find some bamboo. Cut the bamboo. Knot the pieces together. Done.
Yep. The weather was beautiful and warm. The photo for today was taken on top of Diamond Head and the view from atop is 360° with nothing to obstruct your view. I took this shot looking down on Waikiki and you clearly see Honolulu looming like the major city she is – and then some.
Surely it was a great day of packing, doing, going, eating, swimming, laughing, eating, swimming, snacking, whining, driving, cleaning, popping, drinking, eating and resting. Not in that order. The sun was bright, the weather was perfect and the whole concept of enjoying a day off – with NO rain – was wonderful!
Well, let’s just say it included SPF30, bug spray and rest. We all were in agreement with “more of that please.” I dig that a lot (I think everyone did). The fireworks were great – and it was mostly safe … except for the contusion with my left eye.
None the less, I love the 4th of July as it’s a day of celebration. I want a repeat visit very soon.
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island 280 long, and 31 mi wide.
It’s warm there.
In the South China Sea a series of islands form some of the most beautiful sea landscapes on earth (next to Hawai’i of course). Palawan is south of Mimaropa between Malaysia and border by the Sulu Sea.
The province has two types of climate. The first, which occurs in the northern and southern extremities and the entire western coast, has two distinct seasons – six months dry and six months wet. The other, which prevails in the eastern coast, has a short dry season of one to three months and no pronounced rainy period during the rest of the year. The southern part of the province is virtually free from tropical depressions but northern Palawan experiences torrential rains during the months of July and August. Summer months serve as peak season for Palawan.
“A real friend is someone who takes
a winter vacation on a sun-drenched
beach and does not send a card.”
In the immortal words of James Michener, these atolls are “among the most beautiful features of this Earth, and it’s no wonder they have lured many men.” Aitutaki has been capturing imaginations for many hundreds of years. Legendary Polynesian voyager Ru made landfall there well over a thousand years ago. In 1789 Captain William Bligh and the men of the HMS Bounty were the first Europeans to arrive, reputedly bringing with them the vibrant, succulent pawpaw, just 17 days before the infamous mutiny.
Mutiny? How about vacation!
When the world-famous explorer Christopher Columbus 1498 made his third voyage to America he discovered this island. He baptized the island “La Margarita”, the Greek word for “Pearls” since he noticed that the seabed was laden with pearls. The legend says that there once upon time existed pearls big as eggs from a dove on this island. The name was later changed by the Spanish monarchs to Isla de Margarita to honor the princess from Austria who was to marry the Spanish Prince Don Juan. Somehow this isle enjoys radiant sun more than 320 days a year. Meaning, bring your SPF30.
It’s closer to home than the middle of the Pacific, and on my list. Just not in the foreseeable future.
The Rock Islands of Palau, also called Chelbacheb, are a small collection of limestone or coral uprises, ancient relics of coral reefs that violently surfaced to form Islands in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu, and are now an incorporated part of Koror State.
The islands, between 250 to 300 in number according to different sources, and are for the most part uninhabited. The islands are famous for their beaches, blue lagoons and the peculiar umbrella-like shapes of many of the islands themselves. The Rock Islands and the surrounding reefs make up Palau’s popular tourist sites such as Blue Corner, Blue hole, German Chanel, Ngermeaus Island and the famed Jellyfish Lake, one of the many Marine lakes in the Rock Islands that provides home and safety for several kinds of stingless jellyfish found only in Palau. Stingless? That would make Sponge Bob Square Pants very happy.
Plumeria is a small genus of 7-8 species native to tropical and subtropical Americas. The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees. P. rubra (Common Frangipani, Red Frangipani), native to Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela, produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar. From Mexico and Central America, Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world, especially Hawaii, where it grows so abundantly that many people think that it is indigenous there.
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of a body of water. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, or cobble. The particles of which the beach is composed can sometimes instead have biological origins, such as shell fragments or coralline algae fragments.
The State of Hawaii (pronounced /həwaiiː/ or /hawaɪiiː/; Hawaiian: Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi) is one of the United States, located on an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th state. Its capital is located in its major city, Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The most recent census puts the state’s population at 1,211,537.
Each morning, rain or shine, this pier would require a visit to check in and make sure “life is good.” When a gem is this good, it’s best enjoyed on a daily basis. I might add it’s better than pinching yourself. Pohnpei is made up of one large volcanic island and six inhabited atolls, with most of its 133 square miles on Pohnpei island. Pohnpei State, with a population of 34,486 (est. 2000), is the national capital of the FSM and site of the Community College of Micronesia. I’ve applied for a teaching position: News @11.
Pohnpei is a lush, mountainous and fertile island with much local agriculture and a growing tourism industry. It is also gaining a reputation for its gourmet pepper.
Pohnpei is a 133.4 square area – with 117 on the island proper. Pohnpei is the largest of the FSM. Its climate is tropical and humid (what I love), with about 195″ of rain in Kolonia town alone. With temps hovering in the 80’s, this is a lovely place. You seem to be working out when you’re not working out. The great news: typhoons rarely hit Pohnpei. Just enjoy the photos and bask in the sunlight. Kaselehlia!
Somewhere the bulbs were flashing – telling the seasoned traveler to go west young man. Further, farther, go-west and keep going. Just a long damn way from Hawaii is Micronesia. Yay. Far out there. But not really.
I recommend that we travel to Pohnpei, the oldest and tallest (whatever) island in the Federated States of Micronesia.
This Gem is lush and beautiful. The waterfalls are numerous and range from pleasant to spectacular, creating a refreshing and breathtaking experience for those venturing to the base of the falls. There are even camping areas at some sites for those who want to hear the tumble of the water as they sleep under the tropical sky. The streams are great for cooling off after a hike in the hills.
It rained here most of the day – blah! It was raining when we woke, raining before we rode. The rain passed while we were out, but once we landed back home the pelting of droplets kept coming. And it rained for the rest of the afternoon – and it’s still raining. The forecasters missed the boat, the PFD and the they must have issues reading the radar screen.
On the Big Island it was snowy. Ergo the photo. Lots of it – with a clear view and calm winds. I would have traded the snow for rain today – especially if it were on the Big Island. The ocean, just miles away, makes the snowball toss even more fun. More about that later. Aloha.
I’ve uploaded a great series of photos from Hawaii. Several that seem to fit the spirit of Aloha and many that just make me want to re-visit again. And again. I’ve taken time out to really find some shots from my archives that look great – feel even better – and several that bring a smile to my face. DOUBLE click a shot and the larger image will load. Enjoy.
Aerial views of the Seventy Islands, widely displayed on book covers, posters, and magazine illustrations than any other feature of this country, are symbolic of Palau.
Several things contribute to the beauty of the Palau island group: brilliant, transparent colors of the sky and water; the clarity of the lagoon waters; dazzling white sand beaches; and the quantity and form of the small islands.
The Rock Islands are limestone of coral origin. Obviously, they are remnants of a earlier array of barrier and patch reefs similar to the reefs of today at Palau — except the sea level then was some 250 to 300 feet higher. The sea level has been fairly constant for some time, so the easily dissolved limestone at all the Rock Islands are severely undercut at their waterline. From water level, many appear as great mushrooms. At many places, it is very difficult or impossible to get ashore to the islands. Most are uninhabited, and they are fine biologic remnants with native limestone forests and a complete array of native bird life. Hawksbill and green sea turtles haul in on the scattered sand beaches to nest. Ulong Island, where Captain Henry Wilson’s ship, the Antelope, went aground in 1700, is the site of many ancient rock paintings used to record important events.
Yet scenic beauty is the dominating character of these Rock Islands. They are unique and outstanding.
The porous, fractured, eroded nature of these islands clearly illustrates the kind of landscape the Japanese defenders used to fortify and barricade at Bloody Nose Ridge, for that place too is geologically like the Rock Islands.
North and east of Seventy Islands and between them and the capital, Oreor, are two prominent island groups, Mecherchar (Eil Malk) and Ngerukdabel (Urukthapel). Each of these has a much larger main island, though still entirely of karst topography limestone.
Both of these destinations are unique. Happy Valley because of its seclusion and protection against the elements of the neighboring mountains, the beautiful Lake of the Sky and its proximity to Chilhowee Mountain. The sun was out today – giving the parallel road to the Foothills Parkway – a happy feel. None the less, it was cooler than expected – particularly because the warmer weather of the last few weeks warmed us up – or most of us anyway. I road four hours with a buddy of mine (Tim) and a few of his friends from Canada. It was mostly a climbing day. My legs are toast.
Thinking ahead today – to the Big Island of Hawai’i, I was mindful that I’ll see the Waipi’o Valley along on the back side of Hamakua Coast. It’s one mile wide at the coastline and virtually six miles deep. The beach is a beautiful black … the cliffs soar to 200o’ … and the road into the valley is steep. 25% – that’s twenty-five percent. Referred to as the Valley of Kings, due to the fact that many Hawaiian rulers once lived in the valley, it has historical and cultural importance to the Hawaiian people.
Today’s post has a great view of the Valley of Kings along with an Ohia (from Hawaii’s most abundant native tree), a Red Torch orchid and plenty of Aloha. More photos to follow ….
Somewhere out there, a few folks had a great day (yesterday – since it’s on the other side of the international dateline) at the Nikko. Located on the east coast of Malakal Island in Koror State, the doors of Palau Royal Resort opened to leisure travelers and eco-tourism enthusiasts on June 28, 2005. Palau Royal Resort is a five-star international resort hotel developed and owned by Royal Hotel Group and operated by Nikko Hotels International.
Palau Royal Resort is the first of its class in the Republic of Palau, famous for its diving and most amazing array of marine life. It boasts of top of the class amenities for the travelers looking for leisure and relaxation.
Palau Royal Resort is about 25 minutes drive from the Palau International Airport and few minutes to the city center of Koror. I suggest you bring a) lots of cash, b) a credit card with ample room for rooms, and c) SPF30. Should you need to learn more, here’s the link. Nikko-my-body.
Amnesia — that’s what you want when you visit the region. To forget the world behind you and start life on a new path with mostly sunny days, sandy white beaches and delicious meals every day. Vacations interrupt our lives with mostly “good” consequences and with very few “bad” consequences. The anticipation of vacation is good – and traveling to the destination is generally good if your flights are on-time and the luggage doesn’t detour to Idaho when you’re on an island in Oceania.
The region is so large that it’s “interpreted” around some of the edges (particularly in west Melanesia). Your view of the world is what you make it and if you’ve cross-referenced all points in the region and disputed the provisos, you might find yourself immersed in what millions of people call paradise. Even Hawai’i is part of the “Polynesian triangle” and thus a member of Oceania. Settled in the sixth century by Polynesian people who migrated from Tahiti, it’s peeps are within the triangle.
Captain Cook had no idea that his presence in the 18th century would alter the official position of Hawaii within Oceania but it did. Many historians will agree that Captain Cook and his men’s presence there would later impact the world’s view of Hawaii and thus its “position” within Oceania. I suspect a thesis is hiding somewhere on a bookshelf about this very topic. (Great beach fodder!)
My trip to the region (later this year) will be full of beach fodder. I anticipate ample time to study, photograph and learn more about the region. And specifically Hawai’i. Aloha.
Jacques Cousteau, guru of the underworld, hailed this tiny country in Micronesia as having some of the best diving in the world. I don’t dive, but fortunately, I didn’t need to–there are 1,400 species of shallow-water fish. Hawaii boasts 570.
Palau is a water destination and more. Travelers can kayak to WWII sites and secluded beaches, hike through jungles and waterfalls and swim with dolphins at the Dolphins Pacific center. And if you do scuba, there are 70 official dive sites.
Made up of 300 islands, Palau has 20,000 residents, and in terms of population and land mass, is one of the smallest countries in the world. Yet this epicenter of biodiversity has attracted divers since the 1980s. Tourism, however, is slow and steady, which suits Palauans just fine. New hotels, roads, bridges and hordes of travelers can be harmful to the coral and sea life, so there’s a concerted effort to grow at an environmentally sustainable pace. This unique combination makes it a must-visit location and one that will surely allow for true relaxation. Until you have to leave.
Somewhere between here and the Pacific Ocean is a lovely view called “ahh.” If you like it, smile. Most folks do and very few seek snow covered lands over a beach. I might suggest that when you travel to the Islands that you bring some SPF30 because extended stays in the sun aren’t healthy. Extended stays on Hawaii are ultra-healthy. Let’s go.
The Hawaiian name for dolphin is nai’a, and refers to most all dolphins found in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Spinner dolphins (pictured here) are shaped and colored somewhat differently from other species of spinner dolphins. With 13 species of toothed dolphins (nai’a) swimming in the tepid waters of Hawaii, the most common are the Hawaiian spinner, spotted (kiko), bottlenose and rough-toothed dolphins. When you spot a dolphin you escape with the animal because their ability to move and move quickly is instantly “freeing.” On each journey to Hawai’i I’ve been fortunate enough to experience dolphin sightings – while on boat excursions (off Maui, Lanai and Kauai) and while swimming off Oahu. The best word to sum up the feeling is “kewl.” Who’s up for a boat ride?!
It was cold today. Snow blowin’ – wet (early) and slow moving traffic. Schools were out … some because of “mass illness” and many others due to weather conditions. Work-related topics were stressful. Students were needy. The folks I trust … Queenie and DJ were the bright spots in the day. Mostly because they are honest, “real” and the energy they produce feels very positive. Even my friend Amy – in the midst of conference call was all smiles! A new client graced our offices today – and she was delightful, fun and another person I put in the genuine/real category. If you’re lucky to know people like these – or have some of them in your life – you know what I mean. I feel pretty fortunate.
Conditions in the Pacific were much less snowy, cold and required (several) less layers of clothing. Maybe even none at all. HA! Soak up the view and place yourself in a beach chair, pull out the SPF30 (you’d be in this location for a while), grab the book and your bottled water. When you get a little warm, stroll into the clear water and refresh yourself. Then imagine you do this very same ritual on a weekly basis. I do.
Nuaailua Bay – along the route to Hana is beautiful. It’s on the windward side of Maui and accessed via the scenic Hana Highway. There are many, many terrific views – sites – sounds and fresh flower smells along the road to Hana. If you have the opportunity to travel via a convertible you’ll enjoy the trip even more so. Primarily because the lush vegetation overhead is fully visible and with the trees you also enjoy cooler temperatures. Mostly – that is. Aloha.
Hawai’i is so diverse … its culture, scenery, landscapes and weather … all of which are unique. So much so that you may never want to leave. Ergo the reason that some folks visit and never leave.
When you do visit, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve been to Hawai’i four times and each time the reasons to stay are greater than the reasons to return to the mainland. Other than a mortgage and some other financial commitments – a career – a teaching career – a BGE and proximity to family (whoa, I thought it was a small list!), I’d just stay. After all, when you live on Hawai’i more of your family looks for and then finds a real reason to visit you!
Today the flower is part of the Big Island’s landscape – proving that where new earth is created – so is new life. Again – Aloha.
Interestingly, I learned on my first visit to Hawai’i there are no private beaches. I take exception to that factoid because the Robinson family (who owns Niihau) is totally private. So – I assume the no private beach rule applies to the other islands. Basically Hawaii is open to the public, however most visitors just go to the one closest to their hotel. For a more private experience all you have to do is leave the hotel district and explore less crowded beaches. You will find the sand, surf, breeze, reef and views change greatly as you explore each new beach.
In Hawaii there are soft white sand, black sand, gray sand, and green sand beaches, but not all types of sand are found on each island. The color depends what the sand was created from. In Hawaii the term ‘black sand beach’ is used only for beaches with a high concentration of grains of black volcanic glass. The black volcanic glass is created by molten lava flows entering the cool ocean causing the glassy rinds to shatter. True black sand beaches are only found in a few locations on the Big Island and near Hana on Maui. Today’s photo is a from a beautiful green sand beach on Hawai’i. Let’s start by applying some sunscreen. Aloha.