This trip just continues to be such a wonderful adventure. Yesterday morning, as I boarded the plane from Oakland airport in San Francisco, headed eventually for The Big Island of Hawaii, I had no idea of where I would be staying, and had only managed to make a reservation for the night dive to see manta rays (hopefully!)
But behind the scenes Debbie, the most organised person I have ever met, was arranging things for me. I met Debbie a month ago in Gold Beach in Oregon, where she had arranged several activities for me, including achieving two goals that I had not expected to achieve on this part of my journey.
Debbie had contacted Becky at the Big Island Visitors Bureau, and Becky had been very busy trying to arrange things for my visit here. By the time I had arrived in Honolulu, and was waiting for my transfer flight, Becky had arranged a tour for me to go and see the volcano here on the island. She had also managed to arrange possible accomodation at a luxury resort, but the “press rate” of $121 per night was unfortunately well outside my price range! Online I had found a backpackers place offering dorm room beds at $25 per night!
As I flew into The Big Island I rang Becky, and she told me that she possibly had some other accomodation arranged, but that I would be needing a car to get there. However, she said, the Big Island Visitors Bureau were willing to offer assistance with car hire costs. All was looking really good.
At the tiny airport there are shuttle buses for all the car hire companies, and I spoke to several of the bus drivers. Apparently there is some big conference on the island at the moment, and none of the companies had any vehicles available. I finally found one driver that said they did have vehicles, but only big jeeps or convertibles, at over $100 per day. Again, this was well outside my budget, even with the assistance the bureau were prepared to offer.
A taxi to go five miles into town was going to cost about $20 – it all seems very expensive here – so I walked out of the airport with my bags, up to the main road, and stuck my thumb out. I soon got a lift into town with Ed, who dropped me off at his friend Ken’s business, Affordable Rentals. Ken soon had me sorted out with a jeep at $55 per day, and I was off.
Becky had arranged a place for me to stay at no cost, and gave me details on where to meet Barbara, the owner of Dragonfly Ranch. After a bit of a mix up I finally found Barbara, and made my way to her establishment. There I met a group of German sound healers, led by Christian Bollman, who are here to enjoy an alternative holiday, sampling different healing and relaxation techniques, as well as learning about Hawaiian culture.
The place is pretty full, so my accomodation is up the hill behind the house, where I have a bed on the floor in the middle of a labyrinth painted on the floor of a huge open-air shelter.
I took a shower just before bed, which was an absolutely fantastic experience. The shower is completely open, in the middle of a lush area of bushland, but somehow has heated water. It was completely dark, with the only light visible being from the house far down the hill, and I could have stood under the water for hours looking up at the vast array of stars in the incredibly clear night sky above me.
I woke early this morning to the sounds of the island birds, and was pretty awed by the beautiful view from the balcony of my labyrinth.
I got up and moved my bed out of the way, and walked the labyrinth path to the centre, and sat there looking out over the bushland and ocean, thinking about this amazing adventure I am on, and the experiences it keeps on offering me.