Imagine an exotic island where you could spend your day surrounded by luscious green foliage, palm trees and beautiful fragrant flowers. A gorgeous beach with sun bleached sands, where smooth waves of cool crystal clear water soothes and relaxes your body. I have been to such a place. It’s called Kona and is just one of the many Hawaiian Islands that lie in the South Pacific. The minute you arrive you are transported to a tropical paradise with clear, bright blue skies doted with white puffy clouds, exotically colored birds of various sizes and shapes fly about enjoying their freedom.
When I awoken on my first morning in paradise, my sense of smell was the first to be aroused. Our hotel room over looked the ocean and my Dad had opened the balcony door letting in the fresh salty sea breeze which mingled with the perfume of the orchids that surrounded the hotel. Mom was brewing a small pot of Kona coffee and its rich, strong aroma joined in. I stood on the balcony over looking the vastness of the never ending sea of blue. I had never seen the ocean before and almost had to pinch myself to reassure myself I wasn’t dreaming.
Kona is a wonderland of sea life. Whales, dolphins and sea turtles are often seen while at the beach. Turtles sunbath on top of the warm soft sands of the beaches. Whales are seen deep out in the distance waters and take you by surprise as they breach the blue ocean water and than plunge back with a thundering crash. Dolphins are seen playing in groups dancing about in the water.
Just a short drive from the serenity of the beach is the desolate land on Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. It is unbelievable that in a fairly short distance the two area’s could be so dramatically opposite. Kilauea is a wasteland of heat that radiates from the ground. Red hot lava travels slow and steady into the cool water of the sea where white smoke and steam explodes into the air. The pungent scent of sulfur hangs heavy in the atmosphere.