Monday, May 2, 2011

Of King Kamehameha, diving, and being a caddy

The week in Hawaii is nearing its end. Amazing how quickly time passes when one is having fun. This has been the perfect R&R, even though I never was able to crack open a book and just read, as I had planned. It seems there are always way too many activities. For example, going on a 70-mile bike ride takes time, and after the ride I feel zonkered enough to not even think about reading.

During Saturday's ride to Hawi and a bit beyond I paid a visit to the original King Kamehameha statue.

King Kamehameha
The ride was tough, with much wind, much heat, much humidity. But the views were spectacular on this route that is also part of the Ironman World Championships in October. For long stretches one looks across the ocean to neighboring Maui. The landscape changes from lava fields to arid, savanna-like slopes and finally lush rain-forest. Palm trees and acacias, bougainvilleas and buffalo grass—the contrasts are stark and pleasant.

Semi-desert between Hawi and Kawaihae

Lushness beyond Hawi
Besides bike riding (and lazing time away with Happy Hour) I've spent two days diving. Jenny and I went out on Friday and Sunday for two two-tank dives that took all morning. Dive operator Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures (owned by the affable Denise, a friend of Jenny's with whom we shared Happy Hour and dinner on Saturday night) runs a smooth, safe operation, and I was totally impressed with their general attitude. All four dives were well in excess of an hour, with lots of things to see: eels, turtles, rays, a lazy shark in a cozy cave. The swim-throughs were some of the nicest I've seen anywhere, and with small groups the whole experience was totally enjoyable.

Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures launching the boat

Surface interval in Hawaii
One evening we spent at Bill's house, which he will probably keep building for the next five years—he does almost everything by himself, and sharing time between South Dakota and Hawaii doesn't help either. Ignore the current landscaping and just look at this view:
Bill's incredible abode

Sunset from the deck
Having Bill's pretty condo to live in has been another pleasure—the best home base one could ask for. It's right on the Waikoloa golf course, and yesterday I played caddy and lugged Jenny's clubs around (and a small cooler with ice-cold Steinlagers). Man, it's just an incredible life!
The condo
Jenny ready to tee off

The rough life of a "caddy"
So, another day of paradise and then it's back to Lubbock, where the weather has been crazy and the winds apparently their usual insane. Still, it's home, and weird as it may seem, I always enjoy getting back. This time I'll be around for close to a week before running off to another race next week in Las Vegas. As I said and keep saying: what a life!


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