He leaps into Hertz and asks if they have a Nissan Rogue.
He can’t quite bear to be parted from a Rogue. Not yet. Just a tiny bit more. Do they have one?
It's new. It's silver? Do you like it, says Bruce. He does.
Now it is the silver Rogue. He is happy.
She is just like the olive
So we’re back on the road.
We’re staying in the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort - it is massive. It has 62 acres of gorgeous coastal land with gardens and pools and wildlife. It is so big it has a boat and a rail service for moving guests around the
Bruce has been here many times before and he has much he wants to show me. He has climbed the massive Mona Loa volcano from sea level, almost died up there falling into a lava tube but, thin air and all, made the mighty climb and recalls every inch of it. He won’t be doing that again. He’s
But he can show me all these volcanoes and describe the flora, fauna and geology.
Thus, in our shiny new Hawaii Rogue, we plan a pilgrimage across this most exotic of islands through lava fields and volcanos to the lush, rain-drenched town of Hilo and back along the jungle-lined coast road with its myriad gorges and waterfalls, and Bruce is happy because he can be behind the wheel again - just eke
He does not need to convince me of the primal glamour of Big Island. It is not like anywhere I have been.
These pitch black lava
It is harsh and rough underfoot.
Donkeys were the way to go in the early days and there are signs along the road warning of roaming donkeys.
We make forays to the town and the shops, saving a special day for the cross-island adventure. The day arrives misty and wet and, by the time we are in the middle of the island, drenched in rain.
He is planning to meet up with us for lunch in Hilo, a plan which does not eventuate in the pouring rain and with Tom’s services being suddenly needed for the retrieval of a beached, endangered whale.
The closer to the coast
It’s a lovely town.
Thanks to Tom’s advice, we find the Hilo Bay Cafe for lunch. It is an elegant fusion place, set upstairs with views of Hilo Bay. The bay is misty and soft rain
Lunch is stunning. The rain eases. I see a wild mongoose among the rocks below. All is good.
We drive back along the coast road which is a wild luxury of lush and luscious tropical verdancy. Winding, vertiginous roads, bridges crossing precipitous inlets and gorges, all dense in
Fantastic waterfalls cascade down sheer rock faces. We follow an inland road to get a close look at one of the falls. It is quite a long trek through agricultural land and areas of tall-tall grasses.
We find the waterfall just as the skies open up again. An unfriendly
Every inch is beautiful.
And so is our hotel. It is a world unto itself with a number of restaurants and shops and lots of pools as well as lovely
We loll by that pool on the sun lounges which have their legs in the water.
We loll on our Makai-Guests-Only sun lounges by the big pool nearest our rooms. One loves to feel a bit exclusive, albeit there are sunning spots and pools aplenty for everyone and the hotel also allows the locals to enjoy its facilities. That is another characteristic I have loved about this place.
I drink cucumber mai tais at the fancy fish restaurant on the high promontory and yet more at the lovely Japanese restaurant. The cucumber cocktail is my new fancy. Elegant, light, fresh - moreish. And we both fall in love with
Our lagoon suite is very spacious and we love it - until the renovation work gets going in the rooms
I do implore them not to rent out our rooms again until the work is done.
This hotel, which once was a Hyatt, has the most spectacular art collection. Walking its long open-air passages one enjoys an extensive gallery of oriental art treasures. Hundreds, maybe thousands of glorious antiquities and art works adorn the walls, the corridors, and the gardens. There are some European works in the mix,
I never tire of walking past the giant Chinese urns, the ceremonial Islander drums, the fierce masks and idols, fetishes and carvings, the puppets and costumes, the huge protective gods, the whimsical ones, the great and glorious Buddhas and Quan Yins, the Japanese
The hotel turns on large and lavish luaus each week and we fork out the huge $150 or something each
It is a hard-working commercial show. I’ve seen luaus with more cultural integrity but this is good fun on a grand scale with a gloriously hospitable staff.
There are so many unique phenomena thanks to its newness and isolation. I am just getting to understand them all. The chickens of Kauai are one. Now I meet the cats of Big Island. Feral cats, handsome gingers and calicos, who cohabit peacefully in that black lava world. The hotel tolerates their presence and has its own feeding and neutering regime, staff say. They are very polite cats. Not tame but co-existent.
Six days on Big Island pass like a blink.
Too fast for poor Bruce who just wants to go driving, driving, driving in the silver Rogue. And then, oh, no. Rogue separation all over again.
This lovely car must be farewelled.
The road trek is over. Wheels become wings. It's up, up and away and back to our great white cat.