Thursday, March 19, 2020

February 24, 2020 Welcome To The Jungle

We packed up the Jeep this morning and said goodbye to the north side of Hawaii. We are heading south to Pahoa which means we will be driving through the jungle side of the Big Island. I've never been to any forest that would be classified as a jungle. So guess what song entered my big, mostly empty head.
"I met you on somebody's island
You thought you had known me before
I brought you a crate of papaya
Then waited all night by your door"

But first a few parting shots of our place in Hawi.

I loved it here. The colorful tropical plants around the house are the closest I've been to anything like a jungle before today. 
"You probably wouldn't remember
I probably couldn't forget
Jungle love, in the surf, in the pouring rain
Everything's better when wet"
As we drove south and east we took a short detour north on Route 240 to Waipio Valley.

We decided not to drive down into the valley but enjoyed the view from here.

Laurie talking to the Resource Ranger about his nice comfy chair. 

Some roadside flowers we walked by on the way to the car.

This is a roadside waterfall that I couldn't find a name for it. It was on Route 19 near the Umauma Falls. I believe it is where the Hanapueo Stream falls into the Umauma stream.
We walked out onto a bridge over the valley to see this on the mauka side.
Same shot with a slower aperture settings. 

This was the view from the bridge on the makai side.

Christy on the foot path at Akaka Falls State Park.
OK, I'll warn you now. I really enjoy new experiences. This is the closest I've ever been to walking through a jungle. Even though there is a paved path through the rain forest, I was amazed by the intense colors, the sounds and the dense foliage. I took a lot of pictures hoping they captured what I was feeling at the time. Looking back through them now, I can relive the experience. I hope some of the pictures put you there too.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

These strange and exoctic flowers are unlike anything I've seen before. And they are everywhere.

Kahuna Falls. This is the only view you can get along the trail here.

The striking colors kept catching my eyes.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

Akaka Falls which has a 422 foot drop.

"But lately you live in the jungle
I never see you alone"

Strangely weird and wonderful is the best way I can describe the things I saw on this hike.

"But we need some definite answers
So I thought I would write you a poem"

After driving south along Route 19, we took the Old Mamalohoa Hwy through the jungle and through a couple of  small towns...and ended up here. Of course, I made everyone laugh when I was surprised this botanical garden was outdoors. In my defense, most of the ones back home are mostly indoors for an obvious reason. So I just assumed this was in a building too.  

"The question to everyone's answer
Is usually asked from within"

"But the patterns of the rain and the truth they contain
Have written my life on your skin"

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

Once again, I was captivated by the shapes and colors.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

This place is amazing. The hike through here is mostly downhill but there are several paths that loop back to the main path. 

I might as well admit that I am using the song lyrics because I don't have time to identify each plant I photographed. So if anyone can identify any of these plants let me know and I'll update this blog post.

I quickly realized I was in an incredible place. 

Some of these plants look like they are from another planet.

Not to confuse you with another song but Bennie & The Jets came to me while walking through this place.

"Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful"

I'm still amazed to see a plant with so many different colored leaves.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

Admit it. You thought about the Brady Bunch episode in Hawaii when you saw this. I'll admit I did.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

"You treat me like I was your ocean 
You swim in my blood when it's warm"

Eventually the paths take you to the ocean. Now this is my favorite botanical garden in the world. 

I can't thank these two enough for suggesting we stop here.

"My cycles of circular motion
Protect you and keep you from harm"

"You live in a world of illusion
Where everything's peaches and cream"

"We all face a scarlet conclusion
But we spend our time in a dream"

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy"

Every beautiful natural site or park I have visited is there because someone in the past cared enough to preserve it for future generations. Dan Lutkenhouse is the person to thank for this place. You can read about this incredible man and his story of hard work and dedication to this wonderful botanical garden. Thank you Mr. Lutkenhouse.

"Jungle love, it's drivin' me mad
It's makin' me crazy" - Jungle Love lyrics by the Steve Miller Band 

We had dinner in Hilo and fun drive in the dark down to our place in Pahoa. I have to make dinner now so maybe Tom, Laurie or Christy can tell you that story. They were laughing at me for getting confused on which way to drive on unfamiliar pitch black roads. Don't get me wrong, I deserved the abuse. I just can't remember all the details which is why they were goofing on me in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. I will defer to Christy and Laurie... the details of why we were goofing on you is lost at the moment... but I am definitely sure you deserved it. Thanks for the great photos, Gregg!