Vacation Rental An hour from everywhere
The vacation rental was two rooms in a guy’s garage. Very nice rooms in a very nice garage. With a very nice guy. In a very nice, in a wild-west sorta way, community called Ocean View on the side of Mauna Loa that was an hour from everywhere.
Two Rooms with a view
The rooms were great. Beds comfortable. Had all the necessities to make coffee and heat food in a microwave. The garage had a table setup where we could work and our host provided a good WIFI signal at no additional. Also there was a hot tub ready to go. All that out on the lava with an epic view of the Pacific.
It was quite, ideal for that vacation where you still need to work remotely. As much as one can work when sitting back with a cup of Kona coffee while looking out at the ocean, very blurry in my case but hey. I have enough vision to be able to tell that it is an ocean. Though sometimes it was hard to tell where ocean ended and sky began. But that’s the life of the blind photographer.
Cost-wise it was cheaper than anywhere else on the island. Won’t tell you how much, but it was significant. However my upside might be your downside. It was an hour to an hour and a half to anywhere the typical tourist might want to be.
So. If watered-down for tourists Mai Tai’s on the beach followed by nightlife is your thing, probably not the place for you. Check Kona or Hilo. If quiet awesomeness on the side of a volcano with an ocean to look at, followed by long, seriously scenic drives everywhere , followed by really strong Mai Tai’s with the locals down at Kai-Loki is your thing then this is your place.
And it can be. Drop me a line expressing interest and I will hook you up with our host and ya’ll can work the details out.
ATV Tour Across the Lava Field
As it happens, our host augments the vacation rental income by giving ATV Tours down to the shore line, also discounted over the cost of similar tours. M drove the ATV-built-for-two for the trip down. My blind self drove it on the way back up because: the throttle was hurting her thumb and riding on the back made me motion sick.
So…with our intrepid host in the lead, I can see well enough To follow him down the trail. We aren’t bouldering or anything extreme, just taking in the landscape on a well used trail with no pits or ditches the blind guy could drive off into.
What did we see? Well. Lots and lots of lava and a magnificent coastal view. With a green sand beach.
How does the green sand happen? The mineral composition of the island-building hotspot is primarily olivine-basalt. It is the concentration of olivine crystals that give the sand that erodes from the basaltic lava, along with the white of decaying coral, that gives the sand it’s greenish cast.
We made it back. I didn’t kill us. Though on the last bit the sun had descended to the point that all I could see was blackness and taillights. I trusted God and the tail lights and followed along… blindly. I figuring M would shout if I was about to drive us off a cliff. How smart was that? Eh. I could absolutely use my disability to live safely in the shadows of self-pity. Screw that. I’m going to drive an ATV across a jagged lava field and maybe take in some blurry awesomeness along the way. Life will kill a body. Might as well be living when it does. And what a great companion who’ll go there with me. I feel Like I should drop an “LOL” in there somewhere, but screw that as well.
Anyway. Pictures tell thousands of words. Even when taken by the blind photographer.
Lava Lava everywhere
So, You want to live in Ocean View?
Want to live in Ocean View? Great. Buy a plot of lava. There’s plenty to be had cheap. Hire a guy with a bull dozer to basically roll back and forth over it until it’s ground into lava-gravel. Then have a shipping container dropped off on it. Put in a water catchment system, wind, solar and you are off grid golden with the best view on earth and a climate that is forever June.
Understand though, if you have a medical emergency you are probably just going to die. And there’s the biggest volcano on earth. which is right next door to the most active volcano on earth. The former could send a river of lava your way whenever it feels like it. For the 10,000 residents on the south end of the island there’s just one road to safety, Hopefully everyone gets out before Pele eats the road. That would be the wild west part.
Be resourceful. Recycling, reinventing and repurposing are survival skills out on the lava. The locals are friendly and hang out at the little Hawaiian BBQ joint or Kai Loki, the bar, grill, whatever spot with paint night on Thursday, karaoke on Friday and potent Mai Tai’s whenever they’re open. Don’t get so hammered at Karaoke that you miss the Farmers Market. Its where the barter economy is in full swing and that thing you need to fix that broken thing is probably there. Coconut wireless is will be on the air there, with all the news you need to know.
The Friday before we left our waiter at Kai Loki asked. “Are you kama’aina?” (Of the Land, A local) There’s just no greater honor to me when visiting a place. Sure I could live there. Volcano and all.