Thursday, January 20, 2005


After four and a half hours of pacific and cloud, a faint elipse on the skyline. The island guarded by small puffs of cloud. Then, rising above the land, perfect, the smooth outline of Mauna Laua, the crest white with a dusting of snow. In front, Mauna Kea, craggier, with snow dimpled and rippled into the ravines, patterning the summit.

The plane passes out over the emerald water on the far side of the island. Even from this height we see the waves cutting the shoreline and out to sea flecks of white horses (could these be whales or simply the wind?)

A change of gear and the engines strike up for the final descent over lava fields, brown and rippled, and in onto the runway of Kona airport. People jostle to leave, suddenly summer clad in strappy tops and shorts. We descend the stairway onto the tarmac. No articulated tubewalk here. Just a stroll across the heat soaked parking to the terminal huts with the scent of tropical flowers drifting from the ley-stalls.


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