|Today we are in Hilo located on the 'Big Island' of Hawaii. Big Island is the largest and youngest of the Hawaiian islands and was formed by five volcanoes. There are two active volcanoes only 25 miles apart. Maura Loa, the worlds largest and Kilauea the worlds most active.
We are going on a helicopter to fly over the Kilauea Volcano which has been continuously erupting since 1983. We are hoping to see some lava flows and get a good view of the countryside and beaches.
Well that was the theory! Unfortunately bad weather stopped play. We were picked up and taken to the airport. As we were travelling the heavens opened. We watched the safety video and then informed that the weather forecast was for continued rain in the morning. They would be unable to fly. We were very disappointed but these things happen.
We decided that given the time and the lack of options the next best thing was to catch the shuttle bus to Walmart! Now those of you who know Ian know that one of his favourite pastimes is visiting Tesco's. He has been suffering withdrawal symptoms so the chance to see the Mecca of supermarkets was not too be missed. There was a little spring in his step and he'd almost forgotten about the volcano! Well Walmart did not disappoint in terms of the range of goods. They seemed to sell everything. There was arts and crafts, clothes, hardware, DIY,food, opticians, pharmacy and even an accountants! But strangely while they sold a huge number of ranges, the choice within the ranges was very limited. The fresh fruit & veg area had only a single type of each fruit and veg, so no choice of apples or indeed anything else. In fact the entire stand was about the same size as that in our local corner shop. This in a cavernous warehouse that seemed to stretch for miles. We purchased some items, mainly sweets (very very large degree of choice) and went off to find free Wifi.
After catching up with admin we returned to the ship. By now the sky was blue and it was in the 30 degrees.
That evening at dinner Geoff and Carole told us about there trip to see the volcano. They went by coach, as they were travelling the rain was cascading down the roads but as they arrived it cleared. They were fortunate to see the red molten lava oozing from the crust of the volcano. They were enthralled. I must admit to feeling a little jealous but very pleased for them. We were both disappointed but it's our first disappointing day since we embarked on this journey.
Our guest speakers on this section include Midge Ure. We both go to listen to him. He's changed a bit! On stage is a smart bald man in a grey suit. He talks very eloquently about his childhood and trying to make it in the music business. He grew up in a tenement in Glasgow always longing to be a musician. His parents supported him when he gave up a good job to join a band. He eventually formed Ultravox and the rest is history.
He talked about his collaboration with Bob Geldof to organise Band Aid and Live Aid.
A very humorous and interesting speaker.
He performed an acoustic set just him and his guitar singing a lot of his own songs that nobody seemed to know. He performed Vienna , Fade to Grey and Dancing with tears in my eyes. They didn't sound the same without synthesisers. An enjoyable evening but a lot of people were disappointed.
Next stop San Francisco.The