Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 24, 2012. Captain Cook to Volcano, HI. 55 miles.

Kristen has been talking about Spam since yesterday... she had heard it was a staple in Hawaii, even available at McDonalds! We have not been to McD's but it was on our breakfast menu today. Here she is with her Spam. (I think she only ate one bite). I think this hotel used to be a boarding house--our room has twin beds and a bathroom that was obviously added later. And the building goes on and on.... which is all fine, but there are chickens and roosters very close by, and don't ever think that the roosters only crow at dawn! From about 3 AM until we left at 7:30 it was constant dueling roosters! Not a good night for sleep.

There were fewer coffee plantations today, as we moved into the Macacamia nut area of the island. There were some small cattle farms and this zebra and donkey along the road. Now where did that come from?

Women were harvesting Macadamia nuts, picking them up off the ground--the ones they picked up were brown, and the trees were still laden with green nuts. Apparently it's a very long season.

The hills were less steep this morning, and it was a lovely ride. Again we could see the ocean far below us. We stopped at mile 31 for a water and rest room break. Some riders got a snack at the Hawaiian Barbecue place. Below are Sue, Denise, me and Ellen.

I ate my trail mix at the BBQ and held out for the bakery to eat lunch. There was a warning on the cue sheet: "strong winds possible for next few miles". Ha! It was strong winds the rest of the way, accompanied by rain for the next 10 or 12 miles. But the sandwich and treat from the Punalu'u bakery were great!

We had been warned that the last 30 miles was all climbing and that if we were not at the Black Sands Beach by 1:30 not to attempt the climb. After yesterday's steep climbs that verbage scared me, and it was 1:50 when I reached the beach, so I stopped, along with most of the rest of the group. Only one rider prevailed to the top. Yay Liz!

Dianne and Laurie were the last to arrive at the beach--quite a number had shuttled in, while several of us rode the distance. We were all glad to see Dianne back on her bike!

We piled into the van and headed up to Volcano Park. On the way up I thought it did not seem that steep and that I could have ridden it. Of course we were in the van at the time, not on our bikes. I am bummed about stopping when I did (55 miles).

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