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leeward side

February 26, 2010

We took the free bus from Kamuela (a.k.a. Waimea) to Kona this morning, and the trip was very educational.  Kamuela is divided into the “green side” and “dry side.”  Prevailing winds approach Hawaii from the east (windward) side, which receives a lot of rainfall, so that side of the big island is lush with vegetation and waterfalls.  Driving west from Kamuala, the ecosystem changes abruptly to an arid landscape with cactus!  As we approached Kona, we noticed the heavy fog all around.  Actually, it is “vog,” produced by volcanic venting activity!  A curious form of graffiti abounds on this roadway.  People arrange white stones upon the black volcanic rocks.  And finally, within the bus, a poster advertises $300,000+ condos opposite a poster advocating basic dental hygiene.  This social commentary was too ironic to go undocumented.

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