Hawaiian Soul-Journ part VI: Spirit Elder & Whale

I headed out the next day to camp at the most sacred place in the world to me: Polihale. This place dredges something up in even the stoniest heart; it literally feels like the end of the world. In fact, in Hawaiian legend, this is the place where the spirits of the dead leave the island. Since I came here in 1998 and 1999, I have retreated here in my heart and mind; I have visualized this place when going on shamanic journeys to the lower world; I have met many spirit guides here when I have soul traveled. To me, this is one of the Earth’s power centers and I intended to do ceremony here for the solstice and the full lunar eclipse, something I had been planning for months.

My first night was sublime. The nearly full moon illuminated the beach in shades of platinum and the rumble of the waves was deep resonant backdrop to the more than majestic mountains that framed the beach. I slept peacefully feeling embraced by the cliffs behind me and the ocean in front of me, warm and dry. I awoke before dawn and strolled the length of the shoreline all the way to the base of the pali’s where the sea, the lava rocks and the mountains all merge. I sat down to meditate, feeling overcome by the slenderness of the veil between worlds.

I was distracted by a young man I had just passed on way to this spot; he wore his long dark hair in a topknot and was clearly also doing ceremony only a few hundred yards from where I was. He was a beautiful person, not simply on a physical plane; his energy exuded outward in peaceful waves and I wondered if he was a Kahuna. I have been wanting so much to connect with a Kahuna to help me heal, that I was sure he was someone I needed to meet, however I was far too overcome to approach him so I asked my guides to tell him if I was someone he needed to speak to, then I let go.

I could feel that he knew I wanted to talk to him, but that the time was not yet right, so again I attempted to quiet my mind and meditate. This time I slipped right over to the other realm, so thin was the curtain that separated the lower and middle kingdoms. Immediately I became aware of the Council of Elders, a group of wizened, ascended shamans that always seem to be gathered here at the Spirit-plane Polihale. I asked for guidance and felt the immediate presence of my main guide: one I call simply “Grandfather.”

“Grandfather” seemed rather disinterested in my questions, my confusion and my desire for guidance and enlightenment. Every time I asked him for advice, I’d hear in my head “Relax.” I was really in my head, trying to understand my lessons, release what I needed to let go of and to figure out how best to proceed on my path of personal healing. Intellectually, I knew I had to let go of trying to mentally process it, and was amused by the irony of that. ARGH! 

At that moment, I felt Grandfather tap me on one shoulder from behind and the he pointed out to the ocean over my other shoulder. “Open your eyes,” he said. “Look.” Obediently, I did as instructed and saw two boats near where he had directed my gaze. “Two boats,” I said. “One is coming in, the other is going out. What does that mean?” “Shh. Keep looking.” At that moment a whale breached completely out of the water and came down with a huge splash right where he had indicated. I leapt to my feet, shouting and cheering!!

I was so thrilled, I couldn’t contain myself; Whale Spirit had been a big part of my last shamanic journey by taking me to my guides. Seeing this whale as it had been pointed out to me by my Spirit Guide validated to me that I really am in contact with something outside of myself, that is to say if anything really is outside ourselves… that includes all of us and all of everything. What a great sign! My inner child came out and I really understood that I could really relax and play, not try to figure it all out.

As I made my way back toward my campsite, I felt elated, but my turmoil still existed beneath it all. I had to walk past the young Kahuna who was now facing inland toward the cliffs, deep in prayer. I didn’t want him to feel my sticky energy, so I opened my heart to love and grace as widely as I could, knowing that some shadows remained. As I approached his field, I felt a beautiful reverence, innocence and joy vibrating all around him. It added to my whale-happy feelings of bliss and I simply began to run, not like a racer, nor a therapeutic jog; I ran like a 10 year old: for fun without a reason. Just because.

Hawaiian Soul-Journ part V: Not Separate

Still noticing the couples all around me and feeling a little isolated, last week up on the North shore, I took myself out on a date for sushi at a fantastic place in Hanalei. I asked the sushi chef (the first woman sushi chef I ever did see) if there was a good place to hear some live music nearby, and she suggested a local bar call the Tahiti Nui. I remembered that Mike’s roommate Lyza had told me that it was THE local hangout for hook ups. Well, I was more interested in seeing live music, the thought of a hook up actually turned my stomach, but it might be fun to meet some people.

The place was not terribly crowded when I arrived, so I perched on a barstool toward the back of the place where I could take in the entire scene and ordered a Kauai brewed beer. The music was sad, and I wondered what possessed me to come here at all. I struck up a short conversation with an old uncle next to me, and within a moment another guy arrived -clearly on the prowl- and had Uncle introduce us. (They were in cahoots, apparently) I’ll call this guy Rupert the corn and soy farmer.

Rupert began to pontificate about pesticides and go on about GMO’s; he displayed his Miller Light (?) and proudly exclaimed that it was made from all GMO corn and that none of it has ever done him any harm. Looking at him, I would have to disagree; energetically, there was a lot going on there, and none of it was healthy. In any case, he was the only person I had to talk to, and rather than try to convert his thinking about organics (although I made a few half-hearted attempts), I decided to seek some common ground.

 In a less than open-hearted space I joined Rupert in making comments about the single’s scene before us. I noticed one guy who really looked like he ought to be in a beer commercial and his somewhat sleazy attempts to hook up. With nothing else to talk about, Rupert and I discussed his moves in a play by play and admittedly, I was not conducting myself from a compassionate place in regards to “Budweiser’s” own loneliness. I was about to get reminded of who I really am.

In a short while a man wearing a T-shirt with the Impulse logo (a great jazz record label) sat down on the other side of Rupert. We caught him up to speed on the characters we had nicknamed: Budweiser, Wing Man, Guinevere and others and then Rupert began his spiel defending GMO corn and pesticides. Tim patiently listened for a while before laughing good-naturedly and casually debating Rupert’s diatribe. It wasn’t long before he saw the futility in that tack, but he quickly impressed me as someone I would naturally be friends with.

The next time Rupert went to the men’s room, I scootched over a seat to talk with Tim some more; he was open and friendly and clearly very bright. After a few minutes of chit chat, I began to once again make comments about the mating rituals of the twenty-somethings at the bar in front of us. That’s when Tim brought me up short on my lame behavior. “Why do you think you’re separate from this? Everyone just wants to make a connection; that’s why we’re all here isn’t it? Every one of these people has a heart and is probably very interesting to get to know. Do you really think they are doing something wrong?”


I had gotten so caught up in my story and my loneliness that I had hardened my heart, was becoming bitter and isolating myself further. I had a flash of a prophetic dream I had earlier in the year where I attempted to escape a terrible storm by seeking shelter in an all –glass house. In a rush of revelation, I stopped that trajectory and from my heart thanked Tim for calling me out on my bullshit. “Just bar talk,” he said, “no big deal.” It was to me.
Mahalo Tim.

Hawaiian Soul-Journ part IV: The Peeps

I have been blessed on this journey to encounter so many kind and helpful folks; at every camp, there is a good neighbor, on every beach there is a friendly encounter, and at any random location there is a new friend to be made. At my first campsite, Anini Beach, I met a super nice couple from California who run a wilderness school. In the middle of the hellacious storm, they escaped the misery to get some grinds (that’s food to those of us on the mainland). They were kind enough to bring me back a half a pizza because they knew I was reluctant to go out and leave my tent in the middle of the storm, and they were always ready with a morning cup of coffee if I wanted it. Before I left a few days later, I found a cast off grass beach mat and left it for them as a thank you; I have found those things to be indispensable for sandy seaside camping… it keeps the majority of the beach out of your tent.

I don’t even need to go into further detail on just what an awesome friend Mike has been to me on this journey, but I will anyway. Aside from the cooler, the beach chair, the towels, the pillows, the fantastic meals, the leftovers, the warm showers, and the laundry facilities, Mike is a great source of endless information about the plants, birds, trees, beaches and island lore. Seriously, the guy obviously reads a lot and listens carefully to what people tell him when they “talk story.” At this point in my trip, I have been dealing with a LOT of rain, and when I called to check in with him he told me that he’s been looking into hotels and condos that are going cheap right now due to last minute holiday cancellations. The level of thoughtfulness that it takes to even have that sort of thing occur to someone is a rare quality indeed. Mahalo Mike.

Mike’s friend and roommate Lyza is a vivacious and gregarious woman; one afternoon we went to check out some of the North Shore beaches and she gave me the low-down on the best surf spots and the local names for them: Tunnels, Cannons, Koko, Middles, Chicken Wing, Dump Truck, West Reef and The Killing Floor to name but a few. We had a fun afternoon ogling tight bodied surfer boys as they passed in front of us coming off of Cannons, broken surfboards in hand. I found out that that’s a good thing, to break a board; that means that it was gnarly, dude.

One morning I was walking on Haena Beach, doing my usual AM shell picking; I was totally zoned out on the meditative task of eyeballing Puka and kahelelani shells. Being so completely myopic, and seeing only two or three feet directly in front of me, I was alerted abruptly by the shrill sound of someone yelling and whistling. I glanced up, but it didn’t appear that anyone was looking at me. I kept going a few more feet when into my field of vision appears the tail of a monk seal. Right there. In front of me. It was attached, naturally, to a full grown, lazily napping Monachus schauinslandi weighing approximately 300+ pounds. It is illegal to harass or otherwise annoy one of these endangered animals, so the fact that I was only a couple of feet from it concerned me greatly. I went into the water to give it as wide a berth as possible and quickly hustled away. I looked up the beach at a couple of tourists with mouths agape and said, “Oh my god. Do you have a cell phone? Can you call someone? That needs to be roped off, I almost tripped over him!!” They didn’t speak English.

I scanned the beach further and saw that over by the emergency lifeguard equipment (strategically placed every few hundred yards along all the beaches here) a guy was hurriedly gathering the signs and yellow rope to cordon off the seal. I ran over to help and apologized profusely for being so engrossed in beach combing that I didn’t see it. He was generously non-chalant about my bone-headed move and accepted my assistance.
Apparently this old-school surfer, Billy volunteers with protecting these nearly prehistoric mammals and knows most of them individually. This particular seal was new to him and lacked the usual defining scars that most of the resident seals are tattooed with; there are scars from fishing nets that get caught around their necks, deep marks from injuries sustained by encounters with boat rudders and a telltale round wound that they get on their underbellies from bites taken out of them by the “cookie-cutter” sharks. Between that and the constant increase in tourism on their preferred napping areas, the monk seals endure a lot on a regular basis; all they want to do when they beach themselves is to get a solid rest before going back out into the daily challenges of their watery terrain. He sure was cute… the seal, that is.

Hawaiian Soul-Journ part III: After the Storm...The FOOD!!!!

After the storm, I started to get my Kauai groove on and found that unhooking and relaxing was not as natural to me as it was the last time I was here, eleven years ago. I went about doing the things that I had so enjoyed as a couple when I was here with my ex-husband, and found some peace while combing the beaches for shells. The early parts of my days were enjoyable because Mike had the mornings off from work and he is a great host and knowledgeable tour guide. It seemed that no matter what I asked him about the island, ‘What type of plant is this?’ ‘What kind of bird is that?’ and ‘Tell me the name of that tree,’ he was ready with an answer and a fair amount of lore to go along with it. It was astonishing.

In the afternoons I amused myself with hours of shell picking and beach walking, the weather improved considerably and the scenery is beyond compare. My heart was beginning to ask questions like, “When are we going to do our work?” and I would notice all the couples holding hands, children playing in the sand, and seldom anyone like me, alone. My heart had been holding this heaviness for some time now, this trip to Hawaii was for my heart specifically… custom designed for emoting and healing the wounds of the past year or ten. I keep finding distractions peppered with intermittent bouts of tears; like the weather now: sunny with intermittent showers. Some distractions are worth sharing here and I know that having fun is also a big part of the healing process; it can’t be all ceremony, tears and meditation.

I took myself out one night for dinner and decided to just order a couple of appetizers. Here’s what I got: Local mushroom cassoulet with white beans and bitter greens, as well as locally raised organic lamb ribs with a green chili glaze. It was delicious and generously portioned; I had to take half of it back to the camp to cook with eggs in the morning! Campside, I also prepared a lovely dinner with an slab of Ahi (the local tuna) rubbed with a chili powder  (prepared before I left) and encrusted with macadamia nuts then seared on my camp stove… delicious. I served that with some cut up apple bananas and an avocado that a shopkeeper gave me because she had so many that fell off her tree in the storm; plus I had a salad with fresh key lime juice and olive oil. That was all amazing, especially as I was eating it on a picnic table a few feet from the mighty Pacific. 

My first Sunday on the island, Mike and I went to the Princeville St. Regis for brunch; this was no ordinary buffet, let me tell you. The fact that my buddy has company perks and we got to enjoy this incredible spread for half price didn’t hurt at all either. We consumed vast amounts of delicacies that were locally sourced and spectacular; we were both so obscenely stuffed, that even the light Thai soup that Mike prepared for our dinner hours later was almost too much.

I was also clued in on the local bakery in Kilauea, about five minutes from my campsite at Anini Beach where I stayed for 4 nights. What a haven that was!! One morning I went with Mike there for our morning Joe and heard someone call my name; it confused me obviously, who did I know on Kauai? There was Jamie, the sweet guy who picked me up at the airport. It is a small island (in fact I ran into him again at the Hanalei Farmer’s Market). The Kilauea Bakery has the BEST cup of Kona coffee to be found and pastries that would make you cry. I had a sticky bun there one morning that was so good, that I could hear angels singing when I bit into it. This became my morning pilgrimage, coffee, pastry and internet service. Aloha.

The farmer’s market in Hanalei was remarkable; by far the largest on the island, this Saturday market features all things local: organic produce, baked goods and crafts. The fruit was the best I had ever seen: apple bananas are so sweet and tangy and bear little resemblance to the starchy yellow-skinned fruit we have on the mainland. Papayas are so sweet and juicy that the ripe ones get snatched up fast. A rainbow of citrus is available at nearly every stand including “killer limes” (they were), sugary tangerines, ruby grapefruits (only 50 cents each!), and kaffir limes. Pineapples are always perfectly ripe and fragrant here and the avocados were available in great abundance.

Shopping at the market with Mike was a blast because he is a professional chef at a five star hotel and really knows his shit. He sniffed, squeezed and tasted at every booth and gave me a play by play of which prices were too high, who had the best offerings and who we should come back to visit at the next market. There was a loaf of bread that we absolutely had to pay the full price for, especially when we saw a man and his daughter leave the table with 6 loaves. Called “Hawaiian Christmas bread,” the purveyor boasted that it was a “stolen recipe.” On closer inspection, we saw that the soft, glazed pastry was stuffed with tropical fruit and several veins of marzipan. Oh dear Lord.

This particular market was where Mike introduced me to a fruit I had only read about but never eaten personally: the mangosteen. Popular with some new age health marketing geniuses, the mangosteen is a cute, round purple orb festooned with a cap of chunky green leaves on the stem and a star at the blossom end that looked like it was from the set of “The Dating Game”. To get to the fruit, this purple husk must be scored with a knife and removed; inside is a small, white center divided into sections, one larger than the rest that contains a seed.  The taste of this tiny morsel is worth the buck and a quarter apiece; creamy and lightly musky with a bit of tang at the finish; the mangosteen tastes like nothing I have ever eaten. What’s even more wonderful about this delicacy is the way it makes you feel instantly; it’s like your heart does a little cartwheel and the inner child comes out to play. This is truly the fruit for me, boy howdy.

The reason Mike did such careful shopping at the market was for a special dinner he was planning: a divine curry with fresh shrimp and fish as well as many local vegetables including a sweet potato, long beans, coconut, and local mushrooms seasoned with wild tangerines and kaffir lime leaves and fruit that we foraged near the Hula Heiau, (but that’s another story). It was amazing!! I even got to eat the leftovers at my camp a couple of times, much to the envy of fellow campers I can imagine, for the fragrance alone was swoon-worthy. Okay, so if I haven’t made it clear by now, the food on Kauai is marvelous! Despite the fact that I have been gorging myself with delectable treats daily, I have lost a lot of weight in the short time I’ve been here; walking, breathing clean air and eating light, clean foods (even if in abundance) has given me renewed energy and a feeling of all around well-being.

I have met some fascinating characters here, but that is something for me to “talk story” about in my next installment. Aloha, my friends.

Hawaiian Soul-Journ part II: The Storm

The waves were crashing so fiercely and I knew that I was a bit too close to the shore break for comfort, or perhaps even safety, but since I had only just arrived, I really didn’t know for sure. I woke up every few minutes to look outside the tent to see if the surf was really still 10 feet from the flap and noticed the folks in the tent next to me doing the same thing. Their flashlight was more powerful than mine, so I could see clearly that we were still safe, but even still, we were all pretty uneasy. Finally at about 3:30 AM I began to debate whether I aught to move the tent straight away or if I could wait until daylight and race the imminent rain. Finally I decided that I would be better off moving the whole thing in the dark while it was still dry rather than take the chance on beating the rain. Despite jetlag and the semi-conscious state I was in, I was surprisingly efficient at moving back about 20 feet and once I was settled in my new spot, I felt much more relaxed and fell immediately asleep.

In the morning I noticed that sometime after I had moved my tent, the other campers around me opted to do the same. We all agreed that it was a bit of a rough night, but were glad that we didn’t wait, the rain began in earnest well before dawn. Soggy and fatigued, we all settled in for the thirty hours of heavy, soaking rainfall that would ensue. I did a few errands to make my vinyl home as accommodating as possible, including a grass mat for a front “porch” that would effectively keep me from tracking in a lot of sand… little did I know.
By evening, the rain was picking up a bit and I figured that I might as well snuggle down for the night, even if it was only 7:30 PM. I was grooving on my digs, Facebooking with friends and generally having a nice time until I realized that I was getting rather wet. The rain was coming down so hard that a puddle had formed on one side of my tent and the rain was actually splashing UP from the ground and getting wet, dirty sand into the tent through the fine mesh. I hurriedly moved all my bedding to the center of the tent, the driest spot I had. I silently thanked myself for not going out for the evening to escape the rain; all my bedding had been piled up on the side of the tent that was filthy and soaked. I laid a towel down to absorb it and squeezed myself into the rapidly shrinking semi-damp part of the tent to keep from getting drenched.
A couple of hours later I heard the rumble of thunder; my friend Mike told me that thunderstorms are pretty uncommon here on Kauai, with perhaps only two storms a year. I was excited that I was going to witness this rare event from such an intimate vantage point; my enthusiasm was literally dampened as the storm got closer and it became evident that I was in a dangerous situation. Smart phone in hand, I started checking the local weather; this was in fact a very dangerous storm. The weather advisory insisted that people seek shelter in a strong building due to ground to cloud lightening and 60 mph gusts of wind. I looked around my dirty, wet tent and realized that if I left it, it could very possibly blow away to the sea. The time frame for the most severe part of the storm would only last for another 15 minutes, so I decided to stick it out. The wind picked up and one of my tent poles collapsed; I frantically began to repair my shelter from the inside and hold onto the supports while the storm raged and the wind howled on the other side of a millimeter of material.

I prayed loudly and began to meditate, I felt surprisingly calm; it was like part of me was observing the predicament I was in, but simply going through the motions of survival, no time to panic. I linked up to Facebook again to ask for some helpful energy and protection, and immediately felt much safer. The tempest raged on for what seemed like an eternity, but in fact was only another 20 minutes. The pleasant thing about all the wind was that it almost completely dried up the wet puddles of sand that has worked their way into my synthetic home and left me with only the soaked, sandy towel and a clammy tent. It continued to shower for part of the next day, and the forecast called for much more rain, but it miraculously cleared up.

I felt that I had been washed and initiated; I had passed a test. In many ways it felt quite metaphoric: I had been in survival mode since my world flipped upside down in May. I had to keep going, head down, nose to the grindstone to try to make a living, find a means to stay in my home and look for answers. My body, mind and spirit had been totally focused on survival in order to get to Hawaii so that I could finally UNHOOK. So, here I was, literally faced with a survival situation and having gotten to the other side of it, it truly delineated for me that I could finally relax. I am here. It’s time to surrender.

Hawaiian Soul-Journ part I

The flight seemed to last an eternity; I had forgotten how remote Hawaii really is… another world in all senses. In a dream-like state I drifted through airports, making flight connections and eating whenever the opportunity presented. BAD food. Awful, chemically-laden, airport food. My stomach felt bloated and I was in a constant cloud of my own horrible gas. I expected that by contrast, the plumeria-scented Hawaiian air would be sublime.

I finally arrived in Honolulu and needed to book a flight to Kauai, the woman at the counter suggested that I plug in my laptop and make a reservation online, thereby saving myself about $50 or so; the Aloha spirit had welcomed me straight away. I contacted my good friend’s former boyfriend to let him know I would be arriving soon and he enthusiastically greeted me with a warm invitation to see a rare intimate performance of Krishna Das. I was in a quandary; bone-tired, bloated and farting to beat the band, all I wanted was to find a clean hotel room, fall into a deep slumber and then regroup in the morning. This warm and amiable fellow was presenting an opportunity to start exploring one of the many reasons I had come to Hawaii: to move outside my comfort zone, to stretch my boundaries and have new experiences.

At that moment, I got a Facebook message from another acquaintance that I met in an online class: I simply MUST see Krishna Das!! Did I know that he would be doing kirtan in Lihue that night when I arrived?? The venue was only 5 minutes from the airport and I felt myself leaning first one way then the next, should I go to the concert or should I go to bed?

After claiming my luggage at the Lihue airport, I perched myself on a bench to wait for Jamie to pick me up. A truly handsome man sat next to me and we began to chat about our long and grueling flights. His flight was even longer than mine, and he was telling me that he has been working with third world nations installing solar and sustainable energy systems since the 1970’s. I wanted to learn more about him and his good works, but at that moment Jamie arrived with arms outstretched to embrace me like his oldest, dearest friend. “It’s so great to meet you!” We both declared. I thanked Pete (the man on the bench) for his contributions to humanity and was whisked off. My energy was suddenly revived and I decided, what the hey… a little spiritual uplifting before bed never hurt anyone.

Krishna Das was wonderful. Children danced and ran around the perimeter of the auditorium, young women wearing flowing outfits bounced and chanted and floated about the room, devotees swayed in their seats, unabashedly ecstatic. I stayed for a while when my fatigue finally over whelmed me; Jamie handed me the car keys, gave me a hug and I was on my own.

The first snag I hit happened in the parking lot leaving the show. The windshield was filthy, so I turned on the wipers to clean them up a bit before driving in unfamiliar territory. It helped only slightly, but then the bloody things wouldn’t shut off! I turned around, parked, shut the car off and tried to restart it; the key wouldn’t turn. With a sigh of resignation I returned to the auditorium to tell Jamie that the car didn’t like me and I needed some help. Naturally, the car started right up for him (there’s a trick) and he shut off the wipers (another trick). I used some Windex and paper towels; (oh look! Sitting right there on the floor of the passenger side!!) Hawaiian magic had begun.

In the dark, I thought it best that I use my GPS to find the hotel, but that didn’t work out. Eventually, I saw my oasis and booked a nice clean and reasonably priced room. A cute little cockroach greeted me in the bathroom; I was on their turf now, so I had better get used to it. No worries, I thought, they clean up our refuse and that’s important. I slept deeply.

The morning sun was bright and I was ready for my adventures to begin. I called my old friend Mike who lives here on Kauai and he was enthusiastic about reconnecting.  We had a fantastic breakfast at a restaurant I remembered from the last time I visited and then he drove me down to the government offices to get my camping permits. This was very helpful, because I was able to see the streets in the daylight and get my bearings. I also needed to buy a pair of sunglasses, as I left mine back in CT.

Mike loaned me a towel, beach chair and a cooler –all the comforts- and I went off to set up my first campsite. This is where the adventure I was seeking truly began, but that is the next chapter. In the meantime, here’s a little diary entry from that first blissful night:

I have arrived. Kauai. I love this place, I can’t believe I’m here… finally. I am sitting at a picnic table at Anini Beach in Kilauea, camped under a Kaimani tree with the only sound is distant fellow campers mostly drowned out by the surf that is crashing about 20 feet from my front door… er check that… front flap. I had some local lettuces, goat cheese and avocado for dinner and I’m still waiting on the red rice… it seems to be taking forever.
Whew. That was a close wave… we are protected here by a reef, people enjoy some of the safest swimming and about the best snorkeling on the island here. I heard today on a local community radio station the reefs are dying here on Kauai. Pesticides, Chemicals and fertilizers are doing such damage it seems like a race for us to finally awaken those that still slumber in their unsustainable reverie. Perhaps the land of coffee is the best place to wake people up…. Which reminds me that there is a serious infestation of coffee borer worms on the Big Island that is putting all the Kona coffee in jeopardy!
Oh Humanity!!!!
Time to check the rice…  OH HAPPY DAY! It’s done. Food is especially delicious right now. My appetite is stimulated by the air, the surf, the wildness… and my solitude. I am not entirely alone here. I am so grateful that my old friend Mike still lives here. He came to have breakfast with me today and to pick up my camping permits. It’s been over ten years since we saw each other and yet, apart from our hair being greyer now, it seems like no time has passed at all. What a good friend! He’s given me a beach chair, a cooler, water bottle and the luxury of a hot shower from time to time. He even managed to find me a sweet deal on a night at the Westin with his employee perks! Damn, this is good rice.
Tomorrow a large front is supposed to moving in; it’s par for the course when I set up a tent here!  The exciting thing is, we may get thunder storms, which is a rare occurrence here. I hope that my Kaimani tree and tent hold their own. Well, I think I am going to start settling in for the night. I need to get an early bedtime in, the sunrise will be my alarm tomorrow.