But it did give me a lot of spectacular views, and opportunities to see beautiful plant life. This video taken from the top of the mountain clearly shows the different biomes of Hawaii, with the increase in transpiration and the rain shadow effect of the hills as the clouds come in to the windward side of the island and get trapped at the top. On an incredibly sunny day down below, it is fog, clouds, and moisture worthy of Washington on top of the mountain.
The hike took us through the bamboo, past creeping vines and banyan trees. They plant themselves at the top of another tree and send their roots to the ground. Gradually the central tree wears away, leaving only the banyan. This approach allows banyans to grow very large, with multiple trunks.
Towards the end, in the middle of the jungle, we came across the geologic base of Hawaii, what all of it has grown on, lava. There are two types of cooled lava the world over, named after Hawaiian words: pahoehoe, smooth and flowing; and chunky, blocky a'a.
A couple days ago I moved into the local hostel, as I was staying a couple days beyond the class, and no longer was being covered by my Education Development Funds for housing. By way of saying Aloha, a large police force suddenly converged next door, coming from all directions, reminding me again that, even in laid-back Hawaii, I was in a different land, one with guns, and far more violent than where I now live.