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Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose, CA

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is an interesting museum in the Bay Area with real mummies, both human and animals, and many casts of different Egyptian artifacts. Though not a huge Museum, it is a good introduction to the Egyptian culture, in my opinion. There is a replica of a tomb below the museum, and a free guided tour daily (included in admission ticket), explaining the different burial practices.  Note the unfinished portion of the painting on the tomb wall near the right - which was not uncommon.  Ancient Egyptians had to be buried at 70 days after death, never longer, so the painters likely had to stop their work before it was finished when the 70th day arrived.

Red Road to Puna (Kalapana-Kapoho Road)

The Road to Puna

The Road to Puna (also known as Kalapana-Kapoho Road) is lined with many tree canopies. The windy road made its way mostly along the coast, with frequent views of waves crashing along the shore.

Kohala Coast - Northwestern Big Island

Spencer Beach to Hapuna Beach via Ala Kahakai Trail

The Ala Kahakai Trail is an old trail from the time of the Hawaiian Kings connecting the Kings' roads and fisherman's trails. Currently, only small portions are maintained and signed as hiking trails. From Spencer Beach to Hapuna Beach is a 5-6 mile return hike with fairly minimal elevation gain with occasional short climbs onto lava rocks. Spencer Beach at the north end looked to be a local beach, with many local campers.

Hilo Beaches

Carlsmith Beach is a beautiful beach with many coconut tree islets just off shore. The beach is surrounded by turquoise waters, too choppy for my snorkeling tastes unfortunately, though many other visitors felt very comfortable swimming. There were sharp black lava rocks to walk on (bring water shoes) and white sand-bottomed coves. Carlsmith Beach is probably the most beautiful beach we went to in our attempt to turtle-spot, though we did not spot any here. Parking here was limited and the beach was busy, but for good reason. 

 

Northern Big Island Hikes -Pololu Valley and Waipio Valley

Pololu Valley Hike

This was a very interesting hike which took us through a variety of different landscapes. The 5 mile hike with 1000 foot elevation gain started with a black sand beach after an initial downhill switchback, meadows growing on sand dunes and a very humid jungle of Pandanus and mango trees. Our trail was adorned with giant ferns as we trudged along the mud.