Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Since the beach was close to our hotel we were able to return to our room for a quick lunch then headed south to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. On our way we stopped at the Donkey Ball Chocolate Factory so I could buy some Donkey Balls. I purchased a few items, but couldn't resist asking if their chocolate was fair trade. I knew the answer, but was planting a seed. The cashier had to go to the back and ask. When she returned she said they did not know. I told her that if it were fair trade she would know. I explained to her why fairly traded chocolate was important to me. I was glad that they had white chocolate (which I cannot eat), but bought as gifts for family.
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park (Place of Refuge) was such a rich experience. The park contains ancient temples, royal grounds and a place of refuge (sanctuary.) We spent hours walking around feeling the sacredness of this site. The park provided refuge to Hawai'ians who were able to get there. Non royalty who broke Kapu (strict ancient Hawai'ian social system) were killed because Hawai'ians felt breaking Kapu angered the Gods who would send tidal waves, earthquakes, famine and volcanic eruptions. Kapu breakers had to swim through violent and shark filled ocean to reach Pu'uhonua.
The park encompasses royal grounds as well. Kona ali'i (chief, royalty) lived there with their warriors. One of the temples there was built around 1650 and contains the bones of 23 chiefs. There is also a stone wall that was built in 1550 which is 10 feet high and more than 1000 feet long. Also several ki'i (statues) carved out of Ohia trees. One actually stands on the rocks in the ocean. It was a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
Barry and I have been here for a week and there are still so many places and things I want to do here on the Big Island. Barry keeps telling me that it gives us a reason to return. I DON"T WANT TO LEAVE!!!!!! I will miss the call of the ocean. She calls me through all of me senses. My eyes see her beautiful inviting shades of blue, my ears hear the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks reminding my body of the times she has rocked me. When I smell, taste salt, sweat or cry I am reminded of her gentle saltiness.
Hawai'i, especially the Big Island is a place I highly recommend visiting at least once in your life. They even have snow way up on the mountain for those who want that experience. The Island has something for everyone. You can visit a ranch. Ride horses on a ranch or beach. There are magnificent waterfalls and tropical gardens, which we did not get to see, in the mountains. We only had time to explore half of the volcano. Don't forget the green, black, beige (white) and multi-colored sand beaches. If you decide to come to Hawai'i we found the Lonely Planet's The Big Island travel guide to be an excellent resource. We had both the 2002 and 2008 editions thanks to two wonderful friends who loaned us their copies. We used them frequently.
I love you Big Island. You have stolen my heart. I will miss you tremendously when I am back in the cold and barren wilderness of Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
It was a very windy day which meant that the sky over the mountains were clearer making it easier to see and photograph the mountain ranges. Incase you are wondering, yes there is snow here in Hawaii. I even took a picture of it. Later in the afternoon Barry and I drove to Waimea. On our way there we were treated with seeing two rainbows. We saw the first one as we drove to the town. The second rainbow appeared as we were leaving the town. It was brighter and gave Barry a good laugh because it appeared to end at the Burger King. He said Burger King was definitely someone's gold at the end of the rainbow. Upon our return to the condo we once again went to the pool where both of us got into the spa pool. It was so nice and warm. I floated on my back for a while and looked at the stars. If only I could take the hot pool home with me.
This morning we checked out of Kings Land and drove to Kapa'au to visit Kamehameha's statue. The statue was originally lost at sea and recovered. It was repaired, repainted and place on the Big Island in 1880.As life would have it we are having a second vacation in a new hotel in a different area, Kailua Kona. We returned the rental car and got one from a different agency. So it was like starting over because we had to return to the airport to exchange cars which meant unpacking the old one and packing the new one. Then we drove to our new home.
Our new hotel is closer to the ocean, but the beach is rocky not sandy. The surfers and buggie boarders like this area. It was nice to watch the sun set over the ocean from our hotel room. I just wish I felt safe getting in the water here. We began walking to a beach that the hotel clerk was better for swimming, but turned back when the liquid sunshine showered down on us.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
After our time at South Point we decided to visit Green Beach. It turned out to be more than we could do. There was a 2.5 mile hike one way from the parking area to the beach on very rocky and pebblely terrain. We got about half way there and decided to turn around. It was a beautiful walk along the ocean. The I was disappointed, but we decided it would give us something to do when we returned. However, next time we will do what most people did is drive there in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We drove north, back to Waikoloa. When we got back to Kings Land I really needed to get into some water so we walked over to the pool where Barry went swimming and I got into the heavenly warm spa pool. It was fabulous!!!