Aloha! My family just returned from Kauai - the Garden Isle. To better understand how the different islands interact with each other, I suggest you read on of my first blogs I posted last year:
Hawaii 101 - Welcome to Paradise
We stayed the Outrigger resort on Po'ipu Beach (Outrigger is the best connection for vacation rentals in the Pacific). Located on the "south shore", the Outrigger resort hosted a gorgeous beach made into a cove by the volcanic rocks. It was conveniently located near the one main road that (almost) rings the island.
Day 1: Hear the Horn: We ventured to the two sites near our hotel - Sprouting Horn and the Prince Kuhio Park. The Sprouting Horn is so named for the second hole that blows a melodic wind, adding to the drama to the blow hole. .
The Prince Kuhio Park included the Ho'ia Heiau (heiau is temple) - a pristine example of how the Hawaiians worshiped before its religion was abandoned in 1820. My children identified the rock formation (in the lower left) as the first Lombardi Trophy.
Day 2: Trek the Grand Canyon ... of the Pacific. Mark Twain gave this label to the Waimea Canyon - something you don't expect to see in a tropical paradise. After descending the mountain, we stopped by the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility. It hugs miles of gorgeous wide beaches that are open to military ID card holders. In fact, military families can rent the beach cottages along "Barking Sands" - so named because the minerals in the sand cause it to "bark" as you walk across it.
Day 3: Explore the Waimea River. Considered a sacred river, it plays an important role in Kauai's history. Many families rent kayaks and paddle up the river to the "Secret Falls". Others take a boat cruise to the Fern Grotto. But we drove up the mountain in search of heiaus and waterfalls.
- Holoholo-ku Heiua near the Royal Birthing Stones (just imagine being queen and giving birth on a stone?!?!)
- Poliahu Heiau overlooking the Wailua River. Some archaeologists believe the heiau was built by the first immigrants, the Menehune.
- 'Opaeka'a Falls a picturesque waterfall
As we drove down the mountain back to where the Wailua River meets the Pacific Ocean, we stopped in the Lyngate State Park/Beach to see the Hauola - "place of refuge". If a Hawaiian violated the kapu, he or she could escape to the Hauola. After performing the penance required by the priest, the Hawaiian could return home without fear of punishment. The refuge also hosts the Hikina A Ka La Heiau dedicated to the "Rising Sun". Hawaiians performed a chant here to greet the morning sun:
Ai, Ai, Ai.
Ho’opuka e-ka-la ma ka hikina e
Kahua ka’i hele no tumutahi
Ha’a mai na’i wa me Hi’iaka
Tapo Laka ika ulu wehiwehi
Nee mai na’i wa ma ku’u alo
Ho’i no’o e te tapu me na’ali’i e
E ola makou a mau loa lae
Eala, eala, ea. A ie ilei ie ie ie.
He inoa no ma ka hikina
(A chant to invoke the dawning of enlightenment)
"Rise upward” (Repeated 3 times) “Go into the sun, make a hole in the sunlight and find the light behind the light. Like the sun rising in the East, let the source of all light come and dawn on me. From your foundation, lift up; move from your origin. By (means of) breathing come to me. Take me by force loudly, as Hi’iaka (a goddess of healing). Tapo, Laka (a goddess of light, and the Hula) come to me, drift upon me, increase, spread (as I hear this chant). Bring me the means of life. Creeping along like the lava, come to me. Take me by force loudly! By means of release, come and be with me. Cause meditation to come to me by means of this sacred ceremony belonging only to the ali’i (royalty).
“By means of the (spiritual) food, we acquire the means of life forever, and permanent wisdom.
“A chant in honor of the (means of) the dawning of enlightenment.”
|Tunnels Beach on the North Shore|
Day 4: Explore the North Shore. We drove around the island to check out the world renowned beaches. Unfortunately, other sunbathers and hikers had the same idea, so we could not find a parking spot near Ke'e Beach (to follow the trail to another heiau where the hula master lived). Ke'e Beach is also where you can "peak" around the corner to see the Na Pali coastline (spanning from Ke'e to Palihale near Barking Sands). It is only accessible by hiking or boating. Other tourists view it from helicopter or small plane. My youngest and I are not that adventurous so we are content to look at the photos (plus remember the sea scapes from the Waimea Canyon).
Instead, we stopped at Tunnels Beach to check out the tunnels carved into the mountain side. On our drive back around to the south shore, we pulled into the Hanalei Lookout, giving us a beautiful view of the Hanalei Valley. Some of the land is Hawaiian homesteads and they grow taro - the Hawaiian staple.
Day 5: Back track to Waimea. Since we had a late flight, we drove back to Waimea for a few other sights:
- Hanapepe, nicknamed Kauai's "biggest little town", it is a rustic "main street" village with a swing bridge over the Waimea River. We stopped at the Talk Story book store (surprise!). I purchased two romance books (surprise!) plus a local book to give to my mother in law for Mother's Day (since she reads this blog, we'll keep her in suspense).
- Fort Elizabeth: A Russian fort built in 1816 by a German merchant with permission from the Hawaiian King. The fort was dismantled as the Russians lost interest in Hawaii. Its ruins overlook the Waimea River as it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
- Captain Cook Statue: The town of Waimea commemorates Captain Cook's arrival in 1778, marking the first contact between Hawaii and Europe. It would lead to European exploration and colonization of the Pacific Islands.
In honor of our visit to the Garden Isle, I am giving away a Kauai gift pack (tote bag and other Kauai treats) to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about the most remote and/or rustic place you have visited.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers. Comments are open through Saturday, March 26, 10 pm, to enter the giveaway. The winner will be announced on Sunday, March 27, during the Weekly Winners announcement post.
3. If you are new to SOS Aloha, please make sure I know how to contact you. If your Blogger profile does not provide your email address, please send it to email@example.com. (I have several unclaimed prizes because I do know how to contact the winner). I prefer you do not leave your email address in your comment.
Kim in Hawaii
Historical romance author Jill Marie Landis lives on Kauai. When I interviewed her on March 5, I asked what was her favorite sight. She responded, "Hanelei Valley." While I agree that it is beautiful, I was blown away by the Waimea Canyon. For those who have traveled to any of the Hawaiian islands, what is your favorite sight?