Saturday, March 14, 2020

February 23, 2020 From Puako To Pololu...Whales, An Ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village & Hiking Down a Valley to a Beach

We got up early to catch our whale watching boat at Puako Bay. This lady with a very serious look on her face sat next to me. I hope she cheers up.

Maybe a whale waving hello will make her smile...

...yep, that made her smile.

We were on this little zodiac boat for two hours and we saw whales the whole time. 

These showboating males were trying to impress a female in the area. This is known as a competitive pod. 

We were never really this close. Most of these pictures are cropped and zoomed in digitally. All photos were taken by me or Christy. It was another perfect day in Hawaii. We booked this tour with Adventure X Boat Tours. I thought our crew did a great job and would recommend this company if you are on the big island.

A whale about to dive deep...

...and down it goes.

We also saw at least one mom with a baby which you could tell by a big spout with a little spout next next to it.

Scientists can identify individual whales by the markings on their flukes.

This whale was close to the shore.

This whale was slapping the water repeatedly with it's tail.

I was really impressed how many times this whale raised and lowered it tail into the water. 

Another male trying to impress a female. Some things don't change whether on land or in the ocean.

I don't know if it was two hours of my witty banter or all the whales we saw, but this lady looks like she had a good time.

An impressive house we saw along the know what they say about real estate...location, location, location.

Our next stop was at Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. We had a very informative talk with the NPS ranger at the visitor center about the last major ancient Hawaiian temple and the 600 year old fishing village on this site.

King  Kamehameha or Kamehameha the Great built this temple in 1790 and dedicated it to his family's war God, Kuka'ilimoku. 

This must have worked because King Kamahameha was the first to unite the islands of Hawaii. Let's just say, it wasn't done peacefully. The new temple was built above an older temple known as Mailekini Heiau .

"It is said that thousands and thousands of men labored for nearly a year to construct this heiau. Through the stories that have been passed down generation to generation, we believe that the builders brought these rocks from the distant Pololu Valley, Forming a human chain nearly 25 miles long, the laborers handed the water-worn lava rocks one person to another up and over Kohala Mountain to this site. Without the use of mortar, cement or other bonding materials, these skilled laborers placed these rocks in exact locations in order to meet specific building specifications."  - taken from the NPS website

This is the remains of Kamehameha's seaside throne where he would watch the sharks circle and eat the human sacrifices (some voluntary, some not) that were thrown into the bay.

This area was first inhabited over 600 years ago.

A hale or house.

A burial site

These are communal areas where canoes might have been stored.

This reconstructed historic hale was occupied into the early 1900's.

This is all I would need to live here now. 

The view from the hale pictured above.

Tom enjoying the historic site and great views.

Chrissy, Laurie down on the on the rocks and Tom on a picture perfect day.

Chrissy took this shot of Laurie enjoying a moment by herself. Even though we were traveling together, I'm pretty sure we all had a few moments by ourselves. 

Ku'ula. This is where fishermen always gave a portion of the catch to the fishing god who lived in this stone. In return, they would receive an abundance of fish.

This is just a tree trunk that amused me. It looks like a prehistoric bug walking on the shore.

Hawaii has a lot of interesting signs.

Tom and some fat tourist walking along the shore.

It is really easy to take scenery shots here.

Just like the temple above this area, these stone walls were constructed without and type of mortar. The stones are perfectly stacked together to form these walls. It is very impressive. The fat guy in our group insisted on eating lunch right now. So we left here and ate lunch.

Our next stop is Pololu Valley at the end of the road from North Kohala. The hike is pretty much straight down into the valley but there is a black sand beach at the bottom. So off we go.

I love the stickers I find on signs.

As usual, I am falling behind my group.

But who cares because I am awed by the incredible views.

Once again, Chrissy & Tom are way ahead of me and Laurie.

This may not be heaven but it also isn't Iowa.

We found Chrissy and made her stop for a picture.

This wonderful sign is the first thing I saw in Pololu Valley.

The view looking up the valley.

A nasty look from a local resident of the Pololu Valley.

This might be some type of sandpiper along the river.

The valley is nice...

..but I'm here for the black sand beach and the pasty white tourists.

Relaxing on the beach after a nice hike into the valley.

The ocean is calling and I must go...

...but the shifting rocks under water make it difficult to walk out into the surf. So I stand here and feel shame.

The sound of the rocks rolling up and down the beach as the waves come and go is very unique and mesmerizing.

I have breaking news. The beaches are amazingly beautiful here. 

This group of young people were doing yoga on the beach. 

Eventually it was time to leave this paradise to go to another paradise.

So I said goobye to the black sand beach...

...goodbye to the sunlit fog filled valley...

...goodbye to the funny decals on the back of signs..

...and goodbye to the alien rock formations...

...and began our hike out of the valley.

Whenever I needed a rest, I had a new view of the beach and cliffs.

I start breathing heavy, I stop and take a picture of the jungle like trees in the valley.

Another rest and drink of water, another view.

Laurie hiking along the trail.

I really need a photographer intervention. I just can't help myself. 

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign 
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"

Hey how did a flower distract me...

...from more signs with a sense of humor.

"And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
I didn't have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine" " - Lyrics by Les Emmerson

 We picked up dinner along the way to Kapa'a Beach Park. So another Hawaiian sunset and dinner at Kapa'a Beach Park. 

As if this day wasn't relaxing enough, we ended our day watching the star filled night sky from the hot tub in our yard. This really is paradise.

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