Good morning from the balcony of our little condo in the heart of Kona town, Big Island, Hawaii.
Driving around, catching up with Christa, and YAY the Merrie Monarch.
“The rule of kings might change, but the burial rights of families survived on their lands. With this right is connected an inherent love of the land of one’s birth, so that men do not willingly wander from place to place but remain on the land of their ancestors.” S.M. Kamakau, Hawaiian historian, 1869.
…and this is the very large and important heiau that faces the bay.
From Wiki: “Settlement on Kealakekua Bay has a long history. Hikiau Heiau was a luakini temple of Ancient Hawaii at the south end of the bay… associated with funeral rites. The large platform of volcanic rock was originally over 16 feet high, 250 feet long, and 100 feet wide. The sheer cliff face called Pali Kapu O Keôua overlooking the bay was the burial place of Hawaiian royalty.
“The name means “forbidden cliffs of Keôua ” in honor of Keôua Nui. He was sometimes known as the “father of kings” since many rulers were his descendants. The difficulty in accessing the cliff kept the exact burial places secret.”
Next stop, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, a National Historic Park where, since 1961, the National Park Service has maintained this place which was once both Royal Grounds and place of refuge.
Refuge was an important part of cultural life back then and too long for me to tell…I want everyone to read Sarah Vowell’s book Unfamiliar Fishes. You won’t be sorry, I promise! (Maybe I’ll mention this book only a few more times? Maybe.)
Arriving at Ka Lae, the southern most location in the US, not, they like to say, the Florida Keys as Floridians like to say.
This particular spot is well known for the folk who throw themselves off these cliffs to see if they’ll survive.
You can head straight south from here and not find anything but ocean until you hit Antarctica.
Heading into the little town of Waimea central to the cowboy country of the Big Island.
No cowboys here though – this is the W. M. Keck Observatory Headquarters where you can see a few things in their lobby and when a docent is around you can learn a lot, which we didn’t because there wasn’t a docent around.
From their website: “Since its formation in 1998 the goal of the Paniolo Preservation Society has been to establish a Heritage Center for its collection of paniolo documents, images and artifacts. On April 1, 2011 PPS took over management of one of the oldest and most beloved gems of the Big Island ranching community – historic Pukalani Stables. Since the early 1900s ‘The Stables’ were the center of the Parker Ranch horse breeding operation for over half a century.
“There could be no better site to honor the generations of Hawaii’s paniolo than this venerable location, now renamed the Paniolo Heritage Center at Pukalani Stables.”
Commemorating the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great: “The statue, which was restored in early 2001, stands on the grounds of the Kohala Information Center on the main road (Highway 270) in Kapaʻau. Cast in Italy in 1879 and erected in the early 1880s, it is the original Kamehameha statue. There are five other bronzes, one on Oahu, one on Maui, one in Hilo, one in Washington, D.C. and one in Las Vegas.”
Back in Kona, the historic Mokuaikaua Church is right next door to our condo.
From Wiki: “The congregation was first founded in 1820 by Asa and Lucy Goodale Thurston, from the first ship of American Christian Missionaries, the brig Thaddeus. They were given permission to teach Christianity by King Kamehameha II, and the Queen Regent Kaʻahumanu.
“After the royal court relocated to Honolulu, they briefly moved there. In October 1823, they learned that the people of Kailua-Kona had developed an interest in the new ways and had erected a small wooden church. The first structure on the site was made from Ohiʻa wood and a thatched roof, on land obtained from Royal Governor Kuakini across the street from his Huliheʻe Palace. The name moku ʻaikaua literally means “district acquired by war” in the Hawaiian language, probably after the upland forest area where the wood was obtained.”
“After several fires, the present stone structure was constructed, partially from stones recycled from a nearby Heiau (ancient temple of the Hawaiian religion), from about 1835 to 1837. The interior is decorated with Koa wood.”
Wow, parking was inconvenient and I was too lazy to even get out of the car!
“According to legend, Kamehameha lifted the 5,000 pound Naha Stone at age 14 (it’s the big flat one), and was the only person to ever lift it. The legend that goes with this particular stone is that the man who lifted it was the legendary warrior who would unite all of the islands.”
Moving on, from lighthousefriends: “Located on the Big Island, twenty-five miles southeast of Hilo, is Cape Kumukahi, the easternmost point of the Hawaiian Islands. According to Hawaiian mythology, the cape is named after Chief Kumukahi who refused to allow the fire goddess Pele to participate in the playing of royal games. Offended, Pele sent forth a fountain of fire and lava that chased Kumukahi to the beach and continued eastward creating the cape.”
All over the internet you can find pictures of this lava flow, active now and making quite a show as the rivulets ooze into the sea.
From the end of the road just a few steps from the above bridge you can walk 4 miles on a gravel road to get to the flow. And then you get to walk the 4 miles back. I think they are allowing bikes too if you are of a mind.
Christa got the tickets from a doctor she’s working with who got them from someone else we don’t know who, but the doctor told Christa all he wanted in return was a picture of us having fun. I ran out to the concessions when I heard the announcement that, new rule, we couldn’t take any pictures in the arena. I asked these beautiful ladies if I could have a picture with them to which they laughingly agreed and here it is, me having FUN!