Filed under Hawaii

In Pele’s Realm: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

In Pele’s Realm: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

As you explore the Big Island, several names keep coming up. Kamehameha the Great, the king who united the Hawaiian archipelago, and Ka’ahumanu, his formidable queen, are the island’s most dominant mortal protagonists. Among gods, two sisters lead the way: Poli’ahu, the goddess of ice and snow, and her perpetual nemesis, Pele, the goddess of fire, a pretty big deal on terrain … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Waves

Travel Theme: Waves

I love this week’s travel challenge by Ailsa: Waves. So many memories come to mind, but here are five favorites. Smooth waves of petrified sand at Antelope Canyon, with its neighbors Owl and Rattlesnake Canyons easily the most breathtaking landscape I’ve explored, ageless and intimate 2. Sinuous streaks of lava on Hawaii’s Big Island — … Continue reading

Hawaii’s Painted Church

Hawaii’s Painted Church

As you make your way from Hawaii’s remarkable Place of Refuge, don’t miss this hidden gem just up the hill: St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, better known as The Painted Church. It is a charming tiny building, embraced by lush foliage. The church dates back to the mid-1800s, when foreign missionaries were allowed to operate … Continue reading

Hawaii’s Place of Refuge

Hawaii’s Place of Refuge

If you find yourself on the Big Island’s dry Kona side, don’t miss the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, the Place of Refuge, where all sins and crimes were once forgiven. It is a magnetic place. Surrounded by a centuries-old mason wall — porous lava rocks assembled in the 1500s like a puzzle with … Continue reading

A Beach of Green Gems

A Beach of Green Gems

Just east of South Point, the windswept southernmost tip of Hawaii’s Big Island, is one of my favorite places: Papakōlea, the Green Sand Beach. It is tucked away at the end of a dusty 2.5-mile hike (each way). Locals offer rides to the beach for $15 per person, and it was worth it. Even if we had … Continue reading

The King’s Golden Plover

The King’s Golden Plover

This week’s Photo Challenge is Object. Here’s mine — an object I almost overlooked: the Golden Plover of the Ahu’ena Heiau, the temple that Kamehameha the Great chose as his own when he returned to the Big Island a king of the Hawaiian archipelago in 1812. It perches atop Koleamoku, the god of healing, the tallest of the heiau’s carvings. … Continue reading

The Dancing Men of Puako

The Dancing Men of Puako

Thirty miles north of the tranquil Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is another hidden gem, the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, one of the largest petroglyph fields in Hawaii. Over 3,000 k’i’i pohaku (images in stone) are tucked along the trails of the 233-acre preserve, quite a sight. It all starts modestly enough. From Route 19, enter the manicured Mauna Lani … Continue reading

Turtle Tango of Kaloko-Honokōhau

Turtle Tango of Kaloko-Honokōhau

We stumbled on it accidentally on our way to Mauna Kea and its dramatic sunset. A highway sign off Route 19 announced the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. It didn’t look promising — the Kona side of the Big Island is filled with large hotel developments, and this looked no different from afar, so we almost didn’t … Continue reading

Turtle-spotting at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Turtle-spotting at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Tucked away along the Big Island’s southeastern tip (Hawaii’s rural Ka’ū District, just off Route 11, between mile markers 55 and 56) is the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, the most accessible of black sand beaches on the island. The sand really is jet black, remnants of lava shattered as it touched the ocean — you will only … Continue reading

A Mauna Kea Sunset

A Mauna Kea Sunset

When all is said and done, and I look back on my life, I think I will remember that evening: watching the sun set over Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s dormant volcano and the highest point in the Pacific Basin.  At over 13,700 feet (4,200 m) above the sea level, we were giddy from altitude and the view. An ocean … Continue reading

Hilo’s Magic: Sacred Stones and Waterfalls

Hilo’s Magic: Sacred Stones and Waterfalls

After soaring over lava, our afternoon in Hilo was a bit of a blur.  I remember the rows of colorful, two-story buildings, frayed, but cheerful, many dating back to the sugar boom of the 1920s; the smell of rain over the pavement; and lots and lots of leaves, primordial in their size and hues. Next … Continue reading