1 2 3 ... Next >>
Kokee: The Kukui Trail and the Awaawa Puhi Trail    

Native plant garden
In the morning we hiked some of the way down the Kukui Trail which starts at a native garden full of iliau plants which are the Kauaian version of the rare silver sword found only in Maui. It was a hot hike that led to the bottom of the valley where people could camp. We just went about halfway then headed back to the cabin for breakfast.

Canyon edge

Rowshan and Tamia taking a break

Kauai iliau plant

Wild goats
In the evening Jo was eager to finally get a hike in. She'd been so busy she hadn't been able to hike. Rowshan and I went with her to the Awaawa Puhi trail. This was a shaded path. Jo pointed out some native (and non-native plants). She picked mokihana (Melicope anisata) berries. The plant only grows in the forests of Kauai at high elevation. The leaves which smell like Anise but the berries are poisonous. They make leis out of them but, she warned, "Never wear them against your skin when you are going to sweat. Usually you wear them on top of other leis."

Tamia and Jo hiking (Awaawa Puhi Trail)
She told me about the trip to Thailand and Tamil Negar she went on with her hula group. I had asked where Wat Ban Non was (she had a t-sirt emblazoned with it). She explained one of the dancers in her group went every year to Thailand to work at an archaeological dig. The site is in the East of Thailand and the dig is being conducted by Charles Higham who was known for his work on Angkor. They were shown a sweries of graves where Bronze age bodies were being excavated. Bingim told them he believed they were the ancestors of Hawaiians due to the similarities in language and some other things. The dancers did ancient hulas addressing their ancestors.


[ | ]

Kokee: Along the Pihea Trail    

clouds moving in on viewpoint at Pu'u o Kila
The Pihea trail starts at the Pu'u o Kila Lookout at the top of cliffs falling into the Kalalau Valley which descends to the ocean. On the way to the trail head a road worker stopped us then gestured us through with a shaka. The trail starts out following the rim. Before the path turns inland into a different valley, it ascends to the Pihea Vista. By this time the clouds had begun to roll in and the vista was only visible through occasional holes in the clouds.

Clouds rolling in at Pu'u o Kila

Clouds in at Pu'u o Kila
Ferns covvered the ground like an army of green crabs. Ohia trees lined the path with thick clusters of thin gnarled trunks, standing like the twigs in a witches broom or like stalks of petrified sea weed. Areas of multi-colored moss and lichens made a patchwork blanket over the feet of trees. Rowshan rejoiced at the sight of rich patches of clay-- red, black, yellow. All around us we could hear birds but we didn't see them since they hid in the leaves. Kauai is one of the few islands that still has a population of native birds. It has no mongooses.

Ohia trees



Fern frond unfurling

Ferns from below
The path came to a stream and eventually reached a picnic area. Rowshan and Jeff took a swim in a cool pool formed by an eroded concrete dam. It was an uphill hike back. When we got to the part of the trail that looked out over the ocean, the valley had completely filled with clouds. We (rather boastfully) assured the late comers that the view that they had missed earlier was fabulous.

Jeff, Rowshan and Tamia


Clouds fill the forest

The forest
By the time we got back to camp, my Uncle Jim, Aunt Charm, cousin Noe with her husband, Chris, and son, Kai and 2nd cousins, Jamie and Mika had arrived. All were enjoying appetizers and wine (for the adults). Sweaty and smelly, we hugged everyone and got some wine and cheese.

Waimea canyon from southern ridge

[ | ]

Hawaii: Visiting Kauai    

Waimea canyon
My Aunt Jo started an annual Lyons family reunion at a cabin in Koke'e State Park about 5 years ago. However, this was the first time Rowshan and I were able to go.

We drove up with mom to Jo and Pairu's house. On the way we stopped by the 'Opaeka'a Falls. There were chickens everywhere. Kauai has an abundant population of feral chickens. Some people say it happened after the hurricane but mom thinks it happened earlier. I don't remember all the chickens from the last time I was in Kauai. Of course, I didn't see much besides the TV and the inside of a hospital room. Lots of people feed the chickens so they are shameless beggars. The falls were pretty but didn't have a lot of water.

Chickens at waterfall

Chickens are taking over Kauai
At the house, my Uncle Pairu showed us his latest projects: beautifully carved Tahitian drums and ukelele. See Tikiri Polynesian Instruments for pictures. Then we had an impromptu drumming lesson before we had to run.

Rowshan and I headed up the coast to Hanalei. The beach at Hanalaei was recently crowned the most beautiful in the US. I mainly like the name and how Puff the Magic dragon used to live there. (Puff the magic dragon, lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanalei.) The weather was gray and rainy as we drove up the coast, stopping now and then to look ath the wavesl rolling onto the beach. We had some great coffee and carrot cake at Java Kai which is in a cluster of shops which makes up the town. Although the shops are a bit touristy, it is refreshing to see that most are independant.

Brazilian cardinal wants cake
The beach was pretty but not stunning, especially since there were houses on it. Maybe when it is clear and the mountains are visible it is more impressive. As it was, it started to rain so we retreated back to the car.

The Hanalei viewpoint overlooks a serene valley of taro fields with a river wandering through. We got a vague view somewhat hidden by mist.

View from Hanalei viewpoint
We didn't have much time but we wanted to stop at the Kilauaea Point National Wildlife Refuge near the Kilauea Lighthouse. There we looked out over sharp cliffs and a pine-clad hill where the trees were decorated with nesting white red footed boobies. Near the turn off from the main road was an old lava church.


Nesting boobies

Lava church
We picked up my cousin, Jeff at the airport and then headed to the Koke'e state Park. The turnoff to the park is in the town of Waimea which was full of trees with bright yellow flowers (golden shower trees), startling against the late afternoon blue of the sky.

Golden shower trees
The road to Koke'e (when we found it) rose up and followed alng the edge of the Waimea canyon-- known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The surroundings were beautiful. The canyon seems to rip the island in half, perhaps one day Kauai will be two islands. Stretching off into the distance are rich red carved cliffs dotted with lush green trees. The afternoon/dusk sun cast the interior of the valley into shadow but we did see a little owl. From the road we could see the tiny island of Nihue just North of Kauai. Jo later told us it is the only place in Hawaii where there are communities that speak Hawaiian daily-- only perhaps 300 or so people, most of whom are elderly. The young marry and settle on the other islands.

On the edge of the canyon at sunset

[ View 1 Comments | ]

1 2 3 ... Next >>
Powered by My Blog 1.69. Copyright 2003-2006 FuzzyMonkey.net.
Created by the scripting wizards at FuzzyMonkey.net..
(Code modified by Rowshan Dowlatabadi)
All content of this website is © 2007-2008, The Little Black Fish