Hawai`i - Kaua`i
Coming up to the Menehune Fishpond on Hulemalu Road outside Lihue.
The legend is that the menehune built this pond in a day. It's more likely that ancient Hawaiians or even more modern Polynesians built the ponds in somewhat more than a day to raise fish and/or irrigate crops.
Leaving the fishpond and continuing westward.
I'll let King Kamehameha explain it to you.
Po`ipu (first two photos) and Kukui`ula with the Spouting Horn blowhole, where water pressure changes from the crashing and receding waves cause water to spout out of ancient lava tubes. There is a delay between the wave coming in and the actual spouting, as water pressure builds up inside the rocks and then finally shoots through.
There is a market set up in tents outside Spouting Horn. There are dozens of chickens set up outside those tents. They mostly peck away at the grass and dropped human food, but some of them adventurously walk up to you and beg. I can't describe it very well, but trust me, hens can beg. Roosters are too proud. There are more of them on my animals page.
The ruins of Fort Elizabeth just east of Waimea on HI Route 50. It's notable enough that anyone would have established a fort on Hawai`i in the early 19th century, but here was a Russian outpost. Russia made an attempt to claim Hawai`i as a colony (or so it would seem), starting with an economic alliance, but a few forts was as far as they ever got. The Russians weren't even there officially, and their leader was German, so no surprise that Kamehameha ultimately won the day.
Poli`ahu Heiau, the temple to the goddess of snow. She lived on Mauna Kea, which is one of the only places in Hawai`i that ever sees snow. A battle between Poli`ahu and Pele (goddess of fire and volcanoes) is why Mauna Kea is dormant but Mauna Loa and Kilauea are active - Poli`ahu froze Mauna Kea's lava flows and won it from Pele.
Another caption mentioning Kilauea (which means "much spreading") but still confined to a different island. Kilauea Point is the northernmost point in the main islands and has been a National Wildlife Refuge since 1985. Kilauea Lighthouse was constructed in 1913 and is one of the few lighthouses with a basement, needed to reach solid rock. Those white specks in the first photo are seabirds alighting on trees.
Hanalei River Valley along HI Route 560 (the route of the Ha`ena caves linked below). The "house of lei making" (see, what other site teaches as it shows?) is home to acres of wet taro fields. Taro root as it is popularly enjoyed in Western and Eastern cultures alike is the dry variety, grown in soil and a starchy root like a potato. Wet taro is grown like rice in boggy fields, and for all I know is soggier inside as well - the reason I don't know is that the wet variety is mostly fermented into the Hawaiian staple poi. People say it's an acquired taste, and from someone who will try almost anything once, trust me, they're right.
For all its natural beauty, the least spoiled of the four major tourist islands, Kaua`i doesn't have many good swimming beaches. Because it's isolated from the other islands, the waves get pretty high, which is great for surfers but thumbs down to the casual beachgoer. That's where Kalapaki Beach comes to the rescue. Nicely shielded from the open sea by a narrow channel that bends waves 90 degrees, there is still some modest surf along either side of the beach and calm in the middle. It's so calm that as you see in the third photo, cruise ships can safely dock here.
Hanapepe scenery and the Swinging Bridge
Wailua and `Opaeka`a Falls
Ha`ena Wet and Dry Caves on HI Route 560
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