I'm trying to finish the travelogue - it's been almost two months already since we were on our trip. What a lot has happened since then! But sometimes I just have to go back in my mind for a bit of respite!
I read two articles in the paper this week-end about the wild weather in the islands. There's a lot of snow on Mauna Kea - I showed you a picture of a bit of snow when we were there, but it sounds like a lot more now. Right now Hilo is being inundated with rain, so much that it is at the danger level.
The day trip I am going to share today was up on that end of the island. It was a bit rainy that day, but nothing like they're having right now. We took the Waipio Valley Wagon Tour - a ride down into a very deep valley in a wagon pulled by 2 mules. I was sorry that the guide, who took the picture for us, didn't include the mules! This guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a great tour. Note DC in the front and me in the back - we weren't fighting - it was just a better place for him to be able to hear what was going on, as well as the other man he sat by. (DC doesn't admit to being hard of hearing, but he does have a bit more of a problem than he realizes.)
We met a really neat couple who had just moved from Texas to Hawaii - just picked up and moved. We met two couples in our travels that week who had done that. Made us want to join them!
This trip was amazing - it was a 2 mile road down into this gorgeous valley - a 1000 foot drop.
This valley used to be the playground of the royal family. It was a thriving community with a church, a school, and a post office. On April 1, 1946, a tsunami ravaged the valley. It later became a prosperous sugar cane producing area. Ten years ago, the sugar cane farmers gave up. Until that time, the workers were supplied with small huts for $17/month. When the farmers called it quits, they were offered their little homes for $1500. I don't know what has happened to those little houses, because there is not much there now - a few very worn out looking places.
Now approximately 50 people live down there, described as "a few disgruntled hippies, many of whom are named Dave" by the tour book we had with us. They have electricity from generators, some of the time. Somehow, they do manage to have satellite dishes.
Now the only crop growing there is taro - which is used to make poi out of the roots. Our guide told us what I already suspected - it's not good! Here's what I found on Google - I think I would agree with him!
Poi is a Hawaiian word for the primary Polynesian staple food made from the corm of the kalo plant (known widely as taro). Poi is produced by mashing the cooked corm (baked or steamed) to a highly viscous fluid. Water is added during mashing and again just before eating, to achieve a desired consistency, which can range from liquid to dough-like (poi can be known as two-finger or three-finger, alluding to how many fingers you would have to
use to eat it, depending on its consistency).
But it was such a gorgeous place - like being in a tropical jungle. There had been lots of rain, so we had to make it across some pretty big "puddles." The mules did a great job - though they did get stubborn and stop where and when they felt like - including in the middle of the water.
There were many waterflows cascading down the rocks to the valley. The view from the top was amazing. It was just a wonderful jaunt.
MORE TO COME. I'M DETERMINED TO FINISH THIS TRAVELOGUE!