Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 15 - The Place of Refuge & Kona's Ali'i Drive

January 26, 2010 - Tuesday - BI

This is the last post for Day 15. We visited the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Park which is probably my favorite place on all the Islands. It is also referred to as a "Place of Refuge". Hawaii had places like this spread over all the islands in days long gone. They were eliminated by King Kamehameha II, as was much of the Hawaiian religion and customs, due to the very helpful missionaries who made the Hawaiians understand what a bunch of heathens they were. The Hawaiians really looked up to the far superior Europeans and Americans who were their new role models. Of course, the new kids on the block were there to rape and pillage as much as they could........and they did. Along with their pillaging, they also brought new diseases to the Islands that the natives had no immunity to, so a significant percentage of the original Hawaiians were wiped out by the new bugs. That is why there are so few pure Hawaiians left in the Islands along with intermixing with the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Philippine immigrants. It's amazing that anyone still knows how to hula after all that. Enough ranting.

A "Place of Refuge" was a sanctuary where you could go if you committed a crime or were wounded in battle and needed to recover. In those days, the Hawaiians didn't have much tolerance for those who broke the common laws of civilization....they just killed you. If you went to the "Place of Refuge", you could be purified and returned to society without being harmed. When the Hawaiians went to war, it was usually a very short but brutal war. They took no prisoners. The "Place of Refuge" was your only hope of survival if wounded or defeated. After a few days there and after the war was over, you could rejoin society and all was forgiven and forgotten. A nice concept, but it didn't fit the European model.

If you think the parks name is hard to say, try this...........Humuhumukununukuapua'a. That is Hawaiian for "fish". It makes we wonder why they would have such a hard and long name for a food source that they had to talk about everyday, all day. Maybe they had a nickname like "Humuhumu" or something even simpler. I will quit now. I am starting to sound too much like Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes.

The hut in the photo below was at one time a burial place for Kings.

If you are at the park when no other tourist are there, it has a very tranquil and mystic feel to it. I love to go there and watch the sunset.

This is the Hawaiian equivalent of the board games checkers or chess. They took their games pretty serious. If you lose, you might also lose your life.

This wall is 700 years old and is built with dry stacked lava rocks. It is 900 feet long and 17 feet thick. It has withstood hurricanes and tsunami's for all those years without damage.

Even today, there are offerings left at the hut to the gods.

A sea turtle in a pool of water at the park. If it were a sunny day, there would be 10 or so turtles sunning themselves on the beach.

A typical Hawaiian shelter.

Canoes are under construction inside the shelter. This one was there in 1987 on my first visit to the park. I'll bet it has never been in the water.

Here is a newer one that looks sea worthy.

This guy was wandering all over the park in his traditional Hawaiian loin cloth. I had a bad feeling about him because he was enjoying having everyone look at him a little too much. He also had a bad attitude. He was weaving a basket in this photo. Sigrid asked how long it took to make one basket and he answered, "Until it is done". Smart A..

Sunset on the beach on Ali'i Drive in Kona.

Dinner at the U Top It Restaurant in Kona. This was a little out of the way place that was a local favorite. The photo is of Sigrid's Loco Moco which I described in a previous post. We ate this meal at several different restaurants while there because you can't find it here. Great food.

This is my Mo Loco. It is basically Loco Moco on taro crepes with fried rice instead of steamed rice. Excellent but probably not good for you. You can see Edel's grilled fish. She ate more fish than probably any time in her life and loved it......even the fish tacos.

Shops along Ali'i Drive.

Sunset on the beach. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is in the background. A very nice restaurant right on the water and so many different ways to eat shrimp.

Day 15 is done.

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