Thursday, September 27, 2012

Waipo'i Valley - the bliss

So we didn't know what to expect

when we trundled down the cliff face to visit Waipo'i Valley
on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

I mean I happened to have read 
the Hawai'ian Airlines inflight magazine 
that had a dreamy article about a young couple 
who grew taro in the Valley 
So I had a vague idea that Waipo'i Valley was a tropical paradise.

I knew Waipo'i Valley was isolated
and as I said in my previous post,
Waipo'i isn't big on roads.

But that's part of it's bumpy charm.

What is also charming about Waipo'i Valley
is the lush bush and fruit that grows wild.
Mountain apples that we grabbed as we drove under over hanging trees.

And liliko'i which are yellow passion fruit.
Big and tart tasting
which we ate as we walked across the valley to the swimming hole.
When you are with kids,
as with all idyliic, breathetaking places
that have a sacred feel about them
are slammed as the kids climb up the waterfall and
cannonball off the sides.
Such fun!

We probably walked for about five hours all up.
Through rivers and mud but
nobody seemed to mind nor seemed to be overly hungry.
Being in a tropical wee jungle was so different from anything we'd experienced before.
Actually just being out in nature and being warm was something unique for us kiwis!
The sun was warm and the water was too.
The mud oozed between our toes even with reef walkers on.
Jasmine our guide smartly wore socks inside her reef walkers.
I had Waipo'i mud in my nails until I got home to New Zealand!

After our walk,

and our swim,
 but only for some of us
not all of us laughed at Becky, really.
Well at least not until she really went for a skate in the mud much later.

The laugh was on all of us cause on the way back
Jasmine, in the red t-shirt there
led us through the stream about 3 metres to the left of this photo and
guess what?  it was shallow as!

We ended our say with a BBQ on the beach,
plenty of hungry hippos devoured chili and chips.

You'll notice that the utes are backed in.
The locals all back their vehicles in when near the beach in case of tsunami.
That bright yellowy jeep in the back was these college boys
who really shouldn't have taken their rental jeep down into the valley.
They had passed by us a few times driving up and down the river beds.
You can spot tourists (cause we so weren't) by their rental jeeps.
You can't blame them really.
I think everybody's idea of the perfect image of Hawai'i
is beaches, surf and cruising in a jeep with the top down.
Reality: it rains at least once a day and
people knick your stuff while you lie on the beach if you have a convertible.

On July 5th Louly and I took ten young New Zealand farm kids to Hawaii for an agricultural exchange for two weeks. They are members of the NYZF TeenAg programme. We were hosted by East Hawaii 4H specifically the Beatons and Stouts. We visited many kinds of agricultural and horticultural operations, varied and diverse, learned that American ag folks like to philosophise about their place in the world and had a great time snorkeling and shopping in the sun. These posts are in no particular order cause I was too busy to post while in Hawaii and can be rather abstract and should only be taken as an inaccurate at best record.

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