Day 6: Honaunau National Park

Sixth Day June 21

This morning’s walk was so uneventful I could write  volumes of blank pages filled with absolutely nothing . The sun was at  its tropical finest but the island breeze cooled off any beads of sweat that wanted to form . The usual critters were around to greet me : lizards, birds, bugs, joggers . I of course came equipped with my usual baggage: spare tire, saddlebag , love handles and thunder thighs. As for my now famous cellulite , I haven’t made any recent visual inspection , but based on their jiggle factor, it seems like they regrouped, called for reinforcement, and crushed the competion. Nivea, looks like you have a lawsuit on your hands !

Today was a leisurely drive down the Kona coastline . I could toss a couple of tongue-twisters like Kauikeauoli and Napo’opo but don’t be impressed . Can’t spell or read them off the bat either. I actually have a travel brochure right in front of me while I’m writing this.

We went to check out this place called Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park . They had rebuilt its temple complete with its massive stonewall fortifications. It also had these giant wood-carved statues called  Ki’i. guarding the place. In the olden days,it was considered a place of refuge. You see , back then people were guided by a rigid set of rules that governed their everyday lives such as what time to fish, how many to catch and what kind. Any infarction was severely dealt with. To escape punishment, people came to this place. The tribal priests were sworn to grant amnesty to all who reached this area. It was a sanctuary for a lot of people seeking a new chance in life . Before anybody gets the wrong impression that this was a community for hardened criminals, it was  mostly warriors who found their way here and everyday folks just trying to escape an opressive way of life . This was considered a sacred place by these people.

Aside from being a place of refuge, it was a bustling fishing and trading post. Canoe-making was also at its peak.  On some days, village life and rituals were re-enacted to give people a glimpse of days of long ago. A lot of pomp and ceremony accompanied such reenactments.

Of course, throughout our various journeys , we stopped by different marketplaces and shops for souvenirs and such. Ronnie can really haggle down the price to the bare minimum ! I usually watch from a safe distance while he bargains with a vendor. Sometimes I feel so sorry for the other guy I want to step in ! How anybody makes money with hard-nosed shoppers like him is beyond me. I’m the opposite. I feel that every penny I gain is a penny lost for his family. I’m hopeless.

Regarding the local foods , we have tried a skyscraper Hawaiian shaved ice in rainbow colors with ice cream in the middle. It gave me one giant brain freeze with each stroonful (straw plus spoon). We sampled their banana fritter which was actually just a slice of banana fried in a crispy wrapper dipped in confectioner’s sugar. I think the Filipino lumpia and the Thai version tasted so much better. We have sampled freshly baked plain banana nut bread and one with choco chip. Both were yummy. We have also tried their popular lunch plates— meat with rice and potato salad . One order had beef stew for the meat dish which tasted like the Filipino caldereta. The other had imu, kalua pig with cabbage and onions. We have been to some luaus before. The Hawaiian way to roast their whole pig is to bury them underground over hot coals covered with banana leaves. I may be partial but I think the Filipino way of roasting the lechon rotisserie style  makes the skin crispier and the meat more flavorful than the Hawaiian imu . There is one dish of octopus and vinegar that I will have Ronnie try some time . Will let you know how it turns out . (He’ll probably like it. He has a stomach for adventure ).

I have decided to just take pictures with my iPhone and e-mail them directly ( should have done that a week ago!). Ronnie has his library of photographs but I have neither the time or the stomach right now to pore through hundreds of such photos. The quality might be better with the latter but for now we will have to make do.

Take care and ’til next time…

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