Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kona 2011 - Day 3

Today's big event was a trip to Waipio Valley. I remembered it as one of the prettiest places I have ever seen, and wanted Ron to see it too. You need a serious 4wd and some mad skills to get up and down the road, which is a 25% grade in spots!!! :o So we decided for the horse (I mean mule) drawn wagon tour, which starts in a van lol.

The meeting place was outside a little store, where the kids picked flowers and played with their new Goldfish containers, which they are completely enamored with.

Sportin' her new tinkerbell shades....

Then I gave Orion the camera and asked him to take some photos while in the van going down the steep road. Well, this is what I got:

And those were only a few of the delightful shots of the side of the road before we even got to the viewpoint lol. At least we did get one shot of the view!
And then not a single one while actually on the road! Which was a bit of a bummer as that is when we saw some of the wild horses that live in the valley. Oh well! But here is our chariot awaiting us:
The guy that runs the operation actually lives down here and trains these horses. The kids were excited to pet them, and Orion was particularly amazed by the one below on the right because he said it had colors like a cow!
They were quite friendly. :)
On the road up the valley. We had the whole tour to ourselves, which was nice, and the guy had so much information about the valley and all the plants. I also learned that mules are much smarter than horses, which I never knew! And donkeys are smarter still! I think they need a better PR rep!
Lots of interesting tropical plants, including these lobster claws.
I thought this patch of forest was really cool looking, although the picture doesn't do it justice.
And here is the famous Sister dog. The kids pretty much had no interest in the valley, but were delighted to keep track of Sister, who followed us the whole time, even through the river crossings!
Here is a bit of video crossing the river:

Looked like some locals had built a little swimming hole here.
Back at the owner's property. I guess this was the old carriage.
Family shot with mules. We found it very funny the guy had his mules in focus but us a bit blurry.

Saying goodbye to the horses.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this trip because of... expectations. So what did I expect? :) I felt bad for Ron because there hadn't been as much rain lately, and the really spectacular falls weren't even running. Also, of the two places I liked best in the valley, the tour didn't go to either of them, although the pictures from their site showed people at one of them! So I was a bit annoyed about that, but tried to just let it go. On the other hand, I learned all sorts of history about the valley, including how Hawaiian royalty used to live there because of the springs, and how their used to be a fairly large community, including schools and churches, until a tsunami swept everything away. :( We also learned that only the very front parts of the valley have electricity (I thought none of it did) and that the valley goes back for 6 miles with several people living way back there. Which brings up the funniest part in my opinion. Ron asked, "What do they do?" And the driver said, "Ooooh, nothing." I kindof laughed and said, "I read there is alot of pot grown back there," and he just smiled. Yeah...

We had gotten an early start, so we decided to stop at one of the many lovely beaches that are North of Kona. I chose Hapuna because there just might have been a geocache there. :D Orion and Ron got busy building an interesting sand castle.

And here are a few extra pictures I took with my phone, which does not take great ones sadly.

Kinda creepy sand sculpture somebody had made, but both the kids liked it.
Spotted on the way back to the car.
We started getting really hungry so decided to head straight for a restaurant I had read about online, Jackie Rey's, and boy was I glad because it wasn't really near anything else, so I don't think we would have ever known about it if I hadn't done some research. And it turned out to probably be the best meal we had on the island, especially if you take service into account. I will save the food portion for the foodie post, but here are some other snippets, including the Jackie Reymobile:
(More sucky phone pics, sorry) We get inside to find tables covered with white paper for coloring on, so we knew we had come to the right place.

Then we opened the menu to find it full of fancy food. What a combo - I am in heaven! Next thing you know, the waitress is at our table coloring pictures with Akasha while we look at the menu!
And the next thing you know, they are inviting our whole family back into their fridge to see the fresh catch of the day! Apparently this is standard practice as everybody in the kitchen was just like, "Hey another one to see the fish?" LOL, what place! I only wish we had gotten a good picture, but I have to include this one just because it was such a rad experience, and if you look closely, you can see Orion making his Shaka Bra hand!

Found a slightly better pic on Ron's phone!

No comments: