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Hawaii Stuff

Waianae I Ka Po or Waianae at Night

Leaving Ku’ilioloa Heiau and back to the bus.

My wife and I joined Lopaka Kapanui, of Mysteries of Hawaii, on a “three hour tour.” Lopaka offers the “Waianae I Ka Po” tour only a couple of times a year so we were thrilled. Lopaka has great insight to the local legends and supernatural happenings, since he grew up in Maili (near Kaukama Road).

There were only three stops on the tour but Lopaka, a great native story teller, kept everyone entertained and a little nervous during the bus ride. He literally met his wife in a graveyard. No, they weren’t just randomly strolling, she was on one of Lopaka’s tours!

Ku’ilioloa Heiau

According to legend, Ku’ilioloa (the long dog form of Ku) was constructed by a priest from Ra’iatea (Society Islands) who arrived between the 11th and 12th century. One of the major functions of Ku’ilioloa was for navigation but…

Lopaka said there was a different use for the heiau. It was also used for sacrifice. When a Hawaiian baby was born, if there were any defects or flaws detected, the newborn would be sacrificed at Ku’ilioloa.

A few lucky volunteers stood in front of the heiau while the rest of us took pictures of them…nope, no ghosts, orbs or strange lights seen in our photos.

Kaena Point Night Marchers

My 30 seconds of fame!

We pulled into the parking lot at Kaena Point (this is as far as you can drive on the Leeward side of Oahu). We walked towards the mountain and stopped at the tall grass. If you look up, you can see the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station. Here is where the night marchers emerge after winding down the Waianae mountain range.

Lopaka said if you see the lights, from the torches, and hear the drums, run like hell! If you are in their path, it is best to shed your clothes and lay face down until the night marchers pass. He said no worries since they only march during the last four Hawaiian moon phases.

Again, everyone took photos and I was one of the lucky (or not) volunteer models but there was nothing supernatural in anyone’s pictures.

Kaneana (Makua) Cave

Lopaka, in story telling mode, in Kaneana Cave.

According to Hawaiian legend, Kaneana Cave is the home of a shape-shifting shark god by the name of Nananue (Son of Kamohoali‘i, a brother of Madame Pele). Nanaue, disguised as an old man, would trick travelers into dining with him in the cave,  turn back into a shark and eat them. Back to the present!

There’s nothing like hearing chicken skin stories, in a cave that is TOTALLY dark. Lopaka told many stories but the one that stood out was about a teenager from Pearl City. She ran away from home and was partying with a friend near Kaneana Cave.

Somehow the teen, from Pearl City, and her friend were separated and a group of young men began harassing her. She ran away, from them, and hid in the cave. Unfortunately, the men were locals and soon found her. They raped and killed her. Her spirit still remains in Kaneana Cave. She had beautiful long hair and loved combing it. As soon as we entered the cave, Lopaka told us, “If someone asks you for a comb, do NOT go be them one!” Her spirit may follow you home.

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 3500 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Phone: (808) 828-0384

We finally were able to visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge! On our last trip we did not know that the park is closed on Sunday and Monday. Boo hoo! Just remember that the refuge is open Tuesday Through Saturday 10am to 4pm. It’s generally more crowded in the morning than in the afternoon. It is well worth the $5 entry fee and you will spend at least 30 to 45 minutes taking in the scenery and snapping those selfies! Most important, the refuge has a clean bathroom.

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge has been operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1985. Even when the lands were in possession of the Coast Guard, the area was already a natural habitat for different species of sea birds such as the red-footed boobies (‘ā), the white-tailed tropicbird (koa‘e kea) and the wedge-tailed shearwater (‘ua‘u kani).

The refuge staff re-introduced the nēnē (Hawaiian goose) which was on the brink of extinction. Thankfully, the sate bird population has been growing steadily. The Laysan Albatross (mōlī) returned to Kauai’s north shore in the mid 1970’s. Refuge management created a safe nesting environment protecting the laysan albatross from predators.

Short Kine History

Since Kauai was the first landfall for vessels coming from the west, the U.S. government searched for a location to build a lighthouse to aid navigation. After discussions and consultation with experts, Kilauea Point was chosen. Since the elevation of the peninsula was 180 feet, the lighthouse need not be tall and at only 52 feet is one of the shorter lighthouses in the U.S.

Constuction of the lighthouse began on July 8, 1912. Kilauea was one of the first towers that used reinforced concrete technique. Metal fabrication was constructed in Ohio. The Fresnel lens (invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel) was shipped from Fance. Remember, Kilauea Point is 180 feet above sea level so it was difficult to offload materials from ships and haul them up the steep incline.

Kilauea Lighthouse, while important to marine traffic, also aided aviation from the late 1920’s forward since its beam was visible for up to 90 miles. In 1930, radio towers were added to broadcast directional signals for ships and airplanes. After the attack, on Pearl Harbor, by Japan on December 7, 1941, the lighthouse went dark for the remainder of World War 2.

Hanalei Bay Pizzeria – Greatest of All Time?

Hanalaei Bay Pizzeria
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy Hanalei, HI 96714
(808) 827-8000
Website

We drove all the way to Hanalei, from our hotel in Lihue, for this pizza and we were not disappointed. Disputed the dreary, rainy weather, our salivary glands drove us on. Located in Ching Young Village, the front lot was packed but there is parking in the rear and a back entrance into the shopping center.

There is a 1 large table inside but we decided to dine outside. It was pouring rain but there was an overhang protecting us and the temperature. We enjoyed watching other shoppers deal with the monsoon…torrential rain (okay it wasn’t that bad!).

The staff was kind enough to keep us updated on the level of Hanalei River which was rising. Once it reaches 8 feet, the bridge usually closes which means you will be stuck and dependent on the rain god…Lono. There’s only one way in and one way out of Hanalei. So if there is a rain storm, you might want to think twice about visiting Hanalei and it’s seven famous one-lane bridges.
We ordered a large pizza (leftovers for later). The dough includes organic Hawaiian honey and organic extra virgin olive oil which gives it a slightly sweet taste. The dough is allowed to slow rise for 2 days to develop flavor.

Toppings are local and organic, whenever possible, so expect your ingredients to be fresh and healthy. For ours, we decided on pepperoni, bacon and double pineapple. Without fail we are shorted on pineapples so we always double up!

The difference maker was the sauce…Pinapple BBQ (best sauce of all time!). Yes, it packed a punch (popped our palates!) and we all turned into savages while devouring our Kauai style pizza.

All in all, this is some of the best dakine pizza ever, rain or no rain! It’s definitely on par with Big Kahuna’s “Sumo Special” and Round Table’s “Maui Zaui”. If we return to Kauai, we’re coming back here, bang!

Kountry Kitchen – Old Kapaa Town, Kauai

Kountry Style Kitchen Restaurant
4-1485 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, HI 96746
808-822-3511

If you’re visiting Kauai, wake up hungry and are near Old Town Kapaa, then stop on by Kountry Style Kitchen Restaurant. You won’t be disappointed as the food is excellent and the portions large and I mean LARGE! There will be leftovers and if you’re old enough to remember, you will need a “doggie bag”!

As for parking, there is limited parking in front and on the street. I found out later that here is a private lot, next to Coconut Coast Gifts where restaurant parking is allowed.

We had a very friendly waitress who told us that there was also a Kountry Kitchen location, in Ewa Beach, on our own island of Oahu. Wow, we were surprised though there are so many eateries, just in Honolulu, Okay, time to order!

Having an affinity for Mexican food, I ordered the Spanish Omelette which is filled with sour cream, onion, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and salsa. The side dishes were hash browns and thick toast which tasted delicious with butter (didn’t try the jelly).

As much as I tried, I could not finish my dish! The omelette hit the spot as I love sour cream and salsa. The hash browns were nice and crunchy, just how I like ’em, but not greasy. Toast is always a good filler but I was stuffed! Looks like I’m taking tomorrow’s breakfast back to the hotel!

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