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.
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.
Hanalaei Bay Pizzeria
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy Hanalei, HI 96714
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!
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!
Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743
Daily Hours – 7:45 AM – 4:45 PM
Pu’ukohala Heiau is one of the most famous temples in the Hawaiian Islands. This heiau was an important part of Hawaiian tradition which encompassed social, political and religious life.
Pu’ukohala Heiau is a national historical site managed by the National Park Service. I was happily surprised that there was no entry fee. I was unhappily surprised that short trail to the Heiau was closed. I did come across this sign with an explanation.
Building the Heiau
The kahuna or priest told Kamehameha that if a heiau was built, at Pu’ukohala, and dedicated to the war god Kuka’ilimoku, (along with a human sacrifice) he would conquer all of the Hawaiian Islands. Keoua Ku’ahu’ula, Kamehameha’s rival, was slain and sacrificed on the alter to fulfill the kahuna’s prophecy.
Pu’ukohala Heiau was constructed between 1790 and 1791 by Kamehameha. Thousands and thousands of men toiled for almost a year to completed the heiau. Tradition says that the lava rocks used were brought from the Pololo Valley, over the Kohala Mountains, by a 25 mile long human chain of workers.
The Nana Stone was a sacred stone that tested the leadership potential for those of the royal line. Whoever could move the 5000 pound stone contained the necessary “mana” or spiritual power to rule the land. Though Kamehameha was not of the Nana chiefly line, he was determined to put this belief to the test.
A large procession of ali’i (royalty) and common folk followed Kamehameha’s procession to the Nana Stone. As he gripped the stone, Kamehameha said, “You are naha, and the chief who frees your kapu is naha. I am nī‘aupi‘o, a smoke arching in the wilderness.” With this, Kamehameha not only moved the Nana Stone but turned it over. The sacred stone now resides in front of the Hilo library.