Being able to sleep last night was hard, my adrenaline was running for half of the night after the tsunami warning went off; it took me and most of the camp ages to eventually drift of into sleep. This made getting up in the morning extremely harder, all of us wanted to watch the last sun rise we would see on this tour, me and my tent mate finally mustered up enough energy to drag ourselves out of sleeping bags and was greeted with a few of others emerging from their tents. We walked down to the beach to get a good a view, with the waves crashing against the rocks and the day slowly emerging in the distance. We patiently waited for the dark and moody sky to lighten up, with a cloudy sky I wasn't sure if we would get to see much of a sun rise but we watched the sun fight to shine through the clouds transforming the sky into an array of different colours and its powerful light eventually breaking through the clouds.
The first stop on our agenda was Waipi'o valley to do a shuttle bus tour, this was an activity included in the cost of the tour. Waipi'o Valley is known as the valley of the Kings, many years ago this was the capitol and home to many Ali'i.
As we waited for the shuttle someone spotted these two turkeys and for some reason we were all incredibly impressed by them, they were huge but I feel I might be ignorant to how big turkeys can get, are they always this large?
In my head I had imagined the tour to be in a open top jeep, it wasn't. It was a 4X4 closed van type thing (my automobile knowledge isn't great) with windows to peer out off. As we started to make our descent into the valley I could see why it wasn't, it was incredibly steep with the longest drop to the side. My parents did a hiking tour here and walked down and back up this, no idea how they managed that!
Once we got into the valley you could see its beauty all around and describe by locals as being like heaven, although all of Hawaii feels like paradise to me. Our guide told us about the legend of Hilawe falls, which is based around two lovers although I won't bore you with the details this time, I love these legends but I am not sure you want to hear them all. People live in this valley which is mainly used for the growing of taro which is used to make poi a traditional Hawaiian food, it was interesting to see their way of life and hear about the hardships they may face. Waipi'o Valley gets a lot of rain which can often result in flooding which can cause a lot of problems as you can imagine, we got to experience the wet side of the valley as it began to rain, the ride picked up a little as we went through streams. Due to the rain over the last couple of days it did course one stream to burst it banks which meant we couldn't go any further which was a shame but something that can't be helped.
Our tour guide was amazing and so full of knowledge about the wildlife in particular the many species of plants and flowers they have in the valley, it was enjoyable to hear him talk about it, although I would never be able to remember them all a few did stick out to me, in particular there is one that goes by the name Devil's breath (not sure on the scientific name) this particular flower can be used as a drug which is said to put people into a zombie like state where they pretty much have no control, scary yet fascinating. The valley is also home to wild horses which get to roam the valley as they please, although they seem fairly tame to be deemed wild. The tour wasn't as I had expected but I enjoyed it, I have mentioned in previous post that I learnt so much on this tour so hearing more about the plant life made me happy.
If you go to any country you have to at least staple some form of new food, I tried so many exotic fruits here but this time I got to try something on the sweet and unhealthy side. We went to the tex drive in to get malasadas, a few other had already stapled these earlier on but I didn't, they come from Portugal made with milk, butter and eggs then fried and filled with a filling (well I guess you could just call them doughnuts...) I opted for a strawberry jam filled one and a vanilla milkshake, the malasada was a little on the sweet side to my personal taste. Tex drive in is hugely popular though so expect to be standing in the que for around 5 minutes at least.
After the malasadas we headed to a supermarket to buy dinner for tonight event of stargazing! It took me so long to decide what to have so I make a last minute decision and got a vegetable pot and a loaf of 'fancy' bread to share. After lunch we headed for our camp site for the night, out of all the sites this was my least favourite, I wouldn't even class it as a camp site. When we arrived a family had taken over the pavilion, and one of only two toilets, the ground we had to set up camp on was on a hill which was filled with rocks and again the showers were outside.
Once everything was set up a few of it decided to have a quick visit to the Lapakahi state park which took us around half an hour in total to look around. It consisted of the same things the majority of other historical parks had but personally this one was my favourite out the lot, there was more information about the site and artifacts.
This was something that was added onto the tour itinerary after I had booked onto it, so when I saw the updated version I was so happy to see this on here. Stars, planets and space fascinate me, I couldn't wait. I put layers on to keep warm, even bringing my sleeping bag along just in case! The drive to Mauna Key was the longest one we had on the entire tour, roughly taking around an hour. On the decent up, I had a not so pleasant situation with my vegetables which I chose for dinner, the altitude caused the packaging to explode and unleash a nice broccoli scent into the van much to the amusement of others which made me feel slightly embarrassed so I kept my mouth shut.
Once we had reached the top and got out of the van we had our dinner, I then went to have a wander around the gift shop before the sun was about to set, which caused me to loose everyone! I ended up buying a book on astronomy and a sticker to put on my water bottle. Since I was alone I assumed the majority of people had climbed to the top of the hill to watch the sun set, so I headed up. Due to the altitude I got out of breath so quickly, I thought it was just me at first but someone else later on said they felt the same. At the top I sat by myself for a while before I spotted some people from camp so headed over to watch the sunset with them. Just like this morning the sun was blocked by clouds but it was still breathtakingly beautiful, the colours, the mist created such an incredible sight.
Before it got too dark we headed back down the hill and got a hot chocolate before we all sat huddled on a bench wrapped up in blankets to keep warm. The sky slowly started to get darker as more and more starts started to appear in the sky, when it was dark enough the show began. Using a laser we learnt about the Northern Star, we saw the Northern Cross and so many other constellations, there were satellites in the sky, Mars and Saturn were visible to the naked eye looking like tiny sparkly silver dots and best of all I got to see a shooting star, my first ever one, it lit up the sky and was gone as quickly as it appeared but it made my night. It was spectacular!
To read about the rest of my Hawaiian adventure click here and if you want like to donate to my fund my travel for Costa Rica to work with animals click here.