Thursday, March 1, 2012

Marcy's Travel Blog- Even In Paradise, Some Rain Must Fall.

We've had a few days of overcast skies. A few days ago the air hung heavy with the promise of rain. Clouds shrouded the mountains like a gauzy cloak.

Ron and I decided to visit a special Hawaiian sacred spot just up the mountain a bit from his condo complex. It's called Kaneaki Heiau. (Pronounced "hay-ow") This site is very sacred to the Hawaiian people. Visitors are asked to treat this spot with great respect..

This ancient Hawaiian temple, or heiau was originally constructed and twice modified for agricultural worship. It is believed that it was further modified and converted into a temple of the god of war.

The original temple platform was built between 1450-1640 A.D. It was built square, and opened toward the Makaha Stream.

Archaeologists have discovered that this heiau was modified and enlarged three times. Each modification reflects the effort of the chief and priest to renew and strengthen the relationship between the people and the gods.

Walking up to this area, I was stuck by the beauty of this site. Nestled among the mountain foliage, with the Makaha stream gurgling below, it felt like a lush rain forest- even though this part of the island is mainly arid.

Once we entered the actual site, the birds began their calling and songs. It was fascinating to me that they continued this chorus the whole time we were there, and fell silent as we departed.

 The site itself is a series of walls and "special" places. The signs asked that we remain on the path, which consisted of rocks, boulders, and tree roots. Though the footing was a bit precarious, it was well worth the climb. From certain vantage points, areas of the heiau became visable, the long past becoming more real.

The wall and structure of the temple platform is visible.

The thatch structure on the left is called the "hale-mana", or house of spiritual power.To the right the thatch structure is called the "hale-pahu", or the drum house.

                            The flat structure is the lele- the altar, where sacrifices were laid.

                       The two towers faced the Makaha Stream, and were towers used in worship.

The statue is a Ki'i- an image of one of the gods. The area where it sits is called a "papahola"- which means level pavement. In certain of the heiau ceremonies the god images were assembled in an open space like this one. An agricultural heiau usually did not require a level pavement such as this.

This view gives a better idea of how the structure was enlarged

As the calls and the songs of the birds quieted, we departed silently, still in awe of the surroundings.

Our timing was perfect, for it started raining shortly after we got to the car.

. We head to the Cattle Company Restaurant, located east of the Makaha Valley in a place called Aiea
We were hungry for beef- at least I was. Though we arrived fairly early, they were busy enough that we had about a 15 minute wait.

Once seated, we were greeted by our server, Wendell. He served us with a sense of humor, letting us know that the drinking water was "on him" that day. We decided to split a one pound prime rib, Ron having the salad, and we both having a baked potato and mushrooms on the side. We ordered our meat medium, and kept our fingers crossed. The meal was wonderful, as was the service! On a rainy, cloudy day, it just hit the spot ! A special "Thank You" to Wendell for making us feel welcome! Good service!

Our drive home was a wet one. I tried to get a picture of the clouds gathering around the top of the mountain range.

Once home, Ron and I engaged in a rather intense, cut-throat series of Sequence games. Our final score was: me- 70, Ron- 53. I AM THE CHAMPION!! We had decided that this particular championship would be until someone reached 70. After this was reached, our new championship would be whoever reaches 10 wins first! We shall see. (It's getting harder and harder to beat this guy! Oh- oh!)

That night the rain poured. Safe and snug, I knew that the sun would come out eventually. After all, even in paradise some rain must fall! And tomorrow is another day- where new paradise adventures await!

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