Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gear Up for Hawaii



DAY PACK:

Organize your daypack so that it can be used not only for hiking and beach use, but also as a “purse” that you can drag with you everywhere, thereby leaving your car free of valuables.

Antibiotic ointment. Little cuts linger in the tropics.
Band Aids (add gauze pads and Ace bandage for extra safety)
Bandana - For sun protection, towel, napkin, fashion accessory, sling
Hydrogen peroxide in small squeeze bottle (optional, to wash cuts)
LED Flashlight or headlamp plus extra batteries. Also a good idea to carry matches or a butane lighter.
Food (energy bar, jerky, nuts). In addition to packed lunch. Good for big and little emergencies.
Ibuprofen (or other pain tablets and other medications you use)
Mosquito repellant (needed more in summer)
Sunscreen/lip balm
Swiss Army knife
Water (drink at least two liters per day)
Water pump, SteriPEN, or treatment tablets (optional). Do not drink stream water in Hawaii.
Whistle. Can be a lifesaver to call for help.




GEAR:

Hiking pole (retractable). Very useful on Hawaii’s steep, slick trails, and for stream  crossings and beating down spider webs. Also helpful to probe thick greenery for footing.
Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins). Snorkeling gear can be purchased cheaply in Hawaii at Costco, Long’s, Wal Mart, etc. Fins that will accommodate your surf shoe are good for rocky entries and the snorkel-hikes (sniking) to offshore islands. Rentals are also available and may be cheaper if you only snorkel a day or two. Also pick up some mask de-fogger, which comes in a little squeeze bottle and works better than spit.
Umbrella (retractable, optional). Easy to pack. Can be a smart choice on shadelss beaches and town rain walks.
Camera. GoPro makes a good waterproof model.
Cell Phone. Coverage is not available everywhere, but almost. A cell phone to call 911 in an emergency makes all the difference. Doubles as a camera.
Shoes. A sturdy flip flop (Teva, Reef) is ideal for beach hiking. Be wary of strap-on sandals since sand gets caught inside and chews up your skin. A low-cut or lightweight cross-training or hiking shoe is good for mountain trails. Don't worry about waterproof shoes, since you will most likely end up slopping through the mud and crosssing streams above the top of the shoe.
Your Trailblazer Travel Book. Essential gear for the trail, beach, river, park, grotto, lagoon, cultural site, off-the-beaten track hotspot.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On the Aloha Trail to Waipa on Kaua'i




You can bag a tan and swim in warm ocean at lots of places, thankfully, but Aloha can only be found in Hawaii. It doesn't come in a package, but you can take it home as a souvenir. To actually see and feel Aloha, head to the far shore of Hanalei Bay, to the lush stream valley of Waipa, when (Tuesdays at 2 p.m.) locally grown exotic fruits, veggies, herbs and other fare are displayed under tents for the weekly market. Coco palms fringe the scene. A machete-wielding coconut man will be on hand to whack one of the big nuts so you can slurp a pint of pure life juice while surveying scenery that is prime eye candy.



The valley, walled in by jagged green ridges, is being restored as an ahupua'a (ah-hoo-poo-ah-ah). This traditional Hawaiian division of land has everything needed to survive on an island in the middle of the Pacific: coastal waters, a stream valley, and mountain woodlands. Hawaiians lived for many centuries without outside contact, and have the notion self-sustainable living cultivated to an art form. The nonprofit Waipa Foundation sponsers the market, as well as other cultural events, and leases the surrounding 1,600 acres from Kamehameha Schools. Waipa is one of the few pristine ahupua'as in the state.



But the sunshine market is just a taste. For the luau of Aloha, contact Kawika Rogers (pictured above) and others at the Waipa Foundation (http://waipafoundation.org) to learn how you can volunteer. You get a rare chance to walk into the valley with the keikis (kids) and rest of the locals to plant taro and other Polynesian staples.




On site is a newly constructed Native Hawaiian learning center and community center where all who visit can renew ties to the ‘aina (land and resources), and learn about traditional values through laulima (many hands working together). Hawaiian cultural traditions teach how to live in balance with our ‘aina, restoring health to the land as well as the people who work it.

Going to visit a nonprofit as a volunteer on a Hawaiian vacation is an experiental value. This one is a jackpot.

Take Kuhio Highway (52) north to Hanalei (about an hour from Lihu'e Airport). Drive through Hanalei, pass the soccer field, green church and Hanalei School on left (mauka). About ¼ mile past the School cross the one-lane concrete bridge over Waioli stream. You have now entered the Waipa ahupua'a. The road bends then straightens out. See their EAST GATE immediately on the left (mauka). Enter the EAST GATE for farmers market parking or keep going 1/4 mile and get to the Waipa headquarters building.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking for a quiet place to stay on Maui? Try Hana




All the sights of Maui are within a day’s drive. Almost all tourists stay on the west side, either in the south in Kihei-Wailea or on the north end at Lahaina-Ka‘anapali-Kapalua. As an alternative, try a few days in low-key Hana, where most people drive through in the midday tourist train and don’t have time to appreciate this lush side of Maui. Makawao-Haiku will also appeal to visitors who want out of the main tourist zones.





To help you choose where to stay in Hana, just click:

Hana Accommodations

Hana Paradise Cottages

Travaasa Hotel

Wainapanapa cottages and camping

Trip Advisor

Saturday, April 5, 2014

One Hawaii the Big Island Spa where you won't get soaked



How much would you pay to spend the day at a huge warm mineral springs under palm trees by the blue Pacific? At Ahalanui Warm Pond Park on the Puna Coast the answer is nada, zilch, zero. This beauty about 45 minutes from Hilo is a freebie.

The man-enchanced seaside pool is heated by geothermal energy to around body temperature. An underground channel from Kilauea Volcano's east rift zone provides warm water, which used to be chilly until a 1960 eruption altered the subterranean waterworks. High tide brings slightly cooler water, but the core temperature is set by Pele's (the volcano goddess) mood swings. The park's palm-shaded picnic tables are perfect for lunch.

The Puna Coast offers several other warm pools, as well as one of the most scenic drives in Hawaii. This is also the area to view flowing lava. See Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer for details, pages 156 to 162.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Warning/Watch from Pacific Tsunami Center: Chile 8.2 earthquake



SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AT THIS TIME. HOWEVER... THE TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII IS STILL BEING EVALUATED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 0147 PM HST 01 APR 2014 COORDINATES - 19.8 SOUTH 70.8 WEST LOCATION - OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CHILE MAGNITUDE - 8.2 MOMENT

EVALUATION

A WARNING IS STILL IN EFFECT FOR CHILE AND PERU. WE ARE STILL INVESTIGATING LEVEL OF TSUNAMI THREAT FOR HAWAII.

IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THEIR ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL TIME IS

0324 AM HST WED 02 APR 2014

FURTHER STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT UNTIL THE THREAT TO HAWAII HAS PASSED.