|My intrepid traveling companions Betty, Kelsy and Pam|
But more on that later. We went to the Waipi'o Valley, no mean feat, I tell you. It's a good thing, too. It's an extraordinary, remote place on the north side of the Big Island, and to get there, you drive on the main highway to a small town called Honopaa.
You can go down a narrow road to a lookout over the valley, but unless you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you're not a allowed to go farther. Let's put it this way: it's not only illegal, but once down there in an ordinary car, you can't get back out.
Lest you think we're all a bunch of panty-waists, here are some facts: The cliffs surrounding the valley tower around 2,000 feet above it. The one lane road zigzags down the side at a 25% grade. There's a guard rail- a fairly recent addition. But the road has been used since the time of the original Hawai'ians. An ancient foot trail can be seen zigzagging up the cliff face on the opposite canyon wall. It's even steeper.
Our guide/driver told us about two young women who spoke little English that she found stuck on the trail in a downpour. She told them only four wheel drive vehicles were allowed on the road. One one of the women nodded pleasantly, pointed to the car. "Four wheels," she agreed.
|Tracy with The Boys|
Mules are very interesting animals. They combine the best of both donkeys and horses. They're very strong and smart, and they pull well. But yes, the wagon jerks into motion. And on the bumpy road, they plodded faithfully along, with the dogs running alongside. One of the dogs always goes the entire trip, and sometimes the other two do too.
Sorry no more explanations but
I'll post our volcano tour tonight if I can, but we fly back early on Saturday so the rest will have to come after I'm back home.
|Taro farm with end of valley in background|