Two Step is a popular snorkeling spot, next door to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, otherwise known as Place of Refuge. It gets its name from one of the entry points to the water, where two flat lava ledges make it easy to get in and out. Well, fairly easy; there’s usually a crowd gathered around the steps so it can be a bit of a scrum. Also, small sea urchins sometimes lurk in hollows in the steps.
Once it the water, there’s room to roam. I like to swim the length of the bay and out a little bit, to where I can look down the coral slopes leading to the sandy floor of the bay.
Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Top.’ See more responses here.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Our National Parks.’ See more responses here. There are two national parks on the island. One is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which encompasses Kilauea Volcano and Mauna Loa Volcano. The other is the somewhat lesser known Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, which is also known as Place of Refuge.
There are two parts to the park, which are separated by an imposing rock wall. On the inland side of the wall are the grounds where Hawaiian royalty made their home. The water side of the wall was the place of refuge. Anyone who had broken the law or kapu faced the death penalty, but if they could reach a place of refuge they would be forgiven by a priest and allowed to return to their normal lives.
At one end of the wall is the Hale o Keawe temple, surrounded by ki’i (wooden statues). This structure houses the bones of many Hawaiian royalty or ali’i, which are believed to give the place great power or mana.
For more photos and information on this site about these parks, click on the tags for Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at the bottom of this page.
This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Turning point.’ (See more responses here.) Since this is a photo blog about the Big Island it seems appropriate to post some photos from my first visit here in 2010, a visit which was the catalyst for the move to the island. There was no ‘ah ha’ moment, but these photos give a general idea of some of the things that appealed.
The top photo is Pololu beach on the North Kohala coast. Top left is a Hawaiian green turtle resting on the black sand beach at Punalu’u County Beach Park. Center left is tropical foliage next to a small cascading stream. Bottom left shows some small lava breakouts in the flow that was active at that time. Conveniently, that activity was about 100 yards from the parking area and only 10 feet or so beyond where I was standing. The bottom photo is a view of Two Step, a popular snorkeling spot, from Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
Palm trees are reflected in still waters at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, otherwise known as Place of Refuge. This is one of the royal fish ponds, an anchialine pool in which fish were held for consumption by Hawaiian royalty.
This is a view of Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, otherwise known as Place of Refuge. The pu’uhonua or place of refuge was a place that offered sanctuary to those who had broken laws or been defeated in battle. Reaching this spot meant they’d be spared and allowed to go home.
So this view is one that a young frightened warrior might see while trying to reach that spot. Hale o Keawe, the small structure with the steeply pitched roof, can be seen in the center of the photo. It sits on the edge of the pu’uhonua. To the right of it is safety; to the left death.
Fortunately that wasn’t my choice. I was just looking at fish.
There are seasons in Hawaii. Summer is hotter, and wetter on the dry side of the Big Island. But let’s be honest, there are many people who live through freezing winters and boiling summers, sun-free winters and sun-seared summers. They believe Hawaii has summer year-round, and not just any summer, but a pleasant summer where it’s warm and sunny but not inhospitably so.
For those people, and in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Summer,’ I give you a typical summer shot of people getting ready to go snorkeling, or just exiting the water. The photo was taken at Two Step, next door to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park — in February. Bwahahahahahaha.
While on a hike south of Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, I saw this pair of large orange sulphur butterflies. They were flying around, joined together, before settling on this seed pod. I assume they were mating, though this discrete view is the only one I had of them.
To see what was going on on the other side would have involved thrashing around in some nasty-looking brush. This would have added to the usual assortment of lacerations that I seem to acquire on a daily basis, and would undoubtedly have caused the butterflies to take to the air again. So I let them be.