Early morning, we drove through Waimea roads that are adjacent to the Parker Ranch. Waimea is mystical. It is a place I could see myself settling in.
When we arrived at the lookout point of Polulu Valley, there were only a few other people around. This seemed to be the trend since we were early birds. We always had the entire parks to ourselves.
We could see in the distance, a small white streak along one of the mountains. I wanted to see if it was a waterfall, and with the camera zoom, I could see that it was a waterfall!
Our main ‘point of interest’ for the day was Mookini Heiau. This sacred place is about 1500 years old and was used as a sacred religious temple. It is also the site of human sacrifices.
To reach Mookini Heiau, we drove to the site of the Upolu local airport. The airport is located right next to the ocean. We parked the car on grass (there were enough space for a few cars to park), and started hiking to the site. It was a dirt road good for four-wheel drive vehicles, with deep ruts and gravel. After hiking for about 45 minutes on this nearly-flat road, we arrived at Mookini Heiau.
As always, we had the site to ourselves. It is located next to the ocean, and although it was a warm day, there was a nice breeze. Knowing that this is a sacrificial location was a little spooky, and the isolation and calmness added to that feeling. There were two stones where we imagined the sacrifices took place. It was a very peaceful and beautiful place, but knowing history, we know that it was quite contrary to the scenario few centuries ago.
There was a stone-wall fort where we found some offerings (to the gods I presume). That reminded us that this is still a sacred place to some native Hawaiians. A small temple stood closer to the ocean, and this was also the birthplace of King Kamehameha II, possibly the most revered king of Hawaii.