Travel. Hike. Bike. Adventure. Explore.
Today we decided to hike down to Captain Cooks Monument and place of death. Given that he plays such a significant part of history in both New Zealand and Australia we felt it only appropriate we took on this adventure. The Monument can only be reached by hiking down, kayaking in or taking a chartered boat tour. So off we hiked.... down a hot, uneven, rock-strewn trail. The way down was fairly easy however the climb up was hotter, long and steep. This was a 4 mile round trip and because we were on a bit of a time constraint (getting the Leckies back to the airport) it was the one hike, where I carried Isla down the majority of the way and Phil carried her back up!
It was a lot busier at the bottom than we had expected.. there was a handful of tour boats in the bay so it definitely wasn't as "secluded" as we had thought. Needless to say, the reef was beautiful and the coral and fish just amazing.
History states that on January 17, 1779, Captain James Cook (the British explorer who discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778) and his crew sailed into Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Hawaiians, thinking they were returning gods, gave them a warm welcome and held a feast in their honor. However, a month later he was killed in a conflict between his crew and the Hawaiians. The natives had realized that Cook and his men were mere mortals. In 1878, a 27-foot white obelisk was erected to honor this well-known seafarer.
The plaque at the base of the monument reads the following: “In memory of the great circumnavigator, Captain James Cook, R. N., who discovered these islands on the 10th of January, A.D. 1770, and fell near this spot on the 14th of February, A.D. 1779. This monument was erected in November A.D. 1874 by some of his fellow countrymen.”
In old Hawaii, if you had broken a law, the penalty was death. Perhaps you had entered into an area that was reserved for only the chiefs, or had eaten forbidden foods. Laws, or kapu, governed every aspect of Hawaiian society. The penalty for breaking these laws was certain death. Your only option for survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the nearest puuhonua, or place of refuge.
As you enter, the great wall rises up before you marking the boundaries between the royal grounds and the sanctuary. Many ki'i (carved wooden images) surround the Hale o Keawe, housing the bones of the chiefs that infuse the area with their power or mana. If you reached this sacred place, you would be saved.
Today this place is still considered sacred and has a very special feeling as you enter. There are amazing carved statues throughout and a map explaining the significance of all the structures. We loved our walk around this special place and finished it with some amazing swimming next door at 2 step. Issy and Mikey swam out to the dolphins, while we played in the tidal pools amongst the turtles and colorful fish!
To top our day off we found the local Poke shop and enjoyed a fresh poke lunch! YUMMO!
A great way to spend Christmas Eve!
Follow us as we wander through life on "the happy road "