Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hawaii Trip Day Two (The jouney to the center)

We woke early to a mildly overcast day for our trip, it never rained but we were happy to not experience the walking tour in the beating sun.  Our ride out to the Polynesian Cultural Center seemed to fly by as we had a very animated guide with the American name of Ken, his Samoa name was too long to remember.  Ken explained that when his island was discovered they had no written language, the discoverers banned their culture and religion and brought Christianity,  believing they were enlightening them.

This was said jokingly yet it was clear that there was a certain amount of resentment for 

the loss of culture by the western civilization, the comment that you can't discover a place where people already had a surviving culture for over 1000 years was loud and clear.  Ken explained that the naming of the children was a way for his people to pass their culture along without the knowledge of the new discoverers, which is why the names are so long. We learned that the cultural center was a source of funding for students to attend Brigham Young University, we were more than happy to have contributed to the advancement of someone going through the school by enlisting Ken as our personal guide.  
As we passed through Honolulu not only was I was surprised to see the living conditions of the islanders in an area commonly referred to as paradise but was also surprised at how large this city actually was, certainly larger than I had thought.   The other issue we noticed almost immediately is the amount of homelessness openly out in the parks and street, while we were never panhandled we did see countless areas where there were tents and carts used as permanent housing.  We did hear from our guide of a large volume of upscale housing being built which drives up the cost of living  combined with the downturn in job availability has made the situation worse, it looked to be a very sad situation for many to endure.

Riding up highway H1 to H3 we saw some fantastic mountain scenery and passed by amazing fluted mountainsides.  I tried to imagine the action of water pouring down those mountains during a rainstorm, I wondered how the highway , which traveled close to these mountains in places, might be impacted as all the water drained away toward the ocean.  Our guide talked about all the movie sights along the way and the impact on
the area when filming crews came into town.  We saw the valley where they filmed many scenes from Jurassic Park and could envision the dinosaurs running through that area.  Our guide mentioned that the homes bordering that area were paid to keep tall trees in place to protect the filming crews from onlookers during production.  David enjoyed the monkeypod trees, which were used to hide planes during WWII due to their large canopy area and saw a bunker high up on the hill that was also used during WWII. 
We went through the mountain pass and moved closer the the windward shore we caught our first glimpse of Kaneohe Bay with the air base in the distance.  As we traveled along route 83 we soon found ourselves with the ocean directly on our right passing by Chinamen's Hat, we saw people gather for a day at the beach.  The surf didn't appear to be very high and we saw few if any surfers in this
area, the homes were modest in nature as the area maintained its rustic charm.  Our friend in Waikiki was very familiar with the engineering firm which designed many of the bridges, when we passed by construction at Kehana Bay we knew it was a Baginski bridge project.

This seems like a long post covering just the transportation from Waikiki Beach to the Polynesian Cultural Center but since we had such a wonderful guide it was loaded with information that begged to be shared.

1 comment:

Trainer T.s Fitness said...

Hi! Wow how wonderful I feel like I am there with you!

Thanks for all the pictures, I am glad your having a wonderful time.
(wish I was there!)