Day 2: Place of Refuge

Today we visited Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (“hoe-now-now”), also called “Place of Refuge.” This was a very sacred site for Hawaiians in ages past. Any and all could flee to the pu’uhonua and be safe from harm. Whether you were fleeing an army bent on your destruction or you’d broken a law and were sentenced to death. If you could make it here in time you would be spared.

In addition to learning a little Hawaiian history here we were also treated to our first turtle-spotting. The crystal-clear waters made it easy to spot the green sea turtles (honu.) Factoid: the green in their name comes from the color of their fat, not the color of their shell.

Emma and Henry were so excited by the turtles. It was a delight watching them rush around the edges of the water hoping for another glimpse.

After touring the refuge we took a “short” hike along the shoreline looking for a kid-friendly beach. None were to be found so we turned back and ended up playing in the tide pools for the afternoon. (The Waiu-o-Hina lava tube along the 1871 Trail was closed, sadly, so we weren’t able to walk through it to the ocean.) We spied many tiny fish, a few sea cucumbers and a lone anemone before heading back home.

Another great sunset tonight (no green flash, though.) I wandered out after the kids were in bed to gaze at the stars. There are so many stars visible here, I can’t even begin to describe it. The best I can do is say that so many are visible I have a hard time recognizing even common constellations like Orion and the Big Dipper. Fabulous!

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