16 September 2007

HS1: Beach at Pu'uhonau o Honaunau

Now we've gotten so far with sorting the pictures that we can introduce the latest category on this blog: Hawaii Stories!
Since we find ourselves bored by long, chronological vacation reports we've decided to pick a few events from the trip - mainly guided by which pictures we want to show you.

This first post shows the beach at the last remaining pu'uhonua - i.e. place of refuge - on the Big Island.

It was an important part of the old Hawaiian culture that those who violated a taboo - normally faced with capital punishment in order to avoid the wrath of the gods - would get a second chance if they succeeded in reaching the pu'uhonua before their tribe killed them. If they reached the pu'uhonua they would go through a ceremony after which they could safely return to their village. The pu'uhonua also served as a place of refuge for children, women and the elderly during times of war since it was universally respected.

The area is located very beautifully on the west coast and is surrounded by a large reef called 'Two Steps' which a few days after this visit gave us a wonderful snorkeling experience. On the day we took the picture a downpour began shortly afterwards. When we had been standing for 20 minutes und a palm tree (btw. not a very efficient guard against tropical rain) and after that also had been sitting for another 20 minutes in the car without it looking like clearing up anytime soon we decided to postpone any further investigation and go home.

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