Who hasn’t dreamed of relaxing on a deserted white sand beach surrounded by hundreds of water cascades embedded in exuberant greenery and dramatic rocky cliffs while bathing in clear crystal seawaters with colourful fish passing near your toes? I had! And so I found my way to such destination and got surprised by the unexpected beauty, adventure and soothing power. My Exploring Berry readers, this is HAWAI’I: a dream come true!
The geography, the fauna and the flora make Hawai’i very special. Despite of the islands being so close together, no island is the same. From vivid green to volcanic gray; from fresh waterfalls to hot lava flows; from tranquil waters to dangerous waves; from big sharks to small butterflies; from desert-like-dryness to rainforest moisture. You name it, you have it! There are choices for every taste: for the hiker, the diver, the bookworm, the family with kids, the adrenaline-addict, the sunbather, the surfer, the party-goer, the honey-mooners, the bride and groom, the scientists, the culinary nerds…Take my word when I say one will not get a whole picture of what Hawai’i is like if one stays only on one island. My visit to Paradise consisted on three stops: O’ahu, Kau’i and Big Island. I cannot play favourites, I loved them three. Each had its one thing that impressed me so much I got to say “this is the one, this is my favourite” but then the next island came and I managed to find that next thing to say the same. This is the reason for me dedicating a blog post per island and this one post on common issues.
I will start with Hawaiian innate beauty: its geology. Hawai’i is formed as the Pacific plate moves over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle, creating newer submersed mountains over time. The oldest islands lay on the Northwest and the newest on the Southeast. The older the island, the smaller it gets due to land erosion. Presently, Hawai’i is comprised by 19 islands, seven of which are inhabited and possible to visit: O’ahu, Maui, Big Island of Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Moloka’i and Lana’i. Two of the volcanoes of the islands, the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea, are still active and tourist-friendly (depending on volcano activity and weather condition). This eight- minute- video explains Hawaiian volcanic formation very interestingly.
Hawaiian culture and traditions can be experienced across all islands. The different deities symbolizing Nature are keys to understanding Hawaiian traditions and life today. As a show of respect and as a prayer, Hawaiians dance the hula, Hawai’i’s heartbeat. This is not to be mistaken with a Lu’au, which is a feast to celebrate any family occasion and nowadays it is a ‘must’ for any visitor. The menu compromises a wide variety of delicious dishes, including the Kalua Pua’a (Roast Pork) prepared the Hawaiian way (an underground oven), the Lomilomi salmon and the Hawaiian staple Poi (a creamy side dish made out of grounded Taro roots). It is part of the Hawaiian experience: a combination of Lu’au and Hula Performance. I participated in one of course!
The beach dress code (rubber flip flops, the colourful and flowery Aloha shirt for men and the colourful beach dress with an orchid flower pinned to the hair for women), the friendly attitude and laid back atmosphere make Hawai’i a great place to relax! One just needs to look at how much surfing, diving, canoeing, backyard garden celebrations there are and the way of talking between Hawaiians to realize Hawai’i is an outdoors life state and very family and friends-oriented. I loved it so much I wanted to move to these islands!!
There are so many more interesting things to mention about Hawai’i but I will integrate them into my upcoming island posts. Be ready to see some amazing scenery and inviting photographs! Stay posted Exploring Berry reader!!