Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hike to a waterfall along the Hamakua coastline

Its always been on my bucket list to follow a waterfall to where it ends in the ocean, I don't know why.  Its strange after living in Hawaii for quite some time, I've always been fascinated by this type of  hike but have never had the opportunity. So when the occasion came up recently to visit a private garden in the Hamakua with a waterfall and trail that eventually falls into the ocean, I was excited.

When I arrived at the property, I talked with the other guests and everyone seemed to be distracted with the beautiful and expansive garden which in itself was worth spending most of one's time enjoying. Since no-one was ready to hike, I started down the precarious staircase leading down to the waterfall. The paths were tricky but nicely planted with colorful anthuriums and other shade loving plants.

Then I noticed after a taking few pictures, I was totally being eaten up by mosquitoes (no wonder the guests were not interested in coming down) I was now the feast for all the mosquitoes that morning and they were hungry. Needless to say I didn't stay idle in one spot for a very long time.

I could hear the sounds of waterfalls directly ahead and in no time arrived at this sweet waterfall opening framed with lush greens of every color. It was beautiful, and I had the whole scene to enjoy on my own. Quickly, I followed the stream bed down a worn path dotted with palms and coconut tree along with many large leafed plants. I make it finally to the edge with of the cliffs which were framed with these huge ironwood trees supporting the cliff sides - quite an idyllic spot to relax. The little breezes fortunately keeping the mosquitoes at bay and allowing me to linger awhile longer.

I hear the waters loudly as they cascade down the cliffs into the ocean. It was a little tricky trying to get a good view of the waterfall into the rocks below, all I could really see was the rushing water from the top view, but the coastline views from the edge was spectacular and the waters were various shades of aqua to deep, deep blue along the horizon.

It was an enjoyable moment even though I couldn't see the waterfalls cascading directly to the bottom of the ocean. Wonderful breezes kept those pesky mosquitoes at bay for the moment. Now, it was time to make that arduous hike back up those 100 plus steps to the main house, well at least if I go quickly I won't be harassed by the mosquitoes on the way back uphill. All done, so glad I finally got that out of my bucket list of hikes to do and I actually enjoyed the challenge and rewards all to myself.

©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.

May day is also called Lei day in Hawaii, its a popular and fun way to cherish someone you love and care for with a beautiful hand-made lei.

The origins of lei making started with the early Polynesians and settlers to the Hawaiian islands to honor their gods by twining greens into wreaths and making these as offerings. They also used the wreaths and flowered lei made of fragrant ginger blooms to decorate and adorn their bodies. Other fragrant greens used included maile and hala leaves which were used extensively to celebrate various rites, special occasions and daily wear.

This concept of giving a lei to someone special was then popularized with the influx of tourism throughout the Hawaiian islands around the 19th and 20th century. Presenting a lei during the arrival or departure of a love one was shared and communicated as a sign of affection and aloha and still is still used currently as a symbol of affection and aloha.

Leis are now made with many different and aromatic flowers to include tropical plumeria, jasmine, ginger, roses, gardenias, tuba rose and scented orchid blooms to create aromatic and beautiful displays. Every flower and color combination is available and sold through different wholesale and retail outlets. Leis are also made with with many types of organic materials including seeds, shells, fabric and ribbon along with a variety of greenery to create different looks and texture and patterns.

(A gorgeous tutu or grandmother wears and elaborate collection yellow, orange and red flowered leis at a hula performance in Hawaii)

Green material used for the leis above include aromatic maile leaves, ferns and seeds pods, along with the very popular plumeria well loved for its wonderful aroma. Fresh leis are made and worn as adornment for each and every hula performances like the dancer above performing at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

Even elaborate large leis are made to adorn horses in many of the annual parades throughout the islands. Here leis elaborate leis are created for the horse and pau rider for the annual Merrie Monarch parade in Hlo, Hawaii.

Lei day celebrations today in East Hawaii are marked with lei and craft demonstrations, live music and performances and other festivities celebrating this well loved tradition. It seems so appropriate for the first day of May to celebrate spring and a beautiful day by making a lei and giving to someone special in your life..

©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at
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