What not to miss in Hawaii? I’ve only been there once. There are some first-rate snorkeling sites. I’m glad I had a Lomi-Lomi massage. If you get to Maui, the Old Laihna Luau is exquisitely done and there is much interesting information at the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Mill & Museum. On the island of Hawaii, consider the Tropical Botanical Gardens.
My route started in Oahu on the North Shore to Hawaii at Hilo and Naalehu and then to Maui and back again to Oahu at Waikiki Beach. I felt satisfied I had visited the State of Hawaii. Generally, I’m one to maintain an intense schedule, but given all the friendly advice not to race around the islands with a checklist, I tried to slow down a bit.
My impression is Hawaii is a place of big waves, colorful fish, coffee plantations, macadamia nut orchards, 25 mph roads, big turtles, huge cockroaches and surfers. Brace yourself for breakfasts of shrimp scampi. You may want to scope your route using road names rather than route numbers. As one local told me, “The route numbers are feral.” To answer your question, don’t miss out on the unhurried pace.
What better way to adjust one’s pace and align with the stars than to have a massage? The Lomi-Lomi massage is the Hawaiian style massage that my masseuse had told me about before I left home. After many disappointments, I found a place in Hilo on the Island of Hawaii that offered the Lomi-Lomi massage. The Lomi-Lomi involved no kneading with the fingers but wide sweeping gestures with the hands. I was told that was because with the wide girth of most Hawaiian men in the olden days, they never would have felt kneading fingers. I’m glad they warned there would be a lot of oil applied because there was a lot.
The massage started with the words: Ah lake hah lee my, Ah lake ha lee eekah (May I forgive, may you forgive). The massage finished with the words: “Leave everything you don’t want to take with you.” (And isn’t that what reflective self indulgence is for?) I recommend you try a Lomi-Lomi. It could help you to calm down after the super-sized cockroaches and even prepare you to better handle your next encounter.
At the Pu’uhonua O Honaumau National Historic Park, signs told how it was a historic place of refuge for those who broke Kapu. In olden times, that could include things like casting your shadow on a chief or picking fruit outside the specified season. Breaking the rules was thought to bring on the wrath of volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. When someone was caught breaking kapu, everyone else was to set after them to kill them to preclude nature’s wrath toward the village. One of the rules was that all men, women and children, the young and old, were expected to join in battles. If they didn’t fight or ran away, they would be breaking kapu. As I would have run, I immediately identified with the violator of kapu.
One marker said something like—imagine being chased by villagers, jumping in the bay, swimming toward the refuge being pursued by warriors in boats and successfully reaching the rocks of the refuge. Hmmm. Everyone respected the refuge as a place of sanctuary so that the fleeing violator would be safe upon reaching it.
After a few months in the sanctuary and an absolution from priests, you could even return home! But would home be the same now that you were living amongst people who tried to kill you? Could you then denounce those who helped you escape so that they would be hunted and killed for violating kapu? (Or maybe they knew enough to find a way to the refuge and obtain absolution before getting found it.) It sounded like a culture where everyone was in your business and all for the sake of homeland security. (And history repeats.)
Learning about kapu gave new meaning to the ritual language of the Lomi-Lomi massage: “May I forgive. May you forgive.” How do the 25 mph roads fit in that notion?
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