My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Kona airport - almost all open air terminals - no jetways -...

Iao Valley State Park

Too beautiful for 1000 words or a picture!


Kokaemoku in Hawaiian or Iao Needle

No way can a picture capture the wonder of this valley!

Me - under the Iao Needle

Informational sign about the Iao Needle

We were to leave the Kona Sheraton for the Kona Airport at 11:15 AM. We had to have our checked luggage ready for pickup from our hotel rooms by 10:15. Then met in the lobby with our carry-on luggage at 11:00 AM. We got to the airport at NOON. Our Road Scholar leader had already picked up our boarding passes so all we had to do was check our luggage, go through security and wait. Our flight was not until 2:00 PM with boarding beginning at 1:40. Denver was playing New England in the playoffs. There were no TVs since the airport was completely open air, except for a restaurant and some shops. There were people from our group interested in both teams so I used my smart phone to keep them up to date. We left on time and got to the Kahului airport on Maui at 2:35. It took longer to load and unload the plane than it did to fly over. We all got our bags and were on the bus by 3:00 PM. Everything works slick.

We were then dropped off at the Iao Valley State Park. While Keoki Sousa, a Hawaiian Culture and Traditional Hawaiian Medicinal Healing expert showed us around the park focusing on plants used for medicinal and healing purposes, our Road Scholar leader went to the next hotel and put our checked luggage in our rooms.

The beauty of the Iao Valley is not captured by these pictures. The only word I know to describe the area is majestic. Both sides of the valley soar up for thousands of feet at very steep angles. I felt so very tiny. There was a series of waterfalls which produced a continuous sound of rushing water. Kids had dammed up some of the creeks (four met in this area) and were jumping off rock ledges into the pools so the sound of laughing kids mixed in with the sound of the water.

Our instructor took us up to an overlook and explained the spiritual significance of the valley. An important battle had been fought in the valley when Kamehameha I's warriors overcame the warriors of Maui in his quest to unite the islands. The Hawaiians believed that the spirits of all that died in the battle are living in the valley. It is a very magical place.

Our hotel here for the next three days is the Maui Beach Hotel. It is an old hotel but very well maintained. The rooms are small but adequate and clean. And they have free Wi-Fi in the rooms that works well!! There is a mall across the street and several drug stores, etc. within easy walking distance. Very convenient.

For Perry: for dinner we had rice, stir fry beef and vegetables and cheesecake for dessert.

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