I do believe Waipio Valley was my favorite site to see and place to visit during our trip.

It is a slice of solitude and heaven and waves and black sand and gloriousness.

Waipio Valley is on the Big Island. The area has quite a history (according to our tour book). Wapio was once known as the most fertile land in all of Hawaii, and in the 1700s the area boasted somewhere between 4,000-10,000 residents. It was at that time referred to as the Valley of the Kings because many of the Hawaiian royals lived there. That all changed in 1946 when a tsunami tragically wiped out the entire area.

Around 1970, however, small amounts of people started moving back into the valley- mainly vets and hippies looking for the opportunity to essentially live off of the grid and away from society. Soon, some farmers followed to live in near seclusion and farm taro in the valley.

How do these farmers manage to maintain their seclusion?

I’ll show ya.

See that beach down there? That is where we were headed. It was a treacherous drive that requires 4-Wheel drive (seriously there is a guy at the top of the hill that will not let you proceed without 4WD), and the road grade is at 25%. It is only a mile long road, but it takes over 30 minutes to make it down.

Once down there, there is no electricity, cell service, TV reception, etc.

Also, the state police pretty much leave the area alone. There are stories of houses being torched as a part of the locals being responsible for the law and justice down in the valley.

So yeah, not many people are looking to travel down there. And fewer still are hankering to move to the valley.

While I won’t plan on packing up to live with the folks in the valley, I am so so glad we risked our lives to drive down.

Side note: on the way down, there are several mangled car bodies that fell off of the crazy steep road. It is too treacherous to retrieve the cars so they leave them. They do retrieve the bodies.

For a Nervous Nelly like me, you can imagine that the drive down and up was not super enjoyable! I’m sure glad to have done it though.

When we arrived at the top entrance to drive down to the valley, we took in the view. And I only wish that I could take pictures that would do the sight even the smallest amount of justice.

We were extremely grateful for our personal tour guides!

Side note: It was exceptionally fun to see the sights with a nearly 14 year old young man. Everything looks a little different through his eyes. We stand on the hill overlooking Waipio Valley taking pictures admiring the sheer magnitude and beauty, and Pono does this…

Boys are great.

So, after a few obligatory somersaults and pictures at the top, we started our trip down.

Again, I would like to state  my thanks to the Lord for the 4-Wheel drive vehicle. This type of trip is what those SUVs are actually made for.

Those going down must yield to those coming up. And this road is not wide. Yikes.

Once at the bottom, we went on the bumpiest drive ever through the farmers’ land.

It looked like heaven meets Jurassic Park meets Lost meets Blue Lagoon.

One of the nicer homes in the valley.

Again, check out the terrain- the water was a little more than a foot deep here.

Crossing the stream, this is what we saw to the left and the right.

Wow.

Most of the houses looked like this guy. A little more weathered and lived in.

When we arrived to the secluded black sand beach, this wild horse was there to meet us.

He was the friendliest beauty. He came to say hello, share in a bit of our picnic, and pose for a photo opp.

While we picnicked and frolicked in the waves, our wild buddy crossed the stream.

I mean, seriously.

Who sees this in real life?

I don’t really know what else to say about this place.

If you want to feel unplugged from the world, Waipio is the place to go.

If you want to feel small, go to Waipio.

If you want to feel how big God is, I suggest you stop by Waipio.

If you want to marvel in the simple things, here’s an idea… visit Waipio.

I’ll let you just see the rest of our time in Waipio Valley.

It was a perfect, perfect, perfect day.

Have a good one my friends!

XO,
Leah

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