March 2, 2006
Guided by the charming and knowledgeable owner and creator of Mauka Makai, these tours have fewer than 12 people and take you to places that are rich in Hawaiian history and mythology. Several full and half-day tours are offered. We took the half-day tour with one other couple, and began with the Old Pali Trail along a stream with sacred bathing pools. Then we visited The Royal Mausoleum, where the kings and queens of Hawaii are buried. This cemetery was never ceded to the U.S., and is sovereign land that flies only the Hawaiian flag. We then went on to; the Ulupo Heiau, an ancient temple and a currently active archaeological site; the Stones of Hauwahine, a benevolent mo’o, or water spirit, who is the guardian of a marsh on the windward side of Oahu. Dom, our guide, explained the meaning of each site in the history, myth, and social structure of ancient Hawaii, and pointed out the plants, indigenous and exotic, and their uses and characteristics.
A student of Hawaiian culture and a native Hawaiian, Dom treated each site with great respect. Before we went in, he performed a chant asking for permission to enter. We were the only visitors at each of the sites on the tour. We have been to the islands many times and usually ignore the organized tours, but this was special. We heard about the tour from Royal Aloha Vacation Club’s (www.ravc.com/) introductory presenter, Sandy, of All Islands Timeshare Resales, (www.timeshare-hawaii.com/). She has been making an effort to find small local tour companies which provide personal service. Mauka Makai was a great find and we would recommend it highly.
Mauka Makai Excursions Cultural Archeological Fieldtrips & Eco-tours 350 Ward Ave #106 Honolulu, HI 96814 www.hawaiianecotours.net 808 255 2206
From journal An Eco Tour on Oahu