Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Lost Files: Memoirs of The Kaupo Get Away

There have been so many events and issues that have popped up since my last post. But everything that was on my camera and on my computer was somehow corrupted and I wasn't able to view, upload or edit any of my files… UNTIL NOW.

Thanks to some snazzy computer magic, I was able to recover most of my files!
So from this post on, any entry or upload that has the title “The Lost Files” in front of it, is a file that I was able to recover from the pits of computer hell.

To start off the Lost Files Series, last year I was able to take an amazing trip out to a part of Maui called Kaupo with some friends and family.

Kaupo is along the Southeastern shore of Maui, is a slightly isolated and rugged place and the people of
Kaupo are ranchers, fishermen, farmers or hunters. (This is based off of my observation anyway. I don’t know anyone who lives out in Kaupo).

My friends and family all went out to Kaupo for the weekend to have a fishing trip and to celebrate some of our long distance Osaka friends coming to visit as well.

My best friend’s dad was also able to get us a “secret” cabin that we were able to stay at for the weekend.

On the first day (Saturday) we all arrived in Kaupo around 1:00 pm and everyone began to settle in. Claiming their sleeping spots in the cabin, exploring the property we were on, playing games, eating lunch, enjoying the AMAZING view of the ocean and most of all enjoying each other’s company.

After everyone ate lunch, our main goal of the trip was to fish and cook that for dinner.
My friend’s dad lead us down a VERY bumpy and windy path where only vehicles with 4 wheel drive could make it. It lead to a “secret” spot where we all set up our gear and tried our hand at fishing.

To be honest, I’m terrible at fishing, so I stuck to collecting ha`uke`uke from the rocks and some of my other friends collected opihi.

ha`uke`uke clinging to the rocks

Fun fact #1 The English name for ha`uke`uke is Helmet urchin. These little guys cling to the smooth rocks in the inter tidal zone. They're exposed to the air at low tide and covered by the water at high tide. They use their strong tube feet to crawl around and eat algae off of the rocks.

You can eat these guys raw, straight from the rocks if you want. Make sure that you don't eat the smaller ones (My rule is that if it is smaller than the top side of your hand, it is too small to eat) and don't eat too much of them either since they can make you want to use the bathroom REALLY bad.

They aren't too difficult to pry from the rocks, but you still need some kind of knife or scrapper to unlatch them from the rocks.

Fun Fact #2 In Hawaii there are four types of Opihi but only three of these types are eaten. The Black footed Opihi, the Yellow footed Opihi, the Giant Opihi and the False Opihi. Only the first three that I named are the ones people eat.

Opihi use a "foot" to slowly crawl around and cling to the rocks and, like the ha`uke`uke, they too eat algae growing on the rocks.

You can eat opihi raw as well, but I prefer to grill them and then dip them into a small mix of mayo and tobasco~

Opihi collecting can actually be very dangerous if you aren't careful. Since they too dwell in the inter tidal zone where waves crash down against the rocks and are much more difficult to pry from them if you don't act quickly to collect them, you might just be unfortunate and get swept away by an incoming wave.

Usually, people call it "robbing the cradle" if you pick opihi that is smaller than the size of a quarter. So be aware that if you ever pick opihi, leave the smaller ones so that they can grow bigger and be eaten later.

The only bummer part of this trip was that even though we were out at a very remote spot of the island, down on a beach where almost NO ONE goes to, I still managed to find plastic trash washed up in the rocks along the coastline. There wasn't a lot of trash, but the fact that it was out there bothered me.

It was almost an untouched part of the island... ALMOST.

So, we stayed at this secret spot until the sun started to set, then we all packed up with a bag of opihi and ha`uke`uke and headed back to the cabin.

Heading back to the cabin

It gets really chilly out in Kaupo at night but it's a real nice, chilly breeze and the view of the stars out there is lovely.

We grilled all kinds of meat and ate a ton of good food, we stayed up late playing games, talking story and one by one we started going to sleep.
My camera wasn't adjusting well to the flash...

So I tested my night vision again!

The next morning everyone slowly awoke to the smell of BREAKFAST.

We hung around and played more games until the time came when we had to finally clean up, pack up and leave...

But that wasn't the ending of our trip just yet~

On the way back to Makawao, my friend's dad made a stop along the way back. I didn't know why he was stopping but my friend told me that his dad wanted to show us something amazing.

We parked our trucks along the side of the road and we walked a short distance through the grass and trees and came upon a stone wall.

Along this stone wall were REAL hieroglyphs. Not the fake ones that people sometimes like to draw for fun, but REAL ones.

Can you tell which one is the real one?

And which one is the fake one?
After our moments of "ooohs" and "aaahs" we finally set off again on that long stretch to go back home~


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