Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hamama Falls with Mrs. XJ

Yesterday's Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Trail hadn't bothered my knees too much so I figured I'd push my luck and take Mrs. XJ to see this beautiful waterfall hidden in the back of Waihe'e Valley that I'd visited with Jamie a few weeks earlier.

Growing up and living here I've taken the names of places for granted and have never questioned their meanings.  I've been doing some reading in hopes gleaning a better understanding of the places I go and things I see.  According to mythology Ke akao Ku (the shadow of Ku), a mute, was told that if he returned to Kahiki to be married his ability to speak would be restored.  Enroute he was attacked by a giant squid and during the battle he threw it into Kahalu'u (diving place) and it landed inland in this valley.  The slime from the squid covered the valley and gave it it's name- squid liquid.  Hamama is a little more difficult to track down other than it's meaning: "open".  I've been unable to find any legends that would explain it's name as of yet.  Sorry, now back to the trail!

Parking at the end of the road we walked over to the gate to await a group of hikers that Marcus AKA The Caveman was going to take into Waihe'e.  After waiting a while I got a phone call from him and he'd been mired in the Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) traffic and wasn't going to make it.  He asked if I'd show his group the route over to Waihe'e Falls.  However, when nobody appeared after waiting for a half hour after the meet time we figured no one was coming and started up the road by ourselves.

If you do this hike please keep in mind that it is on Board of Water Supply property and you are trespassing so there is a risk of being issued a citation.  I think your chances of being cited increase with the amount of noise and irritation you subject the folks living in the neighborhood so being quiet and inconspicuous is a good idea!

Mrs. XJ and I have no idea what this sign says.  I wish I could read officer!

We forged our way up the road into the valley though a mostly introduced forest.  The first section is filled with simpoh air (Dillenia suffructicosa) trees with these bright yellow flowers. Originally from Southeast Asia, it's almost in continuous bloom and here in Waihe'e Valley it's naturalized itself into fairly dense stands.

While there isn't too much native forest to be found, there are some scattered Ohia and Koa along the road.

Passing the tunnel the road steepened until we reached this Banyan tree near Hamama Falls.  The trail to Waihe'e Falls begins down the gully across the stream.

A very short walk later we reached the magnificent Hamama Falls which we had completely to ourselves.  We relaxed enjoying the sound of the water splashing it's way down and posed for a few photos.

As we prepared to leave we heard voices approaching.  It turns out the Caveman's group had been stuck in traffic which had delayed their arrival at the trail head.  I offered to take them over to Waihe'e Falls after they'd had a chance to see Hamama.  Mrs XJ elected to skip the second falls despite my encouragement so we set off from the Banyan tree without her.

I left my backpack with Mrs. XJ and didn't think to take any more pictures.  The only shot I took was of the trail downstream of the Banyan tree.  The trail continues under that tree blocking the trail for about 20 more yards then takes left turn in some shoulder high ferns.  After that it's clear sailing to Waihe'e aside from the mud and mosquitoes. 

With the other group safely over the Waihe'e Falls I rejoined Mrs. XJ and we headed back out of the valley admiring the Ko'olaus' beauty.  It's always a pleasure to have her accompany me.

More pictures from this trail and others I've done can be viewed on Flickr.  Aloha and mahalo for reading!


  1. You guys did that hike and stayed so clean! Not one speck of mud.

  2. Hamamama is pretty much a walk along a gravel road. It's the trip over to Waihe'e Falls that will get you muddy!