It's supposed to be summer right? Well the weather in the Ko'olaus of O'ahu don't seem like it at all. The weekend was cloudy and rainy all along the summit and today was no different. So, instead of a ridge hike we opted to find a nice waterfall and selected an easy one. Ka wai-a-ke-akua is a special place steeped in legend. The name translates to "The water of the gods" and this particular falls tucked away in Manao Valley involves two of my favorite Polynesian Gods, Kanaloa and Kane. Legends vary but according to "Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu" written by W. D. Westervelt in 1915 these two awa loving gods created the spring that feeds the now associated stream and series of falls.
"When at last they were weary of that resting-place, they passed Nuuanu Valley and went into the most beautiful rainbow valley of the world, Manoa Valley, the home of the rainbow princess. This valley is one of the well-settled suburbs of Honolulu. Well-wooded precipices guard the upper end of the valley and make difficult the path to the tops of the mountains rising thousands of feet above.
|Water of the gods
The servants of hundreds of chiefs have borne water from this place to their thirsty masters.
In the days of Kamehameha I. very often messengers came from this pool of water of the gods with calabashes full of water swinging from the ends of sticks laid over their shoulders. When they came near any individual or group of Hawaiians they had to call out loudly, giving warning so that all by whom they passed could fall prostrate before the gift of the gods to the great king."
We began our adventure in upper Manoa Valley along "7 Bridges Road" which took us into the jungle.
|Group photo at one of the bridges
|Mike plays keep away from Agnes with a lobster claw heliconia
|Ohia ai- photo by Agnes Bryant
|Tasty trail treat
Then we proceeded up the stairs to the stream again instead of continuing on the trail. Here we passed the Gladstone Write Memorial.
|Gladstone Wright Memorial Carvings
Leaving the memorial behind we made our way to the set of falls. There had been a little rain along the way but some passing showers pelted us with huge rain drops. We'd been hoping the recent rains would have pumped up the water levels in the stream and at the falls but they were still pretty anemic.
|Heavy rains at the first of the waterfalls
|Mike climbing the first falls
Some of the girls followed us up to the second set of falls but didn't have a camera and I graciously offered to take a few pictures to email them. What a nice guy I am!
|Visitors from Chicago
Agnes, Mike and I climbed up the long rope to check out the falls above while Jamie opted to stay at the bottom with Marley to keep her company.
Using the long blue rope we climbed the steep falls.
After all three of us had safely arrived at the top the it really started to rain hard. I noted the increasingly brown color of the water and we decided we'd gone far enough.
As Agnes and Mike made their way down the rope I snapped a quick shot of the stream beyond. Someday we'll return to take the stream back up to the Ko'olau Summit. Be forewarned, the blue rope is tied to a dead tree. It's fairly secure but for how long is anyone's guess.
|Stream above the falls
We were soaking wet already from the rain so we climbed into the stream for a group photo.
We all took the bypass trail at the lower falls because of the raging water but I had to climb down into the falls to snap a couple shots! As I dangled from the ropes I saw a couple rocks whiz by my head and the flow continued to increase.
|Idiot in a raging falls (Me) - photo by Agnes Bryant
More pictures from this trail and others I've done can be viewed on Flickr. Aloha and mahalo for reading.