The first two sea tracks we did were the Avaiki Caves and Matapa Chasm. The hike down into the caves was very steep, but they had steps and ropes to hold onto. The caves were very big, with stalagmites and stalactites with varying hues of brown, green, and gold colors. At the bottom, there were tidal pools where there were lots of juvenile fish. The Matapa Chasm was a short hike down to the sea. At the bottom, there was a chasm with tall cliffs on both sides and a pool you could swim in. Tony M and Margaret both snorkeled, but the water was way too cold for us. (See Photos of Caves & Chasm)
One day, we hiked Anapala Chasm and Togo Chasm. Toga Chasm was one of our favorite sea tracks. The trail starts out in the forest, then into a forest with tons of coral outcrops, then into an area with coral chasms, then down the cliffs to the Togo Chasm. That was spectacular! It was like an oasis with palm trees in the sand in the middle of all the coral! We had to climb down a 40 foot tall ladder to get to the bottom. At the bottom, there were small tidal pools and there was a pool believed to be the king's bathing pool. Climbing back up and taking another trail around the corner, we could look down on the sea pounding on the shoreline with a blow hole spraying sea water almost up to our level. Of course, we ended our hiking day at the Hilltop Bar which had a beautiful view of the coral reef flats below. (See Photos Of Togo Chasm & Hilltop Bar)
Another day, we went to see the Hikulagi Sculpture Park. There is a sculpture they started to collect all kinds of objects from our lifetime that are no longer used, like telephones, typewriters, etc. It was interesting to see the types of "stuff" that was there. There was also another sculpture that was more like an art work.
Driving further along the east coast, we saw the Viakona trail head, marked "guide required". Hmmm! It sure looked nice, so off we went with Daryl, in the lead as our guide. Daryl hikes fast and so does Tony W., so it wasn't long before Margaret and I were trailing behind, out of sight. The trail was full of spider webs, with big yellow/red spiders. Eeks! I found a good long stick to wave in front of me and prevent myself from walking into a spider web and Margaret followed me. The trail was getting more and more difficult to follow and the forest had more coral outcrop rocks and chasms. But, Tony M waited for us and hiked with us, as we discussed turning back. Finally, we ran into Daryl and Tony W, on their way back up the trail. Tony had slipped on the coral rocks and cut his leg. He said it was fine, but I bandaged it up with my first aid kit.
Of course, we ended the hiking day at yet another watering hole, Matapa Bar. We met the owner, Oli, who turned out to be one of the Commissioners. He served us beer and I asked him what the locals did for coral cuts. He looked at Tony's leg and said he would get a medicinal plant. He went out to the woods and came back with some big leaves. He wrapped the Kavakava leaves in gauze, pounded the juice out of the leaves, and then "treated" Tony's cuts. What a hoot! I can tell you that his big cuts treated by Oli healed faster than one small one I had on my hand treated with antibiotic. (See Photos of Park, Viakona, & Matapa Healing Center)
More Later - G&T