The eastern coast of Hawai’i, lonely as it is facing the Pacific, is dotted with valleys that have no outlet to the rest of the island. It’s as if a giant took his hand and lay it on the steep cliffs creating lush valley after valley after valley. Waipi’o is the first of these valleys, and the only continuously inhabited one. As we were planning our trip, all signs pointed to Stéphane and me to explore Waipi’o.
I’ll say, for the beauty part, it more than lived up to its expectations. The trek from the high cliff above the valley is really, really steep. There were moments where you felt like you would fall backwards or forwards, and only 4×4 cars are allowed down — most of which are locals.
Waipi’o valley is peopled by folks who want to avoid the rest of the hubbub on the island: war veterans, native Hawai’ians and others. Regardless, we had a peaceful day.
As Stéphane and I descended the steep path to the beach, the sun really started to burn the clouds away, with a light mist raising through the trees. We explored the valley more looking for the trail head up to the waterfalls in the distance. All the books we read said that it existed and that sometimes locals put up signs to ward off tourists. Well, the signs worked on us.