Here’s a Hanalei story: You call a wildlife adventure guide to arrange a birdwatching trip during your vacation, and he says, “Sure, Saturday morning’s fine … Laid out on makeshift tables, stacks of crates and the tailgates of pickup trucks are bottles of pineapple chutney, raw honey, fresh goat cheese, healthy-looking greens and herbs, hairy rambutan and other tropical fruit, husked coconuts already plugged with a straw so you can sip the chilled juice, brown eggs, bundles of beautiful cherry-colored radishes, shiny eggplant and bell peppers. A business-like crowd, mostly pareu’d and patchouli’d haoles with a smattering of local-looking folk, moves swiftly among the vendors, pausing to talk story only after they have checked everything off their shopping lists. At 8 on a cloudy, drizzly Saturday morning, he swings by in a well-used pickup and we make a quick visit to peek at the Laysan albatross fledglings in Princeville, dip down into Hanalei Valley and spot waterbirds in the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, then shoot through town to snag a scarce parking spot in a muddy field full of pickups and aged cars.It is the only island Kamehameha was unable to conquer by force. Today’s linguists, anthropologists and historians understand these to be not the industrious, pygmy-sized pranksters of modern-day fable, but descendants of the first Marquesan settlers, who were given the derisive name “manahune” (“commoner,” implying one who had been subjugated) by Tahitians who arrived in a later wave.It is the only island that is almost round, its perimeter traced by a single road that dead-ends on either side of the impassable Na Pali coastline, its center building to the perennially cloud-draped Mount Wai’ale’ale.et on the North Kona Coast of Hawaii Island, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai boasts a dramatic mix of white-sand beaches, dazzling oceanfront and black-lava landscapes.
The next morning, I was up early for coffee on the balcony and my bird-watching adventure.
People work two jobs, everybody knows everybody and tough issues ”a spiraling crack drug problem, loss of neighborhood to part-time residents, snail attacks on the taro lo’i, traffic, a lack of good-paying jobs, environmental concerns, skyrocketing land values” come up in conversation.
But so does a deep love for their home and a sense of living somewhere very special.
Unlike its ultra-plush neighbor, the Princeville Resort, the Hanalei Bay is unintimidating with a nahenahe (gentle) Hawaii feel.
The activities desk is particularly friendly and helpful.