Tuesday, May 3, 2016
The wonderful thing about Kauai is that you can drive a few miles and find yourself at a deserted beach. It can only be reached via a poorly marked, dirt sugarcane road. We felt we the first people to ever walk on this sand. Known for its 7-mile stretch of white sand beach and hot cloudless days, Polihale is the spot to dry out when the rains come. Framed by the west end of the Na Pali cliffs, sweeping sand dunes and a Ni'ihau capped ocean, Polihale can be a breath-taking experience. On this cloudy day sunlight forced its is through the rare gap in the clouds creating a theatrical spotlight effect.
Polihale has been translated in many instances as the "House of the Po", where Po is the Hawaiian after world. By this account, spirits are said to travel to the coastal plain adjacent to the beach, and stay in the temple, known as the heiau. From there, they would climb the cliffs to the north, jump off into the sea to get to the mythical Po. The story further indicates that this belief was so strong that all the homes built in the vicinity of Polihale would have had no east facing doors, so that no traveling spirit could become trapped within.