Within the near 200 acres of land, visitors will find a large collection of various types of palms trees, gingers, Heliconias, and other tropical plants.
Kalaupapa for me was a place of immense contrast. Incredibly beautiful, with its pristine sandy beaches and towering sea cliffs, it was hard to imagine the grim history it hosted and the struggle of those that had lived here.
A lush basin lay before us, the great Mo’alu falls plummeting 250 feet down the center before turning into a river which divided the valley floor. A skinny flume of smoke rose from one of the few shacks that were scattered amongst taro fields. We could see two beaches divided by the rocky outcrops of the river.
I felt a strange but powerful connection to that place, like there was an unspoken mutual respect between us. We had been tested to our extreme and we had passed the test. The hills seemed to arch their backs and stretch their shoulders lifting their peaks to meet my gaze. I silently thanked the whole stretch of coast. When Leigh Anne turned to me her eyes were moist. She too was farewelling the place that was our home for a time.
We swigged straight from the bottle, our eyes glued to the huge orange sun that slowly sunk down to the horizon. We talked and talked, immensely happy and self-congratulatory at having made it here, through all the hikes, early mornings, hitches and storms.
“There is a true peace and serenity that can be felt while floating amongst these majestic mountains,” Trails of Freedom follower Ingrid Crocco reports. On her recent visit to Nepal, Ingrid had the opportunity to take a mountain plane through the great Himalayas, and has thankfully shared her pictures and stories with us.