I have participated in "Full Moon" parties and events in Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, the continental United States, and even, Seoul-less Korea: each "Full Moon" experience being very different on account of location, natural environment, the people attending, the local culture, the music selected, and the languages spoken. Therefore, I consciously refrained from having any expectations about my first Hawaiian Full Moon Party. I wanted this event to be a "pure" experience—with no preconceived notions. I entered ancestral, no doubt sacred, but tangibly haunted, celestial Waipio Valley like a stoned squirrel to the Polynesian sacrificial altar. I am lucky to leave with only a fractured toe.
Jersey and I packed some coolers of highly nutritional food like "reduced-fat" Oreo Cookies (which were a HUGE hit with the camp!), hummus and cheese platters with "reduced-fat" Wheat Thins, veggie burgers (even though we forgot to pick up buns!), fresh veggies, and oh, Kelly-made "organa-magic" brownies, with a side of Rum and Coke. We grabbed a tent from the hostel—assuming the tent could comfortably accommodate two average-sized humans, as well as some beach chairs, beach wear, and of course, my Osho Zen cards.
Along route, Jersey and I picked up a new friend named Brian, who may appear to be homeless to the casual observer, but is paid to housesit and rent out/manage monster mansions on the Big Island. In Jersey's junker Jeep, we just barely managed not to flip over (back over front) down the 25% grade, unpaved gravel "trail", which wraps the mountains down into Waipio Valley—crossing rivers and all—think Indiana Jones stuff! We finally caught up with all the Kava farm workers and miscellaneous friends at the very end of the Valley Beach, just where the fresh water meets the ocean.
For those of you not familiar with Waipio Valley, on the Big Island, you can visit http://gohawaii.about.com/cs/bigislandland/a/waipio_valley.htm for a blurb about its rich historical, religious and cultural significance to the Polynesian people—and no photo, can do justice to the 2,000 foot cascading waterfalls, the virgin tropical jungle, the spot where the fresh water river joins the ocean, and its ancient burial caves and temples.
One does not need mind-altering drugs to feel "high" in this particular crevice on the planet—a state of elevation comes organically, but of course, when in Waipio Valley, at night, with a Full Moon and a raging beach bonfire, one does what the Waipio Valley people do… and that apparently involves consuming lots of psychedelic mushrooms that taste like yesterday's dried cow patties, with Corona/Bacardi Limon chasers. In a word, "over-kill".
Historically speaking, I "broke" my toe not even 5 minutes into our beach arrival. So excited to finally catch up with our friends (after being LOST in the jungle for over an hour in a make-shift jeep—I felt like I was on the set of "Apocalypse Now"), I did not notice the lava rock until I, very un-gracefully, tripped over it. The TOE pain immediately shot up my leg and clear out of my skull, but thanks to one of my own "organa-magic" brownies and a cup of Cuba Libre, I thought the incident minor. Three hours and several mushrooms later, the Toe would start a new community plotline.
My brownies, a collection of local-made, elaborate glass-blown bongs, and kava drink were generously, amply shared with a potpourri of escaped Texans, Quebecois acrobats, Kava farm owner and organic farmers, Hawaiians, Californians looking to "re-birth", Jersey, Brian and myself. Food was inhaled and a great bonfire constructed as the sun set. Then the mushrooms were passed out. Prayers and gratitude were expressed.
Apparently, it is against the law to "camp" on the beach. (NOTE: Park Ranger Dick later stated there are clearly marked "No Camping on the Beach" signs on the way down the "road" into the Valley, AS IF one could BREATHE, much less read these road-signs as one is braking/sliding sideways down a sliver of a gravel road at a 25% grade into a jungle abyss in a shitty Jeep!)
So we set up tents further down the beach, near where the fresh water river flows into the ocean. Jersey and I were bummed to discover our tent was apparently made for midgets, because there was no way, even with lubricants, both of us were going to fit into that tent and get out alive. But we figured we would worry about sleeping/pass-out arrangements later, because the music had begun.
Music: Introducing Indonesian music: http://www.chebisabbah.com/
As you might imagine in this setting, whenever a bonfire is built on a beach, there is that one skinny-hairy-hippy girl who starts her "estatic" dance in front of the fire (which highly resembles an epileptic fit), and the one Sub-Urban white dude who keeps randomly shouting "Jah" the whole night, because some idiot handed him a bongo drum—to which we answered, with various bird mating calls, until he caught on that we were making fun of him. However, I must confess that every once in a while, when having an out-of-body shroom experience, I would observe myself dancing by the bonfire and astonishingly, I looked like one of those hairy-crunchy-nuts-and-berries-hippy girls myself!
Lots of giggles, lots of comparing "mushroom notes"—and we made up a sound (that can not be articulated with letters and words) that describes the "mushroom effect" of people and things—as in "that dude is zzzshzzzshing right now—is he zzzshzzshing for you?" All was hippy-we-are-the-world-pass-the-kava paradise until someone noticed that my foot had inflated to the size of a watermelon—and we weren't so sure if it was real, or part of the "mushroom effect." And the only thing in the First AID kit was, well, more pot.
It turned out to be very real, in so that we had to use a tool to break off my ankle bracelet-- which would have possibly amputated my foot, had no one noticed.
"Gee, thanks, Brian, for noticing a possible foot amputation—I mean what a buzz-kill!"
Now, ordinarily, when something like this happens, there is no great commotion, but when everyone is in orbit on shrooms and whatnot natural combinations…so I did what anyone would have done in such a situation—smoked a bong, stuck my foot in an ice cooler, turned my friends into my servants ("Bring me some more Oreos and Green Tea!"), and giggled for hours stuck in front of the bonfire, until I had to go to the bathroom—then, it was not fun anymore.
The porta-potties were zzzshzzshing big time, and I was not about to limp into a dark, plastic Don's Johns to recycle my waste and possibly be sucked into some metaphysical portal to a parallel universe. So I spent approximately 45 minutes limping in a moonlit jungle, desperately seeking the perfect spot to relieve my bodily fluids. That is when I discovered the Burning Tree. And Jersey is my only witness.
I say this place is haunted for several reasons:
The Burning Tree. Well, I should have taken a photo, but my main priority at the time was going to the bathroom. So you can imagine my annoyance that "God" decides to communicate with me, via a randomly burning plant species at 3 in the AM, and well, I have to pee. So I tell the Burning Tree that "Now is NOT the time" and I pee in front of the Burning Tree. I throw my toilet paper into its fire and say, thanks. So I have probably literally "pissed-off" some god.
And then, every time, following the Burning Tree incident, I found a perfect place to pee, magically a car or people would show up—and some of them, I never saw again!
At some point, disgusted with our midget tent, maybe about 4 AM, Jersey and I set up camp in his jeep—but our tripped-out friends would not tolerate this and set us up under a tarp-covered spot on the beach with blankets, just next to the bonfire. We passed out immediately. So you can imagine our surprise to be awakened by Park Ranger Dick telling us that we are breaking a law.
Kelly: We are not CAMPING on the beach—we are, or better yet, we were SLEEPING on the beach.
Park Ranger Dick: Blah, Blah, locals mad, blah, signs all along the road, blah.
Kelly: Dude, I broke my foot.
Park Ranger Dick: No response whatsoever for a short while then "Blah, Blah, illegal, blah,..."
Kelly: OK, go away now—you did your job.
So Kelly and Jersey, still having a spot of zzzshzzzshing every now and again, pack up their sand-soaked things and set to drive up that slippery mountain, out of the Valley. This would be another Panic Button mission—we passed strung-out hippies crawling up the mountain along the way, but we could not stop for them, lest we slide backwards down the slide.
I kept shouting: "We cannot stop the vehicle—save yourselves!"
Neither Jersey nor I could breathe until we got to the top safely. Miraculously, Jersey and I made it home safely. No, my toe is not broken but possibly fractured and feels much better. Next time, I intend to bring a bigger tent.
This is Kelly reporting from Fantasy Island...
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