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Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:51 AM

Hawaii vacation blog...

Last edited Thu Jun 6, 2013, 01:18 AM - Edit history (1)

Day one

First day just coming to a close on our Kauai vacation. Got here at about 12pm after being awake for over 20 hours, more than 24 hours now since we had to get up for a 3am flight and I'm naturally a late sleeper anyway. Did some shopping at a super market to pick up some groceries. We are staying at a resort, not an expensive one, with a kitchen so we will be making most of our dinners here, well eat lunch out. The resort isn't located in any place with special views, and in fact has some industry around it so it's cheaper, but the rooms are very nice which is all we care about. The lady at the checkin counter had one of those wonderful open, welcoming, friendly to a fault, easy going Hawaiian personalities

Just as I remember from our last visit to Hawaii, that time to the big island, fresh produce is very expensive but the prices of most other things are somewhat in line with Canadian prices, with a few odd ball items that are like 5x the price for no apparent reason Lol. We are staying at the Banyan resort in Lihue. Last night I wrote down a rough itinerary for our holiday, no particular order. We have one chartered catamaran trip but the rest of the holiday is rather unstructured which is how we like it. A lot of people plan things down to the last detail. I prefer my holidays to have a rough sketch of must see bullet points and just take it easy and let things happen around these events. Sometimes it means we miss out on stuff but it works for us. We have a rental car so any place on the island is accessible. I'm looking at tunnel beach among other snorkeling destinations, wimea canyon, a couple of the really good hikes, drive to a few of the famous lookouts and a few other things. I'd love to see if I can convince my parents to take a helicopter tour, even with no job I'm more than willing to pitch in about 1/2 or more of the price. Anyway the island is already very beautiful even from the cursory look we have had so far. Looking forward to tomorrow. I'll reply to this thread as a form of vacation blog as I go. More for myself than anything. Please don't feel obliged to read.

Oh and if anyone has any suggestions please don't hesitate to chime in!

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hawaii vacation blog... (Original post)
Locut0s Jun 2013 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #1
Locut0s Jun 2013 #3
fizzgig Jun 2013 #2
Locut0s Jun 2013 #5
HarveyDarkey Jun 2013 #4
Locut0s Jun 2013 #6
olddots Jun 2013 #7
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2013 #8
Locut0s Jun 2013 #9
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2013 #10
1983law Jun 2013 #11
applegrove Jun 2013 #12
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #14
applegrove Jun 2013 #15
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #13
Cha Jun 2013 #17
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #20
Cha Jun 2013 #16
Tobin S. Jun 2013 #18
avebury Jun 2013 #19
KamaAina Jun 2013 #48
Locut0s Jun 2013 #21
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #27
Locut0s Jun 2013 #31
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #37
Locut0s Jun 2013 #22
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #23
elleng Jun 2013 #24
Locut0s Jun 2013 #25
Arugula Latte Jun 2013 #28
elleng Jun 2013 #29
Locut0s Jun 2013 #32
DFW Jun 2013 #26
zappaman Jun 2013 #30
Locut0s Jun 2013 #33
DFW Jun 2013 #36
Locut0s Jun 2013 #34
Locut0s Jun 2013 #35
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #38
Locut0s Jun 2013 #41
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2013 #46
Locut0s Jun 2013 #39
Tobin S. Jun 2013 #40
Locut0s Jun 2013 #42
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #43
Locut0s Jun 2013 #44
Locut0s Jun 2013 #45
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2013 #47
Locut0s Jun 2013 #49
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2013 #51
AnneD Jun 2013 #50

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:53 AM

1. Sounds wonderful.......have a blast!

I hope you'll be there a nice long time...

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:00 AM

3. More short but sweet hopefully...

7-8 days depending on how you count the first/last days.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:56 AM

2. get yourself some rest tonight

sounds like you have a lovely trip planned, my family also prefers looser plans, it's a lot less stressful.

i'm sure you're beat, but how are you feeling otherwise?

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Response to fizzgig (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:04 AM

5. So far pretty good...

Because of the lack of sleep I'm in that dream state, zombie zone where everything seems a but unreal. Kind of like you are walking through a hyper real dream. I'm sure you've had similar experiences with lack of sleep.

Otherwise things are going well. Don't want to get too optimistic but things could go great.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:03 AM

4. My only suggestion

 

have a great time.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:05 AM

6. I thank yee. nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:07 AM

7. I sugest that you don't pee in the pool this trip .

no have a great time and please take a nap on the beach with proper sun protection .

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:17 AM

8. My only suggestion is to post pix if you can!

And take plenty so you can remember during those less exciting days on the mainland. I also echo the other suggestions, just have a wonderful time, do what you want, sounds like an awesome trip to me! I also want to second the reminder to use sunscreen. I was in Myrtle Beach last month and got so burned that it was painful. Thanks for sharing your good time with us!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:29 AM

9. Will post pics when I get back...

Don't have a means to conveniently process my digital shots here, I might post a cell phone pic or two.Thanks for the well wishes!

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:35 AM

10. Great! We can also have that to look forward to!

I seem to remember that you're a terrific photographer!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:35 AM

11. Quit talking to us

 

and enjoy yourself....

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:37 AM

12. My brother took a submarine ride but

that must have been in Maui.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:51 AM

14. Yes, Maui has the sub ride.

That was cool. I thought I might "freak out" under water but I kept calm.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 03:22 AM

15. I used to love being underwater. Everything is

so 3D. Don‘t know if I could tolerate it at all right now.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:50 AM

13. A few suggestions

Last edited Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:35 PM - Edit history (2)

There is a farmer's market in Hanalei and possibly other places (there used to be one in Waimea but I think that is gone). You could find out days and locations and hopefully get some good produce.

If you want a nice ocean front dining experience (and maybe someone else picks up the check!), the Beach House in Poipu is very nice.

Check out Waimea Plantation Cottages. They have a restaurant on site and a wide porch where you can sit with a drink and watch the sunset. Stroll the beautiful grounds -- you'll feel you've stepped back into Old Hawaii well, a cleaned-up version -- this is an old sugarcane plantation and they converted workers' cottages to guest houses. It's extremely charming without being "too much." It's not far from the entrance to Waimea Canyon, so you could stop before/after you go there. http://www.waimea-plantation.com/

There is usually very good snorkeling at Anini Beach (northeast coast). Very beautiful beach with large trees right on the water. There are many sea turtles here.

Hanapepe (southwest coast) has an art district and there are gallery events on certain nights.

Edited to add:

Koloa (on the way to Poipu) is a charming little town with nice colonial architecture and cute shops/eateries.

There's a zipline place outside of Lihue and also one up in Princeville, I believe, if you're feeling adventurous.

Also, if you're in Poipu you can wade a few feet into the shallow water in front of the Sheraton (I think it's the Sheraton -- it's the hotel to the left of Kiahuna Plantation if you're facing the ocean). Stick your head in the water with a face mask and you will see fish. Easiest snorkeling ever.

Also, you are not far from Wailua Falls (the "Fantasy Island" waterfalls). It's an easy drive/very accessible waterfall (at least to see the top of the falls; to see it from the bottom you need to hike or kayak). I looked up directions: Driving north on Hwy 56 from Lihu'e, look for the State Hwy 583 (Ma'alo Road) turnoff just north of the one-mile post on the mauka (mountain) side of the road. Turn left and follow Hwy 583 (a recently improved two-lane road) north about four miles until it dead ends at the Wailua Falls car park.

Enjoy.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 04:38 AM

17. Hi Arugula! You have some great suggestions.. when were

here?

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Response to Cha (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 02:02 PM

20. Hi Cha!

We've been a half dozen times over the past decade. I have a generous family member who likes to subsidize reunions on the Garden Island. I don't know when we'll get back, though, due to all sorts of busy-lives conflicts...Glad you are liking your life in paradise!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 04:36 AM

16. Aloha Locut0s.. I'm here on Kaua'i now... been back

living here since Oct 2010.

I'm in Kapaa since Feb 2012.. and there's a Nice Farmer's Market here tomorrow by Skate Part at 3pm! Produce is a lot cheaper and fresher than the super markets. You're in Lihue so Times Grocery Store might be the one for you to go to.. not too bad and it's the biggest and the best as far as super markets go. It's in Kukui Grove shopping Center.

I'll enjoy reading your "blog" on Kaua'i! have you seen the "101 things to Do on Kaua'i"? it's in the stands around the shops and markets. It's really full of great information!

We're having awesome weather for you and you family now! Waimea Canyon is good.. all around the Island really is just gorgeous!

Have fun!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 05:10 AM

18. Maybe a vacation is just what you needed.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 06:46 AM

19. I divide my vacation planning into 4 categories:

1. Things I absolutely have to do (things/places that are really high up on my lists of interests)
2. Things I have absolutely no desire to do
3. Things I will do if I have time to do them but not a big deal if I don't around to it
4. The great unknown -the things I had not heard about or didn't know about but boy does that look/sound like fun!

Of course Category 4 always produces the most fun and can often send me off towards a totally different direction.

I hope you have a great time. If you have a chance to pick up some Kona coffee ice cream do so. It is the best coffee ice cream that I have ever had.

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Response to avebury (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 01:53 PM

48. Kaua'i has its own brand of coffee.

Not as expensive as Kona, especially, I would imagine, on Kaua'i itself.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 01:17 AM

21. Second day...

Last edited Thu Jun 6, 2013, 02:49 AM - Edit history (1)

Went out to do some light snorkeling at Lyndgate park. Ate lunch at Bubba's Burgers did some shopping and walking around. Took some pics. Just had dinner. Going to go have a swim in the hotel pool. Light but fun day. My mother is impossible to deal with as always but I'm getting better dealing with that. Planning on a river kayak trip. We pushed our catamaran trip to Sunday because of weather. Very nice weather but the sad thing is it's windy and the surf is pounding. Fantastic if you like surfing, horrible if you like snorkeling as it turns visibility to zero. Hope that aspect improves. Got a good book on the go, The Orphan Master's Son. I have something of a ritual of starting a good book on holidays.

BTW what's with the roosters and chickens all over the island. They are as common as crows and pigeons back home, Lol. Funny to see them walking wild all over the place

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:09 PM

27. I think that started when the hurricane (Iniki) blew a lot of chickens out of their coops

Talk about "free range"!

They have taken over the island. I can't help but wonder what it is doing to the ecosystem there.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #27)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 01:49 AM

31. Lol. I heard something about a hurricane, but didn't catch all of it. Thanks...

Indeed Hawaii has been one story after another of ecological disaster induced by introduced species. The original flora and fauna of the islands was quite different. You aren't kidding about free range, they are numerous even in more remote areas and on forest trails.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #31)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 09:47 PM

37. Yes. There is very, very little "native" vegetation there.

Even the iconic hibiscus and plumeria blossoms are non-native. Plumerias are from India and hibiscus are from East Asia.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:48 AM

22. Third day...

Started off with lunch at a local burger shack, better than Bubba's IMO. Drove down to Poipu where we searched for the head of the Maha'ulepu trail along the beach. Took a while to find it down a dusty bumpy dirt road. The trail was more than worth it though, some of the most amazing coastal scenery I've ever seen. There were a few places along the Kona coast that were similar but this edges even that out IMHO. Got lots of shots here. Paradise indeed! Afterwords we went for a swim at Poipu beach. Still too much surf to snorkel but the waves are wonderful in their own right and the water is beautiful. I caught a clumps of a medium sized sea turtle pop its head up near me! I've seen these guys before and it's always a wonderful treat if even for a second. They must be some of the sea's mellowest creatures They have this comical air about them that always makes one smile. We dropped by the National Tropical Botanical Gardens for a quick walk but it was too late in the day to go anywhere, may be back for a tour later. Back home now after dinner and some shopping. Might visit the hotel pool for a quick dip.

Here's a rooster standing on one foot to make up for the lack of pics These guys are every fucking where.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #22)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:54 AM

23. Sounds like a wonderful time for all of you, my dear Locut0s!

Relaxed and doing what you feel like...

I love the rooster!

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #22)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:56 AM

24. Stayed at Poipu with family about 50 years ago,

trip was high school graduation gift, and think of it as my favorite beach place ever! I'm sure it looks different now, as was not developed but for our small hotel. Happy to hear its still beautiful.

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Response to elleng (Reply #24)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:05 AM

25. Yes it's beautiful but the area is now fairly developed...

At least if your memory is of it not being developed. I'm sure 50 years ago it was amazing. The trail along the coast is still fucking stunning!!! The main Poipu beach is still very nice but a bit crowded. The whole area along that piece of coast however has become a rich man's drive. Expensive hotels and houses. A PGA tour golf course is right there too with a sign out front showing Tigger took the course 3 or 4 times in the 90s.

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Response to elleng (Reply #24)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:11 PM

28. I was there in the late 70s.

In my memory Poipu was very sleepy. Now there are many glitzy malls and such.

I remember there was only one traffic light on the entire island of Kauai.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #28)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:16 PM

29. Sorry I don't recall the traffic light(s,)

but the beach was certainly sleepy in 1962!

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 01:50 AM

32. Yeah Poipu is now a rich and ritzy area :( nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:00 PM

26. Suck up the expense and TAKE THE HELICOPTER RIDE!!!!!

Zipping long the top of the Waimea Canyon is spectacular in itself, but when when you go over the top at the edge and down the side, that's when your eyes start popping out of their sockets. The Na Pali Coast is a sight like no other. Think the movie Water World at the closing scene. However many shades of blue you thought there were, you will see about twenty of them you didn't know existed. You'll be saying "mahalo" afterward that you did it.

IF the water calms down a little, the beach at Poipu has some fine snorkeling indeed. And yes, watch out for the chickens, but at least bask in the confidence that any meals you get with chicken are DEFINITELY "free-range!" LOL

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Response to DFW (Reply #26)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 05:43 PM

30. +100!

Soooo worth it!

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Response to DFW (Reply #26)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 01:56 AM

33. Thank you. I'll see if I can squeeze it in but no promises. But...

I know what you mean about the Na Pali Coast. We drove up the Wimea canyon today to the last 2 lookouts that look down into the canyons of the Na Pali coast. I know exactly what you mean about the water colour. Stunning!

Did some snorkeling at Poipu today and saw some fish but it was still kinda rough. I think I've been spoil led after snorkeling in Belize and at Captain Cook point on the Big Island though We will see if tunnels beach is better.

Tomorrow we take a chartered catamaran trip up the Na Pali Coast for snorkeling.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #33)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 03:51 AM

36. We didn't have a lot of time on Kaua'i, but the Big Island....

My younger daughter went to school for two years on the Big Island. Her roommate was from South Kona, and so when we visited there, we were shown around by people who knew the island well. We took the night hike across the lava fields to the erupting volcano, did the night dive to play with the manta rays, etc. etc. The snorkeling off of Waikoloa was nothing short of spectacular.

I've heard (from none other than Howard Dean) that Belize is rather cool, too, but it's a pain in the ass to get to from the Rheinland. For that matter, Hawai'i is exactly halfway around the world for us. Twelve time zones! Go any farther, and you start to come back towards Europe from the other direction.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 02:16 AM

34. Fourth day (with some bad camera phone panoramas)...

Started today with a McDonald's. Breakfast, Lol I know, but it's cheap and fast. We woke up extra early to drive to Wimea Canyon. Took about 45 mins to get to Wimea, at which point you turn off into the countryside along a long windy road. The road snakes up for about 30 mins before you start to see some glimpses of the Canyon. We stopped at all the lookout points along the way. This truly is an astounding scene. I've never been to the Grand Canyon but I can still see why the comparison is made.

From the first lookout point we took a rather grueling 2 mileish hike into the canyon. This was my idea and it turned out very well but god dam am I out of shape Lol, I knew I was but this really pushed it home. Anyway some spectacular views along the way again.

The last 2 lookouts on the road don't look out onto Wimea Canyon, instead they look down the Canyon's of the Na Pali Coast down to the azure coloured sea. This was actually even more spectacular than Wimea Canyon!! Amazing views and well worth it.

On the way back we stopped for lunch at a Taco place in Wimea, had an excellent pulled pork burrito. Then after wandering around the town a bit we drove back to Poipu where we did some snorkeling. This time I did see some fish, angels and a bunch of others. But again the tide is not the best and I think I've been spoiled from snorkeling in Belize and at Captain Cook point on the Big Island But it was still worth it.

Had some annoying issues with my parents again, we always have difficulties on vacations, they feed into my depression and self hate issues. But anyway this has still turned out to be the best day yet! Tomorrow we go on a chartered catamaran trip up the Na Pali Coast to do some snorkeling.

Here are some kind of crappy cell phone panoramas that I took while up at Wimea Canyon. The. bluring is due to the software trying to stitch together pictures that are too different.






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Response to Locut0s (Reply #34)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 03:43 AM

35. Note don't feed the roosters...

Unless you have a lot of food. Lol. I saw one in a Wimea lookout parking lot begging me for food. So I throw him some crumbs. Before I k new it in raced 10 others from nowhere.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #34)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 10:06 PM

38. Your panoramas look great to me! Beautiful scenery...

Sorry about your parents...

But I'm glad you're generally having fun. Hawaii is so beautiful!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 10:37 PM

41. Why thank you Peggy! Beautiful indeed...

You know a place is beautiful when you know just what to expect and it STILL manages to bowl you over. I'm getting a little too much sun and today was kind of a 1/2 disaster as you can see below, Lol. But there's still a few more days left and other stuff I want to do. We have a river kayak planned and I still NEED to get in one good snorkel expedience.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #34)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 02:59 AM

46. OMG! Not "crappy" at all!

These are spectacular! Thanks for sharing!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 10:08 PM

39. Fifth day - Disaster at sea...

Woke up extra early, about 5 am, to get to the chartered catamaran tour on time. After the usual paperwork we set sail and quickly saw spinner dolphins and sea turtles. It was a bumpy ride due to wind but otherwise we had excellent weather. The trip up the Na Pali Coast truly is something else to behold. You look up these jagged green valleys thousands of feet high that slope down the the azure blue sea.

After reaching the end of the coast the boat turned around and started to head back. On the way back we were scheduled to do snorkeling and a beach lunch. However there was a teenage company trainee aboard who got sea sick and wasn't feeling well at this time. We all thought it was just motion sickness but he started to go downhill quickly and it became apparent to the crew that something was wrong with him. Luckily one of the passengers was a DR and another was a nurse. They asked if someone had a blood glucose meeter with them, I couldn't tell if anyone managed to vet him one. As time went on he became more and more delirious and it became apparent we had to rush him back to shore. He was incoherent and making odd arm gesticulations and sounds. It seemed at first people thought he was in diabetic shock, no one knew if he had diabetes though. As time went on though I heard the crew and a number of others say that it seemed like he had taken some drugs and was having a bad trip. I'm no expert but it seems like a rather strange time to drop acid or the like, when you are on the job as a trainee deck hand. On the other hand the way he was acting DID strike me as more trip like. He was brushing his hands around his face all the time as if to ward off stuff and making odd noises. Apparently even the DR thought it was drugs. Anyway we managed to transfer him to a small boat that met us 1/2 way and they rushed him to shore. Last I heard he was stable in the ambulance. Hope he's OK. Only annoying thing was that about 1/2 the tour activities were canceled and we were not offered a refund. We went to the office to see if they might do something for us.

I'm of 2 minds about this. If the kid had some kind of non self induced medical emergency then I have little issue with the way things went down. If on the other hand it's as the crew and DR was saying that he was tripping on something then that makes me mad. The kid is endangering his life and the lives of those on board PLUS ruining a trip we all paid for. In this case I think we all deserve a full refund.

Few other passengers seemed to care much one way or the other though which seems odd to me. The rest of the crew was still very nice but they made few concessions to either refund us, extend the trip or offer anything extra.

Anyway we are back at the hotel resting as we got too much sun. We may do something else later. It wasn't a total disaster as the coastal scenery was spectacular. But this WAS booked as a scenery AND snorkel tour.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 10:25 PM

40. Welcome aboard the yellow submarine!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:37 AM

42. Sixth day - snorkeling success!

Went up to tunnels beach on the north side of the island to do some snorkeling today. Walked around the town of Hanalei first and had lunch. The north side is the wet side and it shows in the flora which is more tropical and lush. You drive down a hillside into a great wonderful valley to get to Hanalei. The view is just stunning, reminds me of a landscape from a fantasy novel or something. Tunnels Beach itself is near the end of the road on the north side. The road narrows to a small rural two lane street with a bunch of single lane bridges. You then happen upon a shear lava cliff face covered in viney roots. Here a fantastic beach reaches right up to the cliff. Parking was a real pain to find as the only parking is a small dirt lot for about 20 cars and other parking along the small road. Hopefully they don't develop it and add a parking lot though as that would ruin it.

Tunnels is another one of those fantastic sandy Kauai beaches that stretches forever. However it has a reef off shore and an amazing cliff face / mountain rises up right from the base of the beach, cloved in rain forest. The snorkeling itself was just what I had been waiting for on this trip. Lots of brilliant fishes, angels, yellow tang and all manner of others. Though not in the large schools we saw in Belize. The highlight of the trip was that I got to see and swim with sea turtles. I saw a total of five or six of them. They are so unafraid of humans that you can easily swim right behind them while they munch on the coral and just all around mellow out. I was close enough I touched their shells a few times. Absolutely fantastic!!

After snorkeling for several hours, too much sun again Lol, we headed back tired but satisfied. On the way back we stopped at a lookout point to see a historic lighthouse at Kilauea point. It's one of those lighthouses sitting out on a prominence jutting into the sea, quite spectacular. It's also situated next to a bird sanctuary so we saw a lot of Red Footed Boobies nesting in the near by trees.

All in all one of the more successful days here Hope tomorrows river Kayak goes well, knock on wood.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:48 AM

43. I'm so glad you had snoreling success!

And it sounds wonderful. The clear water full of living creatures, absolutely unafraid of you...

Wow.

Hopefully there will be pictures......of the lighthouse, and whatever else.

Good luck tomorrow!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #43)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:59 AM

44. Thanks Peggy. Indeed I plan on posting pics...

I'm going to upload them in bulk to flickr. Hopefully some of the ones I like the best now turn out as good as they look. Sometimes it's hard to tell the quality of a shot on the small camera LCD.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 02:35 AM

45. Seventh day - Jungle trek...

Last edited Tue Jun 11, 2013, 03:09 AM - Edit history (1)

Today was our kayaking adventure. Booked through a local kayak tour place in Kapa'a, it took us about 20 mins to drive to the location. Once there we met up with our tour guide and fellow kayakers. After the inevitable safety talk it was a ~2 mile kayak up the Wailua river. The river is fringed with flowering trees growing right down into the water, giving the feeling that you are kayaking in a mangrove forest. The river narrowed to a small stream at which point we stopped and beached our kayaks on a rocky bank. From here we hiked about 1.5 miles along a jungle trail. This reminded me of scenes from the Amazon jungle. At the end of the hike lay Secret Falls, a 120 foot water fall enclosed by tall rocky cliffs that plunges into a small pool. Ever see those overly romantic, sappy ads for tropical vacations showing a supermodel couple bathing in a pool by a waterfall? This is JUST like that, well, minus the supermodel We got to swim up to the base of the falls and "shower" under it. The force of the water falling from that height is quite something, it feels like being hit with a fire hose. Wonderful experience. The trip back was quite tiring as we had to paddle against the wind, but the experience was more than worth the effort. Tomorrow is our last day and largely unplanned at this point.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #45)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 03:03 AM

47. What an experience, marvelous description!

I went kayaking for the first time last summer with my childhood friend who used to teach canoeing and kayaking. It was a whole lot easier than I imagined and hope to do it again this year. We were on Lake Champlain (Vermont) and it was a lot of fun, but we saw nothing like you did. What an adventure and it sounds totally amazing!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 03:17 AM

49. Eighth and final day - botanical gardens...

Today was our last day on Kauai. In the morning we started out with a drive down out Poipu way to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. We took the self guided tour as we prefer to go at our own pace. Even the unguided tour starts out with a guided shuttle ride out to the gardens though. The driver was a very knowledgeable if somewhat shy guy who introduced us to the history of the gardens and many of the interesting plants along the way. The gardens themselves are dedicated to preserving and showcasing the botanical history of Kauai, from prehistory through the Polynesian settlement, and the eventual turmoil and horrible destruction wrought by the multiple introductions of foreign species by further settlers. Fully 99% of all plants on the island are introductions of some form. Most of the original native species have been out competed or driven to outright extinction. This goes for fauna as well as flora, though of course the gardens highlight the latter. There's some truly beautiful and really exotic stuff to see here. I thought I'd seen my share of flowers and plants in Asia and through TV, but some of these things I've never heard of, Cannonball Tree anyone? If you like pics of flowers and trees I've got more than a few I'll be posting After two hours of trekking around the grounds we finished up and left for lunch. After lunch we visited the Kauai coffee plantation, largest coffee field in the US. I'm not much of a coffee lover so the coffee tasting was largely lost on me. It all tastes like burnt bitter bark to me Lol. But they had a lot of varies to try and people seemed to be enjoying them. One cup of that bitter dreg was enough for me though. After our free caffeine infusion we headed for a small historic town which turned out to be mostly converted over to local art galleries. Some interesting photo opportunities here. Most of the galleries were closed for the evening so we just walked around. Next we headed for one of the few surviving plantation houses on the island for some local rum tasting. I didn't think I liked rum that much till I had a taste of some of the stuff they brewed here. Their black rum was particularly tasty with clearly defined tones of chocolate and coffee in it. I bought a small sample bottle. I was tempted to buy a full bottle but knew that I'd drink the thing in a day if I did that The plantation house itself was turned over to a restaurant and local art galleries. You could still see the amazing opulence people of wealth lived with at the turn of the last century though.

All and all this has been a wonderful vacation. One of most successful in recent memory and we have done a lot of traveling as a family. I'd love to come back to Hawaii again, perhaps yet a different island this time. I'm even entertaining some rather romantic and ridiculous ideas of trying to craft a life around moving to Hawaii or other tropical destination. I know it can be done if I have the resolve. Might even solve some of my more deeply rooted issues with depression and anxiety. Though it seems like a bit of a foolish pipe dream. Anyway tomorrow back to Vancouver. One of the first things I'll be doing is uploading my photos. I'm keen to see what I've got. You often don't know what you have till you see it on a big screen. I'll post a link to the whole batch and some of my favs.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #49)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 02:06 PM

51. You have really had a very special trip, my dear Locut0s!

I'm glad for you...

And I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Welcome home!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 01:36 PM

50. But ....

how much does Spam cost?

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