Greetings, world! Much catching up to do. We have left Kauai – we are now in the surreal shopping mecca that is Waikiki, Honolulu. We have a red-eye to San Francisco tomorrow night.
Trying to write a coherent post about our time on Kauai would be difficult. Two words apply: sensory overload. On one of our last days, we were hanging out on a lava outcrop at the beach, watching the waves thunder in, and my inner Park Ranger kicked in, so we warned a bunch of people off the rocks who did not realize the danger they would be in. We got to talking with a woman from Chicago about her time on Kauai, and she said she felt wasted – she couldn’t keep track of everything she had done, or what she did, when. We felt the same way.
We spent our last couple of days on Kauai hanging out on the North Shore, in and around Kilauea and Hanalei. We hung out at possibly the loveliest beach either of us had ever been to: Ke’e Beach, the end of the road, where the trail along the Na Pali coast starts.
As usual, we were warned about not swimming. Actually, that’s just the stash of signs the life guards use as conditions warrant. In our case, we were lucky: the seas were calm…
…meaning the coral reefs were doing their job, protects a swimming area from breaking waves. Kevin activated his inner hippopotamus, and bobbed up and down contentedly in the water, while I played with the Nikon and lusted over the trees fringing the beach. (At this point, Kevin would like to point out that he has killed fewer people than your average hippo.)
That’s the life guard station. Yeah, those roots….mmmm….
Trunk of the tripod tree. (My name for it. In a minute you’ll see why.)
I also stalked a rooster on the make through people’s abandoned towels and beach paraphernalia. Kauai is positively infested with wild chickens – liberated from their coops by a hurricane some years ago, they’ve never looked back. Kevin and I got into a running joke over it, exclaiming every time we encountered one in, say, a grocery store’s parking lot, “Oh hey! Look! A rooster! Wow!” Kevin is convinced there are really only two or three of them, who just move around a lot.
View of the Na Pali coast from about a half mile up the trail. The Kalalau Valley is some 10.5 miles in from here – that’s the one we hiked up to the headwall from the interior of the island at Waimea Canyon, several days ago. Feels like ages ago.
Kevin commandeered the Lumix, meaning that there now exist photographs of yours truly using the Nikon.
In our waning hours on Kauai, we also revisited Secret Beach. It’s flanked on one side by the Kilauea lighthouse, and on the other by Ben Stiller’s house. Ben: I’d love to housesit. Really. It would be no trouble.
We dared walk right along the water’s edge, and actually had a startling moment when a wave came out of nowhere and soaked me up to my knees. They reallllly aren’t kidding when they tell you to watch it in these waters. More experienced souls were out surfing and I amused myself filming them, but I can’t post any of those videos here because I am so astonished by their skill that many, many bad words came out of my mouth.
Oh, here’s one of those tripod trees I mentioned earlier.
As for plant life? Completely ludicrous.
Today, we visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and tomorrow we’re heading up to Oahu’s north shore. And then, the aforementioned red eye to SFO.