Kauai – Part 1

We just returned from an 11-day trip to Kauai. Which, it turns out, Kauai is Paradise. My i-Phone holds the proof with the nearly 1000 photos I took. Don’t ask me why. I started taking photos and then couldn’t stop. Do you want to see all thousand of them? No? Maybe see a few photos (or maybe a lot of photos) along with a little narrative of our trip? Absolutely not? YES????

It’s Thursday afternoon, Jan 19, and we have just arrived at my sister Steph and her husband Victor’s new home in Princeville, Kauai –

That’s my hubby, David, and my younger brother, Eric (alias “Cuddles”) walking up the driveway.

Eric sweetened our welcome with some housewarming gifts for Steph and Vic:

Hahahaha. (We made a beer run immediately.)

And…

Provident. But where would you hang this sign? Above the potted hibiscus?

Here’s their back patio ocean view-

They have a mountain view too…

and a pool. I shot these photos with my i-Phone to send to my friend, Rene, back home – to make her seethe with envy.

Next day’s breakfast is served on the patio…

Oh and by the way, the red hairy fruit is called ‘rambutan’

You bite it open and out pops the fruit

and the green balls on the plate are ‘longon’

They are also a fruit. Both fruits, free of their shells, look and taste a bit like the innards of grapes.

Eric is happy.

You think he’s looking at the camera but really his eyes are on the steak. (Hey, why is half of it already missing?)

After breakfast it’s a walk to the beach.

Are all those extra roots really necessary?

Or are those attached splayed spindley things extra trunks?

That tree’s a monster

You suppose this beach is haunted?

Steph and Vic, you are standing there all nonchalant in full vacation mode,

all relaxed and smiley-faced and having fun when maybe you should scramble out from under those morphed mutant tree limbs with roots gone wild (or are they tentacles?). Maybe you oughta be all wary and creeped out lest those limbs…hey, wait a minute, didn’t I say we were in Paradise?

Eric, did something fall out of your pants?

Oh, never mind. It’s a sea cucumber. The motion you see in this picture is about as much motion as you get from these delicate sea creatures (delicacy in China, anyway). Except when you pull them out of the water they squirt sea water at you out of their mouths, or is it their butts(?), since both ends look identical to the untrained eye.

Eric spent much of his spare time poring over the Kauai travel book for trails and other such natural phenomena we could explore. He was the youngest of the bunch, and clearly in his element in the wilds, a mountain goat by mental and physical nature. We are not. We warned him against setting us off on trail hikes that turn into potential death marches. We made SURE to calculate the total distance of each hike – which, for example, if it’s 8 miles to the destination (hidden waterfall or something) and the route description does not contain the word ‘loop’ then it’s a 16-mile hike.

Anyway, I caught Eric with this sign:

NO!!! Stop it, Eric. Although there probably are 75 miles of hikes on this island, we AREN’T doing them all.

We did do the Okolehao Trail, along the Hanalei River. I know this because I took a photo of the sign

affixed to the bridge at the trailhead.

Pronounce it with me! O-koe-Lee-Hay-O. (Maybe. I do know that in Hawaiian you pronounce every vowel and you hear an awful lot of LONG vowel sounds.) Now try to remember the name of it.

The trail was a ten-minute drive from the house. Here is a photo I took on the hike up to the summit

Here’s the summit (well, in my book.)

David and Eric had long since charged ahead, onward, and probably upward, but still caught up with us on the way back.

Steph and Vic at the ‘summit’

That evening we took in the sunset at Ke’e Beach.

Here the sun was behind the clouds. But then it dropped into clear sky below the clouds

and very quickly dropped away.

One day (was it Monday?) we drove to Waimea Canyon

“The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”

It was awesome. I captured a picture of Eric overlooking the canyon.

The canyon view from this angle was still awesome. But what’s with Eric’s shirt? He turns to face and greet us and we have to look at Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out at us in every obnoxious color imaginable?

Then Eric hooked us up on this muddy scruffy hike that kept taking us down, down, down. “Where are we going Eric?”
“Uh, well the book says this hike ends with a view of the Pacific Ocean.” ….”Through the center of the Earth?” cuz the trail kept leading us steeply downward, over thick slippery roots, ruts, rocks, fern-like growth and crevices. It wasn’t, uh, particularly pretty, either.

This is us, hot-tailing it back to the trail head and in the direction of the ‘really awesome hike’ that Victor had suggested before Eric got his way with his hike.

But first. Hey, wait a minute. We’re starving. We stopped for lunch at the Kokee Lodge.

On the way back to the car we watched Eric, the Chicken Whisperer.

Uh, have I told you about the chickens? That they are ubiquitous in Kauai? Apparently got all swept away after Hurricane Iniki in 1992, – so they just run around and procreate in the wild. You are apt to hear a “Ur-a-ur-a-Urrr!” from about anywhere. And see them strutting and clucking out from everywhere.

Well, if I’m going to bed tonight I’d better sign off. Let’s see. Oh yes. I must still have about 800 photos to look over and consider posting as I finish my blog about Kauai. Aren’t you thrilled?

So, about Victor’s awesome hike …

To be continued….

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