I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound, everybody look……

10 Jan

We’ve been on the move non-stop for over 5,000 Miles.  In two days we’ve been in three airports, flown two legs, rented two vehicles and stayed in 2 locations.  Today it’s time to stop moving, look around and get acclimated.

A 5 hour time difference is somewhat difficult.  We’re all up at 3am (which is 8am in NY).  In fact for most of us that’s sleeping late.  We’re in no hurry and kinda mosey over to making breakfast around 7am.  Ray has a conference call, as do I.

We watch the sunrise (mission:Hawaiian sunrise-check!), cook breakfast and just relax in the small front yard, taking in the water feature.

Sunrise in the yard

 

Kaua’i is the “garden island”, which has no relationship to the fact that my family resides in the “garden state”.   It is the northernmost island in the chain and the oldest.  It has a population of about 60,000 residents and significantly more chickens (and roosters).

Hawaii is a state full of invasive species.  During a hurricane in the past a chicken farm got ‘blown away’ and there are now feral fowl everywhere on Kaua’i.  They have no natural predators, the roosters are gorgeous and the chicklets are adorable.  Some roosters start crowing (is that the right word?) before the sun comes up.

 

Visitors’; They announced themselves!

 

Whether you’re going to ‘the beach’ on Long Island, or going ‘down the shore’ inb New Jersey, the concept is pretty much the same.  you gather all the things you need for a day of sand, sun and ocean, pack up the car and go spend the day.

How does one describe the beaches in Hawaii?  Unless you’re in the very limited Disney-esque areas with expensive resorts, you really can’t go swimming or boating.  This is impossible to explain or describe, after all, we’re going to the beach, right?   I found this out the first time I went there, when all the locals kept telling me, “don’t go in the water”.  The beaches are beautiful, The water clear and deep blue and both are difficult and treacherous.  The beautiful mild looking waves are at least 15 feet high, sometimes the white water from the deceivingly “small”  waves is 15 feet deep.  There are often volcanic reefs at the waters edge that require extra care and shoes to walk on.
For a people who are used to going to Fire Island, or the Jersey Shore this is pure culture shock.  I didn’t even try to explain it.  We decide to get a picnic lunch and to go to the north most beach at the end of the road.

A stop at Foodland for some Poke, Sandwiches and Korean chicken (for me) then  down some narrow twisty turns roads, a few one way bridges (each side has to wait for the other side to go, 5-7 cars is the local etiquette).  Some of the bridges are wood.   We stop at Hanalei Bay (the town) to check out some shops and buy some local macadamia nuts at The  Kauai Nut Roasters.  Hawaii is known for its extraordinary Macadamia Nuts and the Kauai Nut Roasters has all kinds of interesting flavors, and better yet, free samples!

 

 

We continue to make our way to the end of the road inside Ha’ena state park and find ke’e beach.

Ke’e beach. Notice all the fully clothed people in the shade watching the incredible surf!

 

The picnic gets set up, some toes are dipped in the water and I stand watch for whales.

picnic at ke'e.JPG

Setting up for the picnic, notice the waves in the background

 

IMG_3335.JPG

Modest Waves can be fatal

 

DSC_0018

Greetings from Ke’e Beach, Kaua’i Hawai’i

 

 

 

P1030339.JPG

taking refuge in the shade

 

izzy at ke'e

Izzy up ‘the shore’

 

 

 

Just to the West of Ke’e beach is the Napali Coast.  This is where “South Pacific” and “Jurassic Park” were filmed.   it is beautiful, rugged and impassible, No roads.  the only way to see it is by boat, by helicopter or hiking in.  This is the view everytime we leave the condo.  It doesn’t get old.

 

napali-coast

The Trail Head for the hike is at Ke’e Beach.  There are a number of hikes that go from 1/4 mile (which I did with ‘M’) to overnight hikes which need permits.  Everything is either sharp volcanic rock, red clay, or red slimy mud (the napali coast has the most rainfall of anyplace on earth).

There are stories about parts of the hike where one has to crawl on ones belly across the red mud with a sheer cliff going up on one side, and a sheer cliff dropping off to the surf below on the right side.  When “M” and I went in just 1/4 mile it was sufficiently difficult and hazardous that I have no desire to go onwards.

 

IMG_3543

Hazardous Cliffs, Flash Floods, Falling Rocks, nutcases in bare feet!

 

 

The trail head gives ample warning  and just past these signs is what appears to be a volcanic stone wall.  Having climbed it once, I had no desire to do it again, but Amity and Paul braved it for a ways.  This was the place that ensured I brought hiking sticks for my sister and me.  We were glad we had them.

 

You see a range of people exiting the trailhead from barefoot hippes that scamper up the rocks and out of sight in seconds to fully equipped pro-hikers with boots, walking sticks and big backpacks.  And yes, you see more than a few people covered head to toe in red clay mud.  I’m sure they had the time of their life.

We go back to the condo and relax.  Everyone disappeared and i’m sitting working on this blog.  I am concerned, everybody has been saying the whales are late this year, and I consider it unusual that I haven’t spotted one yet.  i’m concerned the wildlife part of the trip (which is one of the many missions) will be a bust.

my eye catches something off the front yard.  Channeling Ahab I jump up and yell “WHALES – GET OUT HERE” and run out the door.  Ray and Laura come running out too, and what do we see but a pod of about 200 whales frolicking less than a mile in front of us.  Whales everywhere!

We just stand there mouths agape with broad smiles.  The whales are checking in to their winter retreat, and we have the privilege of witnessing it.  Mission:Whales – Check!

I have no pictures of this as we all forgot to bring the cameras, but will be more, more of everything.

We go back to Hanalei Bay for dinner at Dolphin.  another excellent meal.  Our first day in Kaua’i done.

 

 

REFERENCES:

Title – Buffalo Springfield – “For what it’s worth”

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: