I'm still working on getting the pictures posted in some sort of order but I think you can tell what's what.
Kauai: Our flight was smooth, it took a while to get the rental car and then we made a few wrong turns but finally made it to the Sheraton. It is beautiful here, buildings can not be taller than the palm trees so everything is 4 stories or under. Because the buildings are short, there are a lot of them in a complex here. We are in a building in the back, our balcony overlooks the “garden” pool. There is another pool near the beach. There is a big construction project going on so the main restaurant is closed, we got settled, had a snack at the beach bar and relaxed for a while. Next morning we scheduled our tours and set off to explore the local shopping center. There is a store that sells clothing and bedding made from bamboo. There is a ban on plastic shopping bags here, recycling bins everywhere as well as solar panels. 90% of the island is still undeveloped and they work to keep it natural. We had Puka dogs for lunch, I saw Bordain eat one while he was here so had to try it. Pretty good, it’s a smoked sausage but they add all types of tropical sauces. After shopping we took a little ride to a town called Ele Ele, on the western side of the island. I wanted to go to the Red Dirt Shirt factory, my man Mike Rowe was there and I wanted to see it for myself. Later, my cousin Betsy and her husband Gary took us to a Bubba Burger for dinner. So much for healthy eating in Hawaii.
Next morning we had the breakfast buffet at our hotel. It’s in a lovely open air room, we saw a strange black bird sitting on the roof, looking at the koi in the pond. The waitress said it was a black crane, they watch and if you throw bread in for the koi, they swoop down and get one. All god’s children gotta eat. After breakfast it was time for our helicopter ride. WOW. This place is cool from the ground but seeing it from the air was spectacular. They fly around the coast line and then through the interior and into the Waimea canyon. There is an area here that gets the world’s 2nd most rainfall annually, so there are huge areas of rainforest. All sorts of movies have been shot here including Descendants and the last Pirates of the Caribbean. After the helicopter ride we spent the day around the pool. The pace of life is much slower here and it’s nice once you get used to it.
Today we went on a tour up the east side of the island. There’s a spot called Spouting Horn where the lava formed a fistula that creates a water spout when the waves come in. There’s also a hissing noise and the Hawaiians used to believe there was a giant lizard underground. The place we stopped had quite a few wild chickens, their ancestors got loose during the 1992 hurricane and now they are all over the island. They eat the insects and the stupid roosters crow all day. We saw several groups of mamas with babies, one had 10 chicks. We then headed out to the Waimea Canyon lookout. Getting up the mountain requires negotiating steep inclines and many switchbacks. But the view is fantastic. This evening we had dinner with Betsy and Gary at the Plantation Gardens. When it was a plantation the owner’s wife planted orchids, cacti, and various types of bromeliads. It was all so lush and beautiful.
I’m off to dive in the morning. The picture of the hotel towel made in Pakistan is for Joe.