Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kauai - Waterfalls and Psycho Bird

October 27

After a breakfast of eggs, toast, and papaya, off we went to explore the back country! There were some waterfalls we wanted to see, and those were each located on a different side road off the main drag (which, as you no doubt remember, is Highway 56). We were excited!

But there was a lot of road construction going on, and traffic was backed up. We were busy making sure we didn't rear-end anybody, so we missed the first two side roads (out of three). Not a bad start to our day, right? We decided to see the sights in reverse order. No problem. Still excited!

In Kapa'a, we drove up 581 and went the wrong way in the roundabout, which was okay. So, instead of being on Olohena Road, we were on Ka'apuni. Oh, sure. I can rattle off those Hawai'ian names like it's second nature now, but it was pretty confusing at the time. Anyway, nice vistas! Beautiful homes! Dead end. Backtrack. Then, instead of being on 581 and taking 580, we somehow were on the Kapa'a Bypass and ended up right back on 56! Sigh.

We were in Wailua, where...yay!...we found 580 and made our way up to Opaeka'a Falls. So pretty, with a nice view upriver from the overlook, as well. There's an authentic Hawai'ian village you can visit way down below, on the riverbank. There were a bunch of people kayaking on the Wailua River towards Fern Grotto, and there's also a boat cruise you can take up the river. But we didn't. Next time!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Oh! I should mention that on the way back down (or maybe it was on the way up?), there were ruins of an ancient Hawai'ian worship area, where the Kohuna studied the skies and made sacrifices and advised the chief. All of that was apparently abolished in the early 1800's, but the area is still considered sacred. Kohuna, by the way, means “priest.” Who knew? I thought it meant “head dude” or “chief.” But maybe the priest was the head dude, and not the chief?

Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Instead of turning back to the main road, we decided to keep driving past the waterfall to the forest preserve (as opposed to the arboretum we'd been told it was), where we decided, what the heck, let's go up one of these trails (on foot)! 

Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We were rewarded with grand vistas of jungle interior with flowers and wild fruit and lots of red dirt. I have to say, it was definitely worth the hike! I see where they get the “garden isle” thing. You would not want to be lost in there, with or without a machete. Seriously. But so, so wild and beautiful. This was at the end of Kuamo'o Road, Route 580.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We drove back to the main road, headed towards Lihue, and then we found the first side road we had intended to take that morning, Route 583, in Hanamaulu! We were so happy to find everything we were looking for, even if it was in reverse order. Anyway, at the end of this particular road, you will find the waterfall from Fantasy Island...or, at least, one very much like it. Wailua Falls. This is on Ma'alo Road.

Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
But I got ahead of myself again. On Kuhio Highway, across from McDonald's, a couple of blocks from Wal-Mart, we made the mistake of eating at a Chinese place instead of getting sandwiches at Subway. Harry and I ordered the seafood platter, which sounded delicious: Mahi, shrimp, scallops. I know, right? You might have ordered the same thing, and who could blame you?

Everything turned out to be breaded and fried to death. It was hard to find any actual seafood in the breading, which was tough as cardboard and just about as flavorful. I will say this, though: The rice and the macaroni salad were very good, and the Mahi was edible. Or, at least, comparatively so. Harry's sweet tea was sweetened with plain granulated sugar instead of syrup. Granulated sugar in cold liquid doesn't dissolve, so it was like drinking sand. Although, it was made with quite delicious oolong tea. Anyway, I'm sorry to say that I cannot recommend this place to you (and we subsequently discovered, to our horror, that there are several locations on the island). KCL. Three initials. In the same strip mall as Subway. Across from Mickey D's. Down the street from KFC. Any of which would probably have been better choices! I was going to post a picture of the place, but I just can't bring myself to look at it again. 

On the way back to Poipu, we stopped at the market in Koloa to pick up juices, salad fixings, and so on. But nobody was hungry for dinner. Please refer to the above for an explanation...

The sunset tonight looked as though it was gonna be a “dud” because the clouds were thick. But, just at the last minute, splendiferous, amazingly gorgeous, vibrant-color-spilling-across-the-sky beauty. I hope one of my 25? 30? 50? pictures captures the moment!
And it does!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Tomorrow, we are going on the catamaran to our Na'Pali Coast snorkeling adventure! We have to get up very early, and there's no alarm clock in the condo. What's up with that? There's also no phone or wake-up service. It's amazing the things you don't notice until you really need them! So, though I've not done this before, I've attempted to set the alarm on my cell phone (Yes, thank goodness, there is good cell phone coverage). Harry has done the same. I hope my alarm works. If it doesn't, I hope Harry's alarm works. We've already paid for this trip, so we cannot be late! And if you can sleep under these stressful circumstances, more power to you.

And speaking of sleeping, by the way, have I mentioned “psycho bird”? For the past two nights, this good-sized black bird with a white underside has been throwing itself against our window louvers from about 1:30 in the morning until about 4:30 in the morning, every 15 minutes or so. Just when you drift back to sleep, BAM! Flutter, flutter, flutter. Peck, peck, peck. Flutter. Peck. Flutter. Peck. BAM! Well, you get the picture. Today, we found the bird. It was hiding in the corner of the little lanai area outside our bedroom's sliding glass door, behind some greenery. Poor thing. It must be sick. There's no escaping from there for a sick bird, as there's a wall around it for privacy. It would have broken your heart to see it, and I repented of all the bad thoughts I'd had about it (Hey, when something disturbs your sleep in a meaningful way for two nights, you do have a tendency to have a negative reaction. Don't pretend otherwise). Karen and Harry have put it someplace where it can get away, get water, hide better, and so on. I hope it fares well.

I've heard so much about the Na'Pali Coast, and the drive to the overlook at the end of the canyon the other day was such a teaser. I am all expectation about tomorrow's adventure!

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