17.09.2012 - 17.09.2012 30 °C
It was a rather late start today and a bit of a debacle at breakfast didn’t help – we had breakfast included in our stay but nobody could find that bit of the reservation – after much stuffing around we had about 5 minutes to select what we wanted from the buffet before it was packed up for the day……..but the breakfast was good – lots of fresh fruit, fantastic fresh guava juice, pancakes etc
Our first stop was up to Wailua Falls which is one of the most accessible falls on the island – it was another winding road up the mountain and lots of chickens beside the road – yes, chickens – the island is full of chickens – they breed everywhere and just run wild on the island – there were a few in Molokai but nowhere near the proportions on Kauai – apparently there were only 2 animals on the island of Kauai when the Polynesians settled – a type of owl and seals – the rest of the animals have all been introduced.
So here were are driving along and suddenly the road ends and there are the falls on your right hand side – no warning – it’s just there – so we park the car, take a few photos and are blessed by the local basket weaver – he says the same thing to everyone who stops – “may god bless you” - if you engage him in any way – he starts asking you if you’ve read the bible lately at which point you hurry back to your car to avoid any further entanglements…….its an excellent form of traffic control.
After the falls we headed north up to the Fern Grotto which is supposed to be one of Kauai’s signature attractions – it’s accessible only by a short boat trip up the Wailua River – we were in luck – only had to wait 15 minutes before the next boat ride – on the boat ride you are entertained by the worst ever Hawaiian singers on the planet – it was terrible – we didn’t realise how fortunate we were to hear the golden oldie group on Molokai until we heard this bunch – it was all falsetto and it was like cats having a fight on your boat – after 20 minutes of grimacing, we arrived at the destination – it was a short hike up through lush rainforest mainly consisting of ginger plants to a natural lava-rock grotto with hanging ferns and tropical foliage – in the middle of the grotto is a waterfall as well – unfortunately September is not the best time to visit the grotto – its boiling hot on the platform, you had to listen to more singing (apparently a Hawaiian marriage song – who could tell when all you wished for was ear plugs) and the foliage was not as lush as you were led to believe due to a drought – but nevertheless it was rather dramatic………on the way back we were relieved of the Hawaiian singers (thank god) and were instead given a history of the grove and the surroundings. At the end of the trip they tried to entice you to a luau – at that point Helen and I promptly ran away with deranged thoughts in our heads of more bad singing……
By now we were pretty hungry so we headed up to Kapaa (Kap-a-a) – a local town that is famous for its eclectic shops – they certainly were eclectic – ranging from downright trashy to some unfortunate “art” shops – just what I always wanted – a giant glass squid – it would look fantastic sitting on my coffee table back at home……..not to mention the freight to get that thing home………but there were some nice shops as well - Helen picked up a great hemp travel bag and there was another shop that sold organic bamboo wares which had some interesting things in it – we were waylaid at the organic cream place by the owner that wouldn’t stop talking about his products and wouldn’t let us smell anything unless he had opened the tester bottle himself – I ended up leaving Helen to talk to him while I surreptitiously opened all the bottles myself…………..In Kapaa I had one of the best wraps ever – a fresh local Hawaiian fish (seemed like tuna to me), marinated and seared with a spicy sauce and brown rice wrapped in an organic (you are getting the theme to this place?) spinach tortilla……..
On the way back we headed to the supermarket where I was nearly thrown out for antagonising the local shoppers – we were all standing in line for the self service check out when a lady pushed in front of us – I called out to her advising her of the end of the line – she decided that she wanted to have words with me – I just let her rave on until the checkout became free and moved in while she was distracted. But she kept going on at me all through the checkout procedure so I went really slowly to annoy her further – finally she ran out of steam and left disgusted………………..
Back at the hotel we went for a swim in one of the many pools and Helen worked till late sorting out a client………