Hawai’i – 2011 – Day 4

Today started off early as we decided to do a combination tour package that had three legs to it; the first part was actually not one of the three legs, more like filler. We toured some of the local swimming, surfing and eating places.

We were accompanied by six other people on our travels today; a mother, her two daughters and son-in-law and another couple. The tour was to start us off with a short van tour for about an hour that was to give us some of the local hot-spots for swimming, surfing and eating.

Steve, our guide for the van portion of the trip was pretty good, he knew lots about the stars (Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith, Ben Stiller, Bette Midler to name a few) that live or were born in Kauai’i and most of the scuttle-butt to go with. He also knew where to get ripe avocado that had recently fallen off the tree. We actually found four of them, all were perfectly good to eat. He was also good at  keeping people interested and engaged in the conversation regardless of who initiated what question or who Steve was initially talking with. This went on for little more than an hour while we were given the names of local flora and fauna. We also learned the story about hos the chicken came to be on the islands.

The first leg had us doing a boat ride up river to the Fern Grotto and the second leg of our journey was a plane ride over the island followed up with a trip to a lighthouse.

The boat trip to the Fern Grotto was peaceful and pleasant and was livened up with several hula dances. They even had all of us “Howlies” get up and join in. Sadly Jess took a couple of pictures of me doing this. There is a reason I do not dance. Fortunately she didn’t record it in movie format. 🙂

Once at the Grotto we were told the story of how it had been used for decades as a special place to get married at. The Grotto is essentially a small semicircle cliff side that has a natural cave mouth opening at the bottom.  Originally it had been a swamp or marsh but the water that fed most of the vegetation in the area had been diverted for the sugarcane fields.

After we heard all of this the tour guides sang the traditional Hawaiian wedding song. The song was beautiful and moving. It now appears that Jess and I have been married again. This seemed like the longest portion of the trip. I think this was because we struck up a conversation with another couple. We talked about travel and where each of us had been and where we wanted to go and where we lived.

The second leg was a flight in a fixed-wing single-engine plane. This vehicle could hold six people plus the pilot. I was a little nervous since I had not been in a plane as small as this before and have been experiencing a little anxiety while flying in general. After all was said and done this was a an experience everyone should experience.

We flew over the island several times and were able to see the rainiest spot on the earth. With more than 400+ inches of rain each year in the central part of Kauai’i. All I can say is awesome!

One of the valley's as seen from our tiny plain over the center of Kauai'i.

The final leg of the trip was back in the van where we headed to the Kilauea Lighthouse. Before heading out we did stop for a lunch at the Kountry Kitchen. We were told this was a great place that had good portions that wouldn’t break the bank. Steve our guide was right again and hit a home run with the choice of eatery.

After eating we headed up to the lighthouse which had been decommissioned many years before because of the advances in technology that have rendered them obsolete except for tourist attractions. As we were at the lighthouse we did see some albatross  (the smallest of the species with a wing span of only seven feet – sadly I forget their name) as well as some ground nesting birds, again I forget the name.

The Kilauea Lighthouse

We finally made our way home where I am sure we indulged in a cocktail or two.

More to come…

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