Hawaii Part Four - Kauai to Home

20th September, 1997
21st September, 1997
22nd September, 1997
23rd September, 1997

Saturday, 20th September, 1997

Drop Cap e left Hawaii this morning by the smaller Kona airport, which takes 747s but has no buildings to speak of - we were waiting out in the open. Aloha Airways does not allocate seats, it is first in first seated, so you wait in line. It is pretty much a bus service between the islands, none more than 20 minutes flight away.

Na Pali photograph

Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

Drop Cap e arrived in Kauai to find quite a lush tropical island - Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian group, consequently the lava has had time to break down into fertile soil and the scenery is green and flowerful. We arrived at the hotel, Hanalei Bay Resort in time to have lunch and change for our optional trip on the catamaran Kahanu. Much to our annoyance we found Mac's suitcase had been badly damaged en route, we reported it but don't know what can be done about it. Leave that until tomorrow.

Na Pali photograph

Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

Drop Cap he trip on the catamaran Kahanu was just great! We had been warned it would be wet so we checked out towels from the desk. It is a very powerful boat which held our 23 or so but no more. We motored gently out of the narrow channel to the sea and before taking off were lucky enough to see a large sea turtle taking a breath before plunging again.

Na Pali photograph

Na Pali Coastline Kauai

Drop Cap hen, they gunned the engine and we roared away! Curtains of water sprayed inboard, soaking me to the skin and blinding me, I finally had to move to the other side. Mac sat out front with Eli and Diane who were in swimsuits (Mac was in shorts) and also got soaked.

Na Pali photograph

Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

Drop Cap ut the scenery was worth it. We cruised along the Na Pali cliffs. Words fail me at the spectacular sights - towering cliffs with wide sea caves, one with a waterfall inside, waterfalls, white beaches, craggy sharp pointed heights. It was magic. I don't know how the photos will be, it was difficult to keep the camera still and it probably got wet as well. Still we can always remember how it was. It was a beautiful afternoon on the water and we came back wet but happy.

Drop Cap his hotel is a series of blocks. Some are time-share condominiums, others are standard hotel. We have a "studio with kitchenette" so if we can find something tomorrow I can make dinner. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with waterfalls and pools and lush tropical vegetation. I wish, however, that the air-conditioning worked a bit harder.

Sunday, 21st September, 1997

Drop Cap urrill, the tour director, told us today that the bus company driver had reported the damaged bag and they are going to repair it. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, Mac bought a roll of packing tape just in case. It only has to last until we get home and we will then see what eventuates with travel insurance. They have taken the bag and will, I hope, bring it back tomorrow night.

Canyon photograph

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Drop Cap e set off today for a tour of the Waimea canyon, the Spouting Horn and a couple of gift places. The Waimea Canyon was quite spectacular! About one third the depth of the Grand Canyon but with more vegetation and colour. It was vast and red and reminded us somewhat of home.

Blowhole photograph

The Spouting Horn, Poipu Beach, Kauai

Drop Cap n then, through lovely lush scenery, waterfalls, and huge trees just now recovering from Hurricane Iniki which just about destroyed Kauai five years ago. The Spouting Horn at Poipu Beach is a blowhole which spouts at every wave but really lets fly about every seventh wave! It is really quite something. Also at Poipu Beach were stalls, selling freshwater pearls in ropes of different colours, really quite cheap. I bought one for Pat, freshwater pearls decorated with coral and jade, for $13 American. It will do for Christmas. Later at the shopping centre we stopped at for lunch, I bought a pretty lacquered box to put it in for $5.

Drop Cap ll in all we drove around three quarters of the island. It is pretty, the ruggedness being at least half clothed with lushness. I feel really that the Hawaiian islands have had a good press agent. You don't realise until you come here that the image of lush tropical paradise has been created in the desert by the big hotels. Well, largely anyway. You expect it to be everywhere, and it isn't.

Drop Cap onight I used our kitchenette to rustle up a mess of tortellini and pasta sauce, followed by slices of fruit pie from the deli we lunched at. Mac loved it. Last day tomorrow.

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Monday, 22nd September, 1997

Drop Cap oday we slept late, because we thought we had no appointments until 12.30 for our Hanalei Bay tour. However at about 10 a.m. we met Burrill, who was chasing up all the tour people because the bus had come early due to a mixup. They said the weather would change this afternoon so it would be better to go this morning. So we did.

Dry Cave photograph

Dry Cave, Kauai

Drop Cap e went to the north shore of Hanalei Bay first (where we joined the catamaran Kahanu on Saturday.) This is where they filmed "South Pacific" as all our guides have told us. We drove along the Na Pali coastline which we saw from the sea on Saturday, seeing some of the beaches and two huge caves, one wet (with deep pools) and one dry. It was lush and beautiful, lined with flowers and chickens. (They are apparently feral, and were blown in by the Hurricane five years ago.) Then it started to rain. This is real tropical rain forest and the thing about rain forests is that it does tend to rain! We stopped for lunch at a local shopping centre, rather small and non glitzy, then went off to see Kilauea Light House and native bird sanctuary. You can't take tour buses down to the lighthouse any more, unfortunately, but we got a glimpse of it and the nesting boobies. Then we stopped at a guava plantation to taste their wares and ended up back at the hotel.
Mac's bag isn't here yet.

Hanalei photograph

Grounds of the Hotel, Hanalei, from our Balcony

Drop Cap e adjourned to the Happy Talk bar, where we consumed Mai Tais (two kinds of rum and orange curacao with pineapple and other tropical juices, rather potent!) with some of the gang, then went for a walk around the grounds. These are quite lovely, beautifully landscaped with flowering shrubs, waterfalls and pools. We didn't make it to the beach, which is VERY steep.

Drop Cap e have our farewell dinner tonight. I hope Burrill brings Mac's bag back, we leave tomorrow and the luggage has to be out by noon.


Drop Cap ac's bag is still not back! Dinner was quite nice and everyone hugged and kissed etc. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Tuesday, 23rd September, 1997

Drop Cap urrill rang at 7 a.m. to say Mac's bag had come back and she sent it to our door. It has been very well repaired! We almost couldn't find the damaged corner. So we finished packing, mine is fatter than Mac's but everything is done.

Drop Cap verything was finished by 10 a.m. and we had the whole day ahead of us. We hung out in the lounge, played a few games of Yahtzee, had lunch in the bar and went to the "Hospitality Room" just to be cool. Then we gathered together at about 4.30 to get the bus transfer to the airport.

Drop Cap hen we arrived at Honolulu we found our flight was even later than we expected, Qantas being delayed and having to arrive an hour later so the flight will leave an hour later at nearly 1.30 a.m.! We had a lot of time to kill so had a pizza (Pizza Hut individual pan pizza) quite delicious, I think we are the simple food type, somehow.

Drop Cap e killed three quarters of an hour in the pretty Japanese garden in the airport, quite a surprise to find it there, with a pagoda and fish pool etc. It was marginally fresher than the concourse. Then we came back to the "coffee shop", really a series of self service counters for another drink and a light to write by, and of course, airconditioning. The airport does not seem to be airconditioned. Still another three hours!

Lake Louise photograph

Rosemary at Lake Louise, Canada

Drop Cap ur overall impression of these three tours has been very favourable. The ten days in the Canadian Rockies was terrific, the scenery out of this world, the company generally congenial and the tour director and coach driver were very good.

Dawson City Postcard

Postcard of Dawson City, Yukon

Drop Cap laska and the Yukon was a different kind of tour. There was a great deal of variety in modes of transport, trains, boats and buses. Not having a permanent coach and driver was hard to get used to but worked. The tour director didn't seem to do much (he was enjoying the tour as much as we were) but the tour seemed to run smoothly. The large number of Australians absorbed everyone else and the Americans who weren't keen had to accept it and did.

Drop Cap awaii was different again. As the token foreigners of the group, I feel we were accepted and absorbed by the group quite well. Hawaii was generally pretty but we found it too hot, and too little acceptance given to the fact that it was hot and uncomfortable. We weren't the only ones who felt it. But the tour ran smoothly, we saw a great deal of the four islands and our tour director, Burrill, was really a live wire and kept us all enthusiastic, despite the death of her brother, which occurred during the latter half of the tour.

Hanauma Bay Panorama photograph

Hanauma Bay Panorama, Oahu, Hawaii

Drop Cap till, the objectives I had for this holiday were achieved. We stayed at Lake Louise and it was everything I had expected. We met up with Jackie and Barry Lamb in Vancouver and they showed us a really great time. And in Kona we caught up with Cathy, after ten long years. So, basically, we have seen a lot of the North American scene, and achieved a lot more from it than just looking at scenery.

Drop Cap really good holiday, even though we'll probably take a while to get over it.

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