Monday, April 28, 2008
It is getting close to ending my time on this gorgeous island so I will make this post brief so I can get out and enjoy the day!
While riding around enjoying the scenery on Friday I saw a sign that said, Opaeka'a Falls two miles" and said, "Why not!" I found it without any trouble but as I hopped out of the car the heaven's opened. I stood in the rain taking in the the lush greenery and gorgeous waterfall, oblivious to just how drenched I was becoming with each passing second. It was too lovely to leave but I soon relented and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the luau.
The luau was held at a lush and lovely botanical garden. Unfortunately, it was still raining so we were unable to walk around but the we treated to a leisurely riding tour instead, complete with narration by our driver. We ended the tour at the dinner location, walking past covered imu's roasting the pigs the traditional way, which would be part of our meal. When they were ready to uncover the pits they announced the occasion by summoning us via blowing into a conch shell. Dinner was delicious and I even tried poi for the first time. It is definitely not something I would make a point of having on my dinner table but I did give it a go. It is best eaten as a sort of dipping sauce so I tried it with with some of the fresh salmon and it was palatable. Give it a go if you every have the chance and then you can at least say you tried it!
During dinner we were treated to some island music and the hula. It is truly an elegant dance and after it was performed the dancer did it again, this time with one of the musicians narrating the movements. Every movement and chant tells the story; it is story and dance as one, simply lovely. A century ago the north shore of Kauai was home to one of the most prestigious halau (hula) schools in the world. For some interesting background information on this delicate dance visit http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/hacul/hula.htm
After dinner we were treated to a feast for the eyes, a two hour show of dances from the various cultures that inhabit the islands of Hawaii; China, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines and the Maori of Australia. More on this later.
The next morning found us back at the airport, awaiting my first helicopter ride. We were given a safety briefing and then up, up and away! If you want to tour Kauai this is the way to go! We were able to view areas that would be impossible to reach any other way. At one point in the trip we were actually flown into an inactive (she says happily :) volcano crater. Waterfalls surrounded ups and the images were almost too surreal. Our pilot Toby took us down the Napoli coastline for a stunning view. Pictures do not do the site justice, the scope and grandeur of this rugged coastline truly do make it too beautiful for words. It was as if all of the sites we were seeing from the air were too much for our eyes to take in all at once.
Our pilot offered a wonderful narration of what we were viewing; the hour flew by! (no pun intended). There is so much more to share about this flight and the weekend but my time is running short on the island so I better get out and make the most of it! More virtual travel to come, stay tuned!