Yup–I’m a little behind so I’m lumping these past two days into one entry. Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.
Firstly, helicopters! We had debated about actually doing this because it was a little pricey and we had already done some amazing hikes that gave us great views of the Na Pali Coast, which is the main reason we wanted to do the helicopter ride. Well, we ended up deciding that we would do it–and we would go balls to the wall and do it with pizazz! Meaning we entered the helicopter with jazz hands waving. Actually we took a helicopter with no windows or doors. They seat you according to height and weight and I was in the front of the helicopter–the best seat in the house along the right-hand side. There was a woman from Virginia smooshed in between me and the pilot and Lars was the poor-man’s seat–back behind the pilot. When the pilot and his ground crew (one man who kept telling us the pilot used to be a convicted felon…) strapped me in, I kind of freaked out because I did not feel very “restrained” in this contraption that was about to fly 100s of feet in the air over mountains and the sea, but I kept my cool because I didn’t want to be “that girl who freaks out on a helicopter”. My right cheek was kind of hanging over the edge of the contraption so I snuggled up to the woman from Virginia and we became “fast friends” at least in that I was invading her personal space without even getting to know her last name!
Soon we were off and flying–it was AWESOME. It was actually really easy to get over the fact that we were in an aluminum can just darting about in the sky. The pilot was very informative and took us into these great little canyons with beautiful waterfalls. We saw the waterfalls that were featured in Jurassic Park (this movie and “6 Days, 7 Nights”, and “South Pacific” are serious business here on Kauai, as they were all filmed here). Looking down on the Na Pali Coast and seeing the clear water and the reefs beneath us was totally surreal. We tried to get as good as pictures as possible but, ya know, we were in a helicopter so they turned out not totally clear.
The only real downside to the helicopter ride was the motion sickness. We had the option of doing a 90 minute tour or a 60 minute tour and after we were finished, both Lars and I were glad we had done the 60 minute tour. Lars felt sick pretty much the rest of the day, although it was waning as the day went out. He has no doubt he would have hurled on a 90 minute tour. I probably would have, too–but if I threw up, it would have gotten over everyone in the helicopter due to my prime positioning. Man, now that would have been embarrassing. Crisis averted!
After the helicopter ride we drove to the Secret Lava Pools near Hanalei and just explored these lava pools bursting with sea life. There was hardly anyone there–the surf was kind of high so a lot of the pools you couldn’t see directly in but there was one that pretty calm and had TONS of fish and crabs and urchins in it. Can I use the word awesome again? Oh, yes. It was AWESOME.
Yesterday was the day of “the hike” and by “the hike” I mean the one that Lars REALLY wanted to do and was going to take us all day. Its cool, though–I actually had a semi decent time. It was a loop trail near Waimea Canyon that gets out towards some really fantastic view points along the coast. You take one trail down about 3.8 miles, hike along the cliffs for 2 miles, and then go back up another trail for 3.1 miles which dumps you on the road about 2 miles upstream from where you parked your car. When Lars GPS’d it all out, it looks like we did about 12 miles overall.
Most memorable part of the hike–well, obviously the views from Lolo Point. From every angle, this gave a beautiful canyon new and different views Also, there was one section of the trail where a small sign said “washed out trail ahead, proceed with caution”. I didn’t think much about it but was certainly cautious as I was crossing it–it was loose dirt at an decline against a cliff…there was a drop off to our left but we couldn’t really see it behind where the loose dirt just kind of fell out of view. After we got around the corner, Lars said “that was the craziest piece of trail I’ve ever done”. Apparently if you took a misstep you would have just fallen to your death. I’m pretty sure I’m glad he told me that AFTER I crossed that section of the trail.
My true fear came when we were in 5 foot tall grass and kept hearing a blood-hungry goat bleeting nearby. I expected him to launch an all-out sneak goat attack at any moment so I was on my guard. Lars was just laughing at me.
We made it back to the car around 4:30pm, drove back down Waimea Canyon, and treated ourselves to expensive, albeit good, Pizza for dinner.
Today is our last day in Kauai. We’re off to a beach in Hanalei that we saw near the lava pools that looked…dare I say it…awesome.