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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Swinging on Kaua'i, Indy Style

Today we were all up at the crack o' dawn to take Stephie & her boyfriend Steve to their meet up point for a snorkling boat trip along the Na Pali coast. Once we dropped off them off at the harbor, myself, Ron & Jeannie were off to see some sights. What? Where did Steve come from? Aw, well, 'Snookims' flew in from Sacramento yesterday for a few days with his widdle 'Honey Boo-boo'.

We visited the tiny town of Hanapepe to have a walk on its historic wooden, hanging bridge that was built at the turn of the century - the last century - so the locals could cross the river to work in the sugar cane fields.
Approach to the Hanging Bridge of Hanapepe
 Now, I've seen my fair share of hanging bridges in oodles of movies, and always thought, "You put one foot in front of the other, what's the big deal?" So I thought, right up until I put my foot on that crickity, wiggly-piggly, shaky, swinging wooden bridge and WOOOOOW MAMA!

Get Motion Sickness? Then stay the hell off of this bridge!
There is a second hanging bridge near Waimea, so we decided to visit it next.  You can see a bit of it below. There wasn't any place to park on that narrow dirt road so we did a drive-by viewing.The narrow - and I'm sure shaky-as-hell bridge - crosses the Menehune Ditch. It's a youngish bridge, built in 1996 after Hurricane Iniki that hit the islands in 1992.

The Waimea Hanging bridge crosses the Menehune Ditch

The rocks on the left side of the road are part of an ancient watercourse, or ʻauwai,  remnants of which still run parallel to the road. The waterway irrigated the taro fields. We saw openings from which you can view the water path, but we didn't climb up to see it because were just weren't up for breaking our ankles on the rocks.

Captain Hook Cook Monument in beautiful downtown Waimea
Lovely mug for a ghastly cup o' Joe
After our bridge adventures, we visited Waimea's downtown - and I use the term loosely - where we strolled around the Captain Cook Monument. Not very large, but certainly impressive enough.  There was signage that explained how in its day, Waimea was quite the busy port of call.

Our next 'port of call' was breakfast at a little restaurant by the monument. Great food! On Ron's request they even fixed us cottage potatoes that weren't even on the menu. It was one of the best breakfasts ever, except for one little detail - the coffee sucked! Ron & Jeannie couldn't prevent me from commenting such to the waitress. I told her how great the meal was, then asked why the coffee was dishwater. She said the magic word - Yuban. I imagine the islands are famous for their coffee, but these days they had to cut corners somewhere - what a shame.

Post breakfast we decided on a little walk at Fort Elizabeth, a Russian ruins just south of Waimea.

Up on the Fort Wall
Looking down into the old fort ruins
What is left of the fort wall in the distance
 We decided we were doing things a little too sedately, so our next item on the agenda was some surfing, Kaua'i style!
Wahines just wanna have fun!

Ron catching a curl!

Wooo hoooooo!  Just before I wiped out!

Our 'surfing' adventure was at a shop where we ogled jewelry and even some Hawaiian shell leis that were understandably astronomical in prices, which can range from $100 to $300,000. Yikes!  The lei require matching and arranging the shells that may be wildly scarce and found only on certain beaches. The leis are wearable art and are certainly not meant for butterfingered wahine such as myself.

 It was too soon to pick up 'the kids' so we visited the Spouting Horn. It's a hole just on the shore, and it... well it spouts. Legend has it, the hissing of the hole is due to the gigantic lizard that is trapped in the rocks. Don't know if there is a lizard down there, but it sounded like a lizard that's not using its asthma inhaler.

Later in the afternoon we picked up the keiki, that is, Steve & Stephie, then headed to a spot Ron was anxious to show us. There was a bit of cliff where bits of cars and chassis and such protruded from the iron stained soil.

You can see bit of a turquoise car body sticking out of the soil

Just off the cliff was a creepy abandoned burial grounds where seemingly untended graves were scattered about. I picked up two large land snail shells from a grave site, taking them to show Jeannie. She had a fit, "PUT THOSE BACK WHERE YOU FOUND THEM!" She wasn't about to let me inadvertently haul any Chinese or Italian ghosts back to with us to our time share! I put the shells back where I found them - had to - don't know how to contact Ghost Busters so far from NYC.

Just a bit away from the auto graveyard cliffs was glass beach. A lot of glass bottles and such were dumped on the beach and over time, washing by the surf smoothed them into tiny frosty looking pebbles. I think at one time the glass - now looking like sand - had lots of green it it. Gauging by the number of people Jeannie & I watched, scooping up HUGE quantities of the glassy sand, it's no wonder there isn't much green sand remaining.  We guess that eventually, there will be no glass in the sand at all.
Click the pic for a closer look.
The Glass Beach
We hit a couple of other spots that afternoon, including a hidden waterfall, which the powers that be fenced off. Party poopers!  For dinner we had local fast food, called, "Chicken in a Barrel" because it is bbq'd in re-purposed oil drums. Mine was delish, and each serving was enough food to keep three of me fed. Lovely day!

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