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Kauai – July 2, 2007

Monday

More Sunrise Photography

Chris slept much better without the air conditioner blowing on her, and we woke to the alarm ready to get up and get some more pictures.

We found the right spot for sunrise photos this time. We pulled into an overlook across the highway from St. Catherine’s Cemetery south of Anahola. We made our way out onto a point with a wonderful view of a beach and the eastern sky. We weren’t the only ones there. A small camping tent was perched on the end of the point. I set up the tripod a respectful distance away and started taking photos. Chris stuck around this time and took some good pictures herself.

As we were walking back to the car, it started sprinkling. By the time we got back to the parking area, it was really raining. We managed to get out of it before we were too wet, and before the camera bag got wet enough to endanger the gear inside.

The rain changed our plans. We had intended to walk along a nice paved path along the bluffs and then eat breakfast and just hang out until the traffic died down. We didn’t want to wait out the rain. It was still early—only about 6:30—so we joined the traffic and drove back to our hotel where we feasted on cereal and orange juice.

By some miracle, I was able to get a decent Sprint cellular signal in our room. I took advantage of it and got online, downloading our e-mail and giving Chris a chance to correspond with some of her friends. When the signal faded, I downloaded all our pictures and deleted the obvious mistakes. After that, we headed to the lounge where I could type more comfortably. Chris found a chair nearby and closed her eyes for a while as I brought the journal mostly up to date.

Down South

We were ready to see more of the island. We had seen the eastern and northern shore already, so we headed south and west. We didn’t have a particular destination in mind, but thought we might get to Koke’e State Park. Halfway there, we found that the police had closed Highway 50 due to a traffic accident. We detoured toward Koloa and Poipu on a road not meant for such heavy traffic.

As we reached Koloa, our GPS navigator alerted us to a nearby geocache. We pulled into a convenient parking lot to look it up on my Treo. As we sat there a brief, heavy shower fell, giving us some extra time to make plans. As the rain slackened, Chris decided she wanted to shop across the street while I hunted for the cache. By that time, I had determined we were only about 40 feet from the cache and knew about where it was. It wasn’t going to be a long hunt, but I could stretch it out and give Chris 45 minutes to shop.

It may seem like Chris had been doing a lot of shopping. There was a good reason: she had a mission. She wanted to find a Hawaiian-style top that was a good match for a pair of shorts she brought along. Their particular shade of teal was making it hard to find anything she liked. She struck out again in Koloa.

Cane workers monument

I took my time finding the cache. Its location was at the site of the first sugar cane mill on Hawaii. A 25-foot tower is all that remains of the mill, but there is also a monument to all the sugar-cane workers nearby. I headed out to the monument where I found life-size bronze sculptures of cane workers. The rainwater had nearly dried, but there were streaks of water on several faces that looked like the tracks of tears. I jogged back to the car to get my camera, but by the time I returned, the sun had dried up all the streaks. I had missed an opportunity at a very touching photo.

After a little searching, I found the cache and made my trade. Chris still had about 20 minutes of shopping time left, so I killed the time by watching the nearby hens and roosters and thinking about how we should spend the afternoon. Traffic was still very bad on the detour road, so I didn’t want to continue west. I decided lunch in Poipu followed by a visit to the Spouting Horn would be fun.

When Chris was back from her hunt, we drove south to Poipu. We ate an unremarkable lunch at the Poipu Tropical Burgers restaurant. While we ate, we were entertained by all the people milling around the nearby Puka Dog hot dog stand. Their clothes (and exposed skin) gave us plenty to talk about. We found it amusing to hear our waitress lament that she really wanted a Puka Dog, but that counter had been too busy for her to get over and buy one. We weren’t surprised that she didn’t want to eat at Poipu Tropical Burgers.

Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn
Turtle

From lunch, we drove along the beautiful beach at Kukuiula to the Spouting Horn. Spouting Horn is a hole in a rock shelf at the water’s edge. As waves come in, they go under the rock shelf and spew up through Spouting Horn, making it look like a geyser. It’s fun to watch for a couple of minutes, and some of the bigger waves cause it to really blow high. Between spouts, I looked around and spotted a brown form in the water nearby. I thought it was a seal, but a woman standing next to me said it was a turtle. When I looked at the pictures I took later, I could see she was right.

There is a small bazaar at the Spouting Horn park. Chris looked at the wares there while I hiked up the road to hunt for another geocache. No luck, but there were some great views of Spouting Horn, the rocky coastline, and Kukuiula Bay. Chris had better luck—no matching top, but she did find a pair of gold starfish earrings to wear to the wedding.

By the time we were done at Spouting Horn it was nearly 3:00, and we were ready to head back to Kapa’a. Traffic in Lihue was stop and go, but we made it back to our hotel by 4:00. Once there, we slathered on more sunscreen and headed to the smaller of the hotel’s two pools. After a cooling dip, we lounged in the shade and read for an hour.

Ick

At 5:00 we went back to the room to clean up for dinner. We got a nasty surprise in the bathroom—there were two fuzzy brown objects in the soap dish. At first I thought they were flies, but a closer inspection showed them to be little balls of hair, each about 3/8″ in diameter. I didn’t know what they were or how they got there, but I was disgusted. I finished dressing, put the soap dish, soap, and mystery objects into a Ziploc bag, which I took to the lobby desk. The receptionist also thought they were bugs and asked if I wanted the room sprayed. I got her to look closer, and she said she would speak to housekeeping. While I had her attention, I asked about the repairs I had requested the previous night. There was no record of them, but she wrote down the problems and called maintenance while I was standing there.

Sushi!

I had dressed for dinner in casual shorts and a nice tee shirt, but I noticed Chris had on a very nice outfit. Before leaving, I changed into linen pants and a tropical shirt, so we wouldn’t look mismatched. We looked marvelous!

Dinner was at a Japanese restaurant in Kapa’a called Kintaro. We had eaten there on our previous Kauai trip and remembered liking it. Kintaro has teppanyaki, where they cook the food right at your table, but we were in the mood for something quieter. We opted for a table alone and sushi: hamachi, ebi, unago, smoked sake, and California rolls (yellow-fin tuna, shrimp, fresh-water eel, smoked salmon, and crab-and-avocado rolls). Chris doesn’t much go for the raw stuff, so I ate the hamachi and gave her both ebi. The food was excellent and the service was pretty good, considering how busy the place was. There was one waiter whose only job was to refill water glasses. Our glasses never had more than an inch of room in the top. Frankly, his frequent visits got a little annoying after a while, but we enjoyed the dinner overall.

Back at the Aloha Beach Resort we found a new remote and a quick-draining tub. The maintenance had been done while we were out. We thought a walk on the beach would be fun and romantic, so we put on our beach clothes and started down the hill. As we passed the poolside snack bar—which was closed—we started to feel raindrops. Within moments, it was pouring, and we took shelter under the bar’s overhang. The rain passed within a few minutes, but the clouds looked threatening. We opted to skip the walk.

It was far too early to go to bed, so we watched TV for the first time since our arrival. “Two and a Half Men” and “How I Met Your Mother” got us to 9:00, and that was good enough. I set our alarm for 6:00; we turned out the light and were soon asleep.


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