Saturday, March 14, 2015
Helicopter Tour of Kauai
Our last day on Kauai was an exciting one, starting first thing in the morning with a helicopter ride over the island. I was kind of scared going in, but it was very exciting and cool, and our tour guide was easygoing and funny. We flew along the rugged Na Pali coastline and into an extinct volcano, and we saw tons of waterfalls. Kauai is a very green island. Then we got lunch to go and ate at the beach before going on the tour of Allerton Garden. This is an enormous botanical garden with all sorts of flora from all over the world, collected by the Allertons via steamship back in the day. They were also really into statues and fountains. We had an incredible view of a beach with a river flowing down to it, with coconut palms along the side and cliffs rising over it covered with blooming bougainvilleas. Unfortunately that tour does not go down there, but a more expensive sunset one does, so maybe if we ever come back... There was a large rock in the river with a bridge leading to it, and it was also covered with bougainvilleas. Don't worry, I took a ton of photos. The tour took longer than we had expected, and we weren't sure we could get back to the Catholic church near our hotel in time for Mass, but just then we passed a sign advertising St. Raphael's, the oldest Catholic church on Kauai. We found it and explored its grounds, which include the old church, a Stations of the Cross walk up to a grotto, a small chapel, a Lourdes grotto, and the compound that includes the gift shop and the modern new church, which was open in the back. I do like fresh air, but getting it in church is kind of a strange concept to me. We ended the evening at a brew pub, trying a flight of their beers and some of their delicious food. It was the place to be, with lots of twentysomethings hanging out, but oddly the music was all 80's and older. So if you are looking for night life in Lihue, the Kauai Beer Company is the place to go.