Friday, March 13, 2015
Kayaking on the Wailea River
Yesterday almost all of us who had gone to the wedding drove in two rented vans up to the North Shore of Oahu, where we had lunch at a shrimp truck, then we stopped at a beach and played in the enormous waves. None of us surf, but plenty of people were surfing there. Our last stop was the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is run by Brigham Young University of Hawaii. It was an outdoor theme park with little villages set up representing various Polynesian islands, and they would each have a 20-minute show, then you would go down the road to the next one. We watched the shows for Samoa, the Maori, Fiji, and Tahiti. The young Polynesian college students who performed were extremely beautiful; I don't know if that's a function of age or ethnicity. Then we went to a luau and watched a big show at the end of the evening. I would highly recommend the Polynesian Cultural Center to anyone visiting Oahu.
Today we flew to Kauai. It wasn't a very long flight; it took exactly one rosary. We rented a car here and set off to find adventure. There was something called the Fern Grotto on the Wailea River that sounded cool, and we headed off to find the outfit that had boat rides out to it with live Hawaiian music on board. Somehow we ended up at a different outfit that offered to rent us a "canoe," which turned out to be the cheapest plastic two-man kayak we'd ever seen. We gamely rented it and paddled out to the disembarking spot, which was very well laid out for the big boats but terrible for kayaks. I tied the kayak to a tree hanging over the river and stepped out... into water up to my neck. I'd already taken my shoes off, fortunately, so I didn't bother putting them back on as we trudged up the path to the Fern Grotto. It was a very beautiful grotto with a small waterfall and lots of colorful plants, including ferns hanging upside down from the rock. So that was our adventure for the day. We also stopped along the way to see a big waterfall. Back at our resort, we explored the pools and hot tubs set amid fake waterfalls and real palm trees, then we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner. Kauai is very beautiful, with lush vegetation and craggy mountains, and there are chickens everywhere, but I had shrimp for dinner.