Day 4+5: Leisure on the South Shore

We wake up and immediately think of food. But not just any food. We are both really excited to eat at our favorite place in Kauai, the Hemingway Cafe, right across the street form our hotel, a lovely little place that looks like a coffee shop plucked from the streets of Provence, run by a couple of Europeans who really CAN BAKE and make espressos.
Little do we know that Monday they are closed…
We get breakfast at Java Kai, which is overhyped and overpriced, but they have coffe ice cubes in their iced coffee, so I forgive them. Then we get a cab to take us to the airport and rent a car. From there, it’s time to head south to Poipu, where we found an affordable Airbnb place not too far from the beach.
The drive to Poipu snakes through tunnels of trees and passes green pastures that don’t correspond with my mental image of the South Shore until I remember that the exposed arid red dirt and burnt out grass is actually on the West side of the Island. Kauai has the privilege of being, at its center, the wettest place on Earth, with rain bathing everythday the perpetually cloud-shrouded mount Wailelele, while its Western side sees at most 4″ of rain a year…
On the way to the new abode, we recharge on papaya and other fruit and end the day at Shipwreck beach, where we watch people jump, or fail to jump, paralyzed in fear, from the 30 ft high rock jutting out on the far left side of the beach. The boys claim the bodysurfing at Shipwreck is good, but I find that sand is not tasty, no matter him much of it you are compelled to eat by the ridiculously strong waves, so I retreat to my beach chair and my Corona Lights.
Photo of Shipwrecks' Beach, courtesy of Poipubeach.org.

Photo of Shipwrecks’ Beach, courtesy of Poipubeach.org.

Papayas: one
Corona Lights: ummm. A few?
Sand: around five pounds, equally distributed between swallowed, stuck in my bathing suit and stuck in my body parts. They are going to put be in agroquarantine at the airport, for trying to smuggle Hawaiian soil in my body cavities, but I swear I was only trying to body surf…

The following day we take our time to explore the beaches in Poipu, which are many and all lovely. We also find a Noni tree, whose bizarrely smelling fruit is fermented, turned into juice and used as a (expensive) nutritional supplement. It tastes and smells pretty foul, but I take two bites, nevertheless, just for bragging rights.

The noni fruit is the white blob in the middle. It's also known as "beach mulberry" or "cheese fruit" (think really ripe Gorgonzola). It's also called "vomit fruit." Yes. But it's edible and Hawaiians and other South Pacific people used it in times of famine. So it's good to know I could do it, if I had to.

The noni fruit is the white blob in the middle. It’s also known as “beach mulberry” or “cheese fruit” (think really ripe Gorgonzola). It’s also called “vomit fruit.” Yes. But it’s edible and Hawaiians and other South Pacific people used it in times of famine. So it’s good to know I could do it, if I had to.

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