Waimea, Wailua and Waimustweleave???

Over the next few days, due to somewhat inclement weather, we drive around A LOT and get to see a few spots that we missed last time:

One quick stop on the way to the Waimea Canyon lookout. This is just the beginning.

One quick stop on the way to the Waimea Canyon lookout. This is just the beginning.

Even though it’s drizzling a bit, that doesn’t deter us from driving till we get to the Waimea lookout – and it’s absolutely well worth it:

Yes, I may have cranked up the colors a little bit on the camera - but the photos still don't do it justice...

Yes, I may have cranked up the colors a little bit on the camera – but the photos still don’t do it justice…

The clouds are gathering above us and when we finally drive out to the Kalalau lookout, it's shrouded in fog.
The clouds are gathering above us and when we finally drive out to the Kalalau lookout, it’s shrouded in fog.

We eventually return to our favorite camp spot on the island, Blackpot in Hanalei, and wake on Unicornlandia, where rainbows sprout from under ever hill and the surface of the water looks like mercury. Incidentally, we recently watched part of “South Pacific” the 1958 movie of the Broadway hit by the same name, and much of the action in those first scenes takes place in this very spot:

Hanalei Bay on a gorgeous early morning.

Hanalei Bay on a gorgeous early morning.

And in case you're wondering, yes, all the men in this scene are straight. In fact, they're singing about how much they miss "dames," although I, for one, would say: "But boys, you'll always have each other..." *giggle*

And in case you’re wondering, yes, all the men in this scene are straight. In fact, they’re singing about how much they miss “dames,” although I, for one, would say: “But boys, you’ll always have each other…” *giggle*

On our last full day in Kauai, we decide to take the famed Wailua river kayak tour, with the Secret Falls as the final destination. That’s a scenic 4 miles of paddling, plus about a mile’s hike up to the falls. Paddling on the river turns out to be extreme – extremely leisurely that is. Good thing we, Gendreau/Checeanus take our leisure seriously (We even belong to B.A.L.L.S, Bay Area Leisurely Living Society “A Little Drinking Club with a Leisure Problem”). Our guide, Forest, was hilarious and very knowledgeable about fauna, flora and history; the waterfall at the end was nothing to write home about. Apparently it can get much bigger, but the volume is rather unpredictable. Thankfully, our whole motto in life is “Enjoy the journey,” so the disappointment of the destination was easily surmounted…

Maybe we should start K.I.L.L.S. - Kauai Island Leisurely Living Society? What say you, @Anette? :-)

Maybe we should start K.I.L.L.S. – Kauai Island Leisurely Living Society? What say you, @Anette? 🙂

A shrine of flowers right next to the "Secret Falls," where kings and queens of Hawai'i came to bathe. Theirs being a very segregated society, commoners didn't rub shoulders with the hoi poloi and didn't have access to this upper section of teh Wailua river.

A shrine of flowers right next to the “Secret Falls,” where kings and queens of Hawai’i came to bathe. Theirs being a very segregated society, commoners didn’t rub shoulders with the hoi poloi and didn’t have access to this upper section of teh Wailua river.

Awesome petroglyph pointed out by our humorous guide. The glyph stood for "rock where the king/queen's mantle rests while he/she is taking a bath." and also "Do not interfere, you unwashed peasant."

Awesome petroglyph pointed out by our humorous guide. The glyph stood for “rock where the king/queen’s mantle rests while he/she is taking a bath.” and also “Do not interfere, you unwashed peasant.”

Finally, before catching the airplane at 2:00 PM, we decided to heed the advice of a local from the night before and check out the Wailua Falls, a short, five minute detour from the airport. We drive to the lookout – very pretty, safe, whoa, nice waterfall, ok let’s go to the airport now.

But NO: the best part about this fall is the swimming, according to local wisdom. So we head straight for a hole in the fence and begin a ridiculously steep and slippery descent, with the help of roots, branches and the occasional rope put in place by merciful earlier adventurers. Half an hour later we arrive at the glorious base of the falls, sweaty and mud-stained. The current is obviously pretty strong and the Wailua Falls are heavier and stronger than any of the others we’ve seen on this island. But heck, we didn’t slide down our butts for nothing: a bath in is order. The rest is history. I make it only about halfway through the lake before the wind suddenly changes direction and starts blowing heavy vapor in my face. The angst of suddenly breathing air that’s 110% saturated with water is compounded by the cramps from the cold and there you have it: I almost missed the flight back due to a case of drowning. A close call, but the handsomest lifeguard around was there to the rescue, like he usually is. He’s also getting better at reading sudden-onset massive panic symptoms on my face …. Was it worth it, you ask? HECK yeah. Just look at it:

The lifeguard was drinking mate the entire hike down. Those of you who know him will understand....

The lifeguard was drinking mate the entire hike down. Those of you who know him will understand….

Mahalo, dear Mother Island and until next time!

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