Friday, October 31, 2014

Journey To Waimea Canyon

Kauai was the last stop on our Hawaiian adventure. But lucky for us, it wasn’t the last day. And the first of our two days here was dedicated to some sightseeing. I woke up before the ship docked and was able to experience sailing in and getting closer to the island. Rainbows appeared and added an even more post-card touch to my already perfect view from the balcony.

After breakfast, we met for our excursion called ‘Journey To Waimea Canyon’ and unlike the other tours we’ve taken this felt the most touristy. We boarded a very large bus filled with seniors. I was the youngest one there, with my parents falling close behind. It wasn’t my ideal way of travelling but I guess we were all just trying to see the same beautiful spots.

The drive to the canyon was a long and winding one. And once we arrived, it was still a little tourist-free. If you’ve ever visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona, you’ll be reminded of the terracotta monochromatic colours. I read many reviews saying that if you’ve witnessed the Grand Canyon already, to not even bother with Waimea. This is such ridiculous advice. To visit Kauai and not catch even a glimpse of Waimea Canyon would be such a waste. In my opinion, Grand Canyon is indeed grand but it lacks a few things Waimea Canyon has. What I really loved about Waimea Canyon was how much more lush it looked. It was decorated with greenery, scattered along its terrain. Being the wettest spot on Earth, the canyon reaches about 50-100 inches of rain in its most mountainous regions. I even spotted several waterfalls. I only wish we could have hike and visited a few of them.

Afterwards we continued to drive along the island, passing yet another coffee mill, the Spouting Horn and locations where they filmed movies like The Descendants and Jurassic Park. It was a rather short tour but worth it for Waimea Canyon. We returned back to the dock where we took advantage of the numerous free shuttles. We had little time to spare because we had a luau scheduled for that evening, so we decided to scope out the area really quick.

We ended up at Kalapaki Beach, conveniently a 5-minute drive or a 20-minute walk from the dock. Right by the beach is a Marriot hotel, which oozes luxury and paradise. We pretended to be guests as we walked around the hotel grounds taking pictures. Before heading back to the boat, I also made sure to book surfing lessons for the next day. I had been waiting to surf the second I found out we were going to Hawaii. What a perfect place to learn.

We took the shuttle back and quickly got ready for our luau. Several busses transported people from our cruise ship to Kilohana, Kauai’s legendary plantation estate, where the luau would be held. As someone who used to dance hula and Tahitian when I was younger, I was excited to see how it was really done. We started Luau Kalamaku by getting lei’d, welcome drinks and photos with some of the dancers by the plantation’s beautiful garden and tiki torches. We had reserved seating, not quite close to the stage but close to the live band. While waiting for the show to start, we were served an authentic Hawaiian meal. I had my first taste of poi and, let’s just say it will probably be my last. I like taro but more in the form of blended drinks and ice cream. The show started soon after dinner ended. It told a heroic love story between Gods and Goddess and the voyage made from Tahiti to Kauai. It was very beautiful with its blend of lights, music and of course the talented dancers. It definitely made me miss the days I danced Hawaiian and wished I never stopped.

We returned back to the boat quite late and immediately got ready for bed. I was very excited for the next day and couldn’t wait to get my surf on.

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