Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hawaiian Dream Trek: Waimea Canyon, Kauai

As we had all decided on the short hike today, we had a bit of a lay in and had a big fried breakfast at nine with scrambled eggs and bacon! Of course, I started with Cocoa Pebbles first. After breakfast and the washing up, we set off for Waimea Canyon which is the Hawaiian version of the Grand Canyon. Although not as big, it is still as beautiful, and when you are stood at the viewpoint you feel just as small as you do at the Grand Canyon.

Too close to the edge for me!After the viewpoint, we went on a short 3 mile hike along the top of the canyon. This time I took notes of how much of the trail went down hill, so that I was prepared on the way back up! The hike was relatively easy, but would have been even easier, if I hadn't had been a bit scared cause of the height and sheer drops. The hike took us to the top of some waterfalls, which I didn't actually see cause I didn't go down the scary part. Nicki and I sat up a bit higher worrying about the others dangling their legs over the edge!

Going back up Ulrike and I went at our own pace rather than at Nicki's Mountain Goat speed. So we arrived at the top a bit later than the rest. Then we went further on up the road to some picnic tables and a museum for lunch. After lunch during which we also fed the cockerels, we went to the Kala.(something) lookout point, which was totally in the clouds, so that was a big shame.

swimmingWe turned back then and headed to our campsite, where I headed straight for the shower, I was so filthy. Nicki, Todd, Albert and Mei went for a swim in the little lake in the campsite. Ulrike and I had by then showered and wandered over to watch them. Nicki was trying to teach Mei to tread water, but she didn't really succeed, from where I stood with Todd it looked more like the pair of them were drowning! Apparently they were laughing and not choking, could have fooled me!

Nicki cooked for us today: Falafel, delicious, I think I will have to see if I can get the mix for that at home. I have only ever had them on Trek!

Again we postponed the washing up, which was probably not the best of ideas, but I was sleeping in the other cabin, so I didn't have to go to sleep in a garlic infested room!

We went to bed quite early as we all had to be on the road by 7.15 for the helicopter ride over Kauai.

Well, I woke up twice in the night and heard the rain, but was convinced it would have passed by the morning. And when I woke at 6.45am I could hear birds outside chirruping, so I thought all was well outside. But I was soon proved wrong, when I made my way to the loos!

It was grey extremely cloudy and drizzling. Todd was up and scrubbing out the van, so I asked him if it was worth waking up properly, he is like me, forever an optimist and assured me it was!

Well, Marcus was not too pleased he had to surface even though it was raining. And when we all set off at 7.15 he more or less complained all the way to the helicopter place. There they told us what Marcus had predicted, that our flight would be put back two hours to 10am. Todd was to phone them at 9am to reconfirm that. Well, back at the campsite the weather just got steadily worse come 9am! And our flight was cancelled all together. I'm quite disappointed, but I suppose that is a reason to one day come back to Hawaii.

After doing all yesterdays and breakfast washing up, we packed the van up, and headed for the airport, we had decided to go back to Oahu on an earlier flight as there there are more things to do on a rainy day. But this also meant that Todd left us earlier. I actually missed saying goodbye to him, as I was baby-sitting Ulrike, who checked her baggage in before we left the airport to Waikiki. Instead of us all getting a taxi to the hotel, we took the city bus ($1 each and ever so easy as we knew where we were going!)

We all checked into the hotel and then headed straight back out for some lunch. We went to a Japanese noodle house, where only a few days earlier Albert had entered a competition. He had to eat a bowl of Ramen (noodles in a broth - huge portion) in under 20mins. He did it in 11! I would have liked to have seen him beat his own record, but he decided to be civilised and eat at a normal pace. I had fried noodles which were delicious. After eating we all split up and Marcus and I went to the Imax Theatre and saw the film about the volcanoes (Ring of Fire). Scary seeing as I am going to the Big Island tomorrow.

We met up with Nicki after the film and we all headed to the shopping mall. Nicki bought more clothes at Gap and I got a T-shirt for Sven. We got back by 7pm with time for me to shower before we saw Ulrike off to the airport. She got a shuttle bus at 7.50pm and we all waved her off. I think she was having a hard time trying not to cry!

We re-met in the lobby at 8.30pm for dinner. We went to the " Shorebird Beach Broiler ", where you are responsible for cooking your dinner. They have a salad buffet and you get raw meat which you barbecue yourself and the whole thing is directly on the beach. Beautiful setting and great fun. We were going to go have a drink after that, but I had an early morning ahead of me, so we headed back to bed! It was gone 11pm anyway.

Oh, I nearly forgot, I tried a Mai Tai at the restaurant, which was really delicious, so I will probably have another tomorrow!

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