Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hawaii Day 6 - Zip, Zapped, Zonked Out

Aloha from Kauai. Sorry I didn't get a chance to blog last night but I was literally zonked out. We had a wonderful afternoon of ziplining (described below with video) that really wiped me out. But now a recap of how we got to this point.

Keauhou Resort. We got up early on Wednesday to enjoy one more breakfast overlooking the tidepools before we headed off for the airport. We arrived a bit early to breakfast and decided to enjoy to the hammocks in the large lawn adjoining the hotel. At the time, I tell John that this is going to be a glimpse of the beautiful grounds at the Kiahuna Plantation in Kauai and I was right. After breakfast we drove back to the airport and took two short rides over to the island of Kauai.

Hammocks before breakfast.

One last look at the Big Island Keauhou Resort.

Kauai - a breath of freshness. That is all I can say to describe the vast difference between the dry, desert landscape of Kona on the Big Island and the lush greeness of Kauai. It is known as the garden island and that is very clear once we landed. Driving along I was reminded of what it is like to be walking through the cool produce area of the grocery store when the vegetable misters are on. The weather forcast has changed since I first looked a week ago and they are calling for heavy rain everyday. We landed in the clouds and I was a bit down but as we drove to Poipu, the clouds disappeared. Poipu is known as the sunniest spot on the island and home to our hotel. As you drive toward Poipu you drive through a tree canopy street of eucalyptus trees. It really feels like you are about to arrive somewhere special and you do.

Tree lined drive to Poipu.

As we checked into the Kiahuna Plantation, I knew that I was right in selecting this condominium. You really get a feel of old Hawaii. We were again greeted with a lovely basket of local goodies and a warm welcome note from Gana, the assistant General Manager. As I have said before and will say again, Outrigger has been so generous and gracious hosts to us. Since this is our first stay in a condo unit, John and I had questioned whether we were going to buy all of the fixens for a pancake breakfast. (I had of course titled my dream itinerary essay, 'pancakes in paradise'. We decided to pass but when we looked in our small kitchen we found the Outrigger Housekeeping Team had already taken care of that for us. We found a very clever rhyming note (right up my alley), macadamia nut pancake mix, passion fruit syrup and of course coconut syrup. Yum.

Beautiful grounds at Kiahuna Plantation.

Doesn't this just scream Hawaii!

We didn't have much time to relax in our oceanfront room that is literally steps from the beach because we had an early check-in time at Kauai Backcountry Adventures for ziplining. We were in a group of 11 people and as the guides said we formed a tight-knit family. After some safety instructions we were all ready to zip. There were 7 zips altogether with the longest one 940 feet. I was surprised because I wasn't apprehensive at all. It doesn't really feel like you are jumping off. Because you are clipped into the line you feel like you are already supported before you take off on the zip. We took some great pictures and videos of the experience. The weather was perfect. It was cool and overcast with very little wind. It was all over way too quickly.

Zipline setting.

Michelle on the line.

Intrepid adventurers.

After the zipline John and I decided to enjoy dinner in our condo. We have been treated to so many wonderful and quite big dinners in a row that we decided to try something a little simpler. Just some wine, cheese, fruit and french bread. Our zipline guide Moses thought had never heard of such a meal. I don't know if he was being serious but acted like he couldn't imagine the combination. The plan was to enjoy a movie "Quantum of Solace" and dinner. Then I was going to blog. Well I feel asleep on the couch about 30 minutes into the movie.

Overall it was a very full day. We are getting ready today for a morning of relaxing on the beach (hopefully the rain will stay away) and then afternoon of sailing around the Napali Coast. I was not nervous about the zipline but I am nervous about the cruise. The surf is known to be rough and I really just don't want to get sick. I'll let you know how that comes out.

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