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KAUAIMAPHEAD.JPG, 3 kB My favorite places

FLAPS26.JPG, 50 kB
Flying into KAUAI
Landing speed is approached gradually with incremental changes to the flaps. With the flaps all the way down, the plane vibrates as it approaches landing speed: Just a slight shutter. (Full flaps can not be applied too soon as the plane will be going too fast.)

You can see land and water in the gap between the wing and flaps.

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Flying into KAUAI
Flying into KAUAI
And, oh by the way, if you are not interested in flaps...
It is real pretty down there!!!

We are landing at the "dry" southeast end of the island: Lihue.
At least from the air, Lihue looks green and beautiful and not dry at all.

My wife and I are not disappointed. Even the dry side is beautiful. And, of course, there is that aroma and feel to tropical air.

That is me in the warm water.
The beaches have a coral look: beautiful greens, turquois, and blues. The beaches have white coral sand that highlights the stunning colors. Maui's beaches can not compare to these beaches of Kauai. We both are more than impressed with the colors.

But do not expect to find any food in Kauai. The cheapest plate is $15. And an average plate is above $20. If that were not enough, the food is terrible. We were told the reason why by a real chef. "$18 to $19 per hour is NOT a living wage here." Help is scarce to non existant. Some fishing boats are coming back empty. Were were told: "fresh" fish is frozen fish. You are better off to head over to FoodLand and stock up on papayas, mangoes, and fresh pineapple. Sadly, Burger King and Mcdonald are good options. They rival the best cuisine on the island.

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My wife wanted a convertable. So I gave in (tough sacrifice).

Gentle rain strangly feels good and tastes sweet. Rain can come and go in seconds. Driving in the rain with the top down is pleasant in paradise. So, you will have to constantly make a decision: deciding top up or top down. But never worry, I can always trust that my wife will let me know.

On the far side are endangered birds: Red Footed Boobies, and Frigits, and Albitroses. They can be seen as only white dots in these pictures.
On the far side of the hill are endangered birds. They are only white dots with this camera.

I only have disposable cameras on this trip. I bought seven throwaway cameras. None of these non telephoto cameras can capture the birds. Such a shame, because I have two good cameras on the mainland: an XG9 Minolta film camera with lenses, and a Panasonic digital. If you want these birds you might bring a tripod too. And go to the light house for the pictures: great vantage spot. Some are endangered and nest no where else in the world.
There are men and women here that make this place their life's work. Happy people are here, and they are dedicated and driven. Kauai will not only absorb you physically but will totally engage you emotionally in a primeval, real, basic, and gutteral paradise. It is the real thing.

If you are shooting film (disposables), do NOT develop the film on the island. The developing machine is very old. And the hired help does not know how to operate it. The resulting paper pictures will be fussy; even with the negatives sharp. The negatives have scratches as if they have been ran through a dirty film projector. You will have to have them re-run the pictures.

Any ASA above 600 ASA will be destroyed at the airport. Have airport security take you aside and manually inspect your cameras. They have a special low level xray machine that is more safe, and is more designed to specifically work with cameras.

If you have a digital, I can only offer you cautions.

When I was in the Air Force we were taught that ANY xrays would damage electronic circuits. We were given specially designed electronics that were "hardened" against xrays and gamma rays. There is no such thing as "safe" xrays. One of my sisters travels more than I with a digital, and argues with me that she has NEVER had any problems. But she is a girl, and has no way to tell. To observe the xray effect, one must shoot a uniformly lit background, and examine every pixel. After a few times through airport security you may see a missing pixel. And it is guaranteed, even if you are a real macho guy, that you will NOT be able to see the damage in any natural picture. You have to lose dozens of pixels and they have to start lining up or grouping to be visible. By exposing your electronics to xrays you are "aging" semiconductor junctions which, at a slower rate, is a natural process and can not be avoided.

Disposables have the advantage that you can have them in the salt spray. ...And if they float away, no big deal. Just get a grip.

Hanalei bay
Remember the song, Puff the Magic Dragon?
"PUFF, the magic dragon lived by the sea And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Hanah Lee."

A very long dock stretches out into the bay. Half way out sat a lone old man fishing off of the dock. We joined the old man, who seemed to enjoy our company. We sat and watched the fish swimming in the shade of the dock and we talked...
He was from the mainland and had lived here for the last 15 years. He had had a heart attack in a city. He did not need to point out to us that there was no stress here. Although he did, and caressed the point continually. He had no reservations, at all, about this being home.

After visiting with the old man, I felt that we were living that song. And living in a story book time and a worry free childhood or something. I felt guilty, like I had just cut school. ...A strange, most wondrous feeling.

Beautiful valley...
No, that is not pot. Although, from what I could see, you can openly buy it right beside the road. Local pot heads are resentful that the mainlanders are here, and perhaps rightly so.

"It takes 46 muscles to frown but only 4 to flip 'em the bird."
Twice I have had locals speed around me displaying an extended arm out of the window with an extended middle finger. Much of the island is single lane roads and many one lane bridges. Two of these bridges above Princeville have traffic lights because you can not see the other side of such a long bridge. While I was waiting at a red light, a local squeezed by me, with the slimest of margens, and with rude abandon ran the light. He forced his way accross the bridge. I have seen banged up cars safely run lights in town at intersections, with total disregard of what the light normally means for others.

I have had my shoulder nudged in a store. I have been rudely "cut-in" in line at stores. Their feelings are obvious. Their percieved status seems to be forced on you.

All local girls, on the other hand, are as sweet as can be. I can not explain the difference. One local girl told me that crack was a problem.

RULERMAR.GIF, 1 kB CHICKENC.JPG, 7 kB Cluckers roam free on the island. But, unlike Maui, the main stock are oriental Fighting Cocks. The Cluckers are tougher and quite wild. They have interbred with other domestic chickens that have also escaped.

Wainiha bay
Lots to do:
Kauai has lots to do if you are into nature.

Healing and Rest
If you are lonely or depressed, then Kauai would be a healing place.

There is great snorkeling and hiking here and it would take a lifetime to see everything. If you are a party animal, then there is nothing here for you. You should stay away. And you might even damage the island as it is a beautiful but fragile place.


This is where we were staying;
At the Condo in Princeville.
The condo is privately owned.
We want to thank our gracious and lovely friend Karen.

...could be the BEST vacation that we have ever had!