Hey peeps! So I mentioned in my last recap that we took a flight over Kauai. It was a teeny plane- only 4 seats and the front two seats folded forward so I could get in the back! I was pretty nervous the whole day leading up to it, but it was only for an hour so I basically had to get on with it.
It was amazing. The pilot was fantastic, and we had those proper sound reducing headphones and microphones so we could all speak to each other. The pilot also had a tablet with music on it, so when we went over parts of the island where Indiana Jones was filmed, that music played (and repeat for Jurassic park, The Descendants, some old TV shows…
He gave us a commentary of the island, some history, interesting facts (on Kauai buildings are not allowed to be taller than the tallest coconut tree, as one hotel was built and was too high and the locals didn’t like it. Also they have a few roads with single lane bridges, and the locals don’t want these replaced as they don’t want large construction or chains or resorts), and answered questions too. Kauai is known as the garden island, and you could see why from the air. In the centre is a huge mountain, and it is pretty much constantly in cloud. Because of the way the valley is positioned, it funnels moist air up from the Pacific constantly. We were very lucky because the clouds cleared briefly, so we got to see right at the top. It was strange flying over such uninhabited landscape- every now and the you could see tents in tiny clusters- lots of scientists there looking at plants and things. But the ground at the top is more like a bog, he said it would be a foot or two of water under all the undergrowth.
We saw beautiful coastlines- most of it was privately owned so only viewable by sea, air, or extreme hiking (where you need a permit and are gone for days). About half an hour in to the flight, we had a bit of turbulence, as we flew through clouds, and then I did get a bit nervous (oh so sweaty hands) and wanted to get off, but thankfully it didn’t last long and the scenery took my mind off of the worry. It was so much smoother than a helicopter so I am glad we chose the plane option.
Earlier in the day we had driven to these waterfalls, but from the ground you only see 2 of them.
From the ground
They were from some old TV show title sequence, but of course pretty impressive anyway.
We saw plenty of rainbows and this one managed to come out on my phone! You are meant to be able to see a rainbow every day in Hawaii, and I think on Kauai we managed it as it was always sunny and cloudy.
And then the music of Puff the Magic Dragon began to play…
And there he is! For some reason I always thought he was meant to live in Wales, but no, this is Hanalei bay, which is mentioned in the song. The lava has poured out into the sea and is shaped like a dragon.
I was very relieved when we got to the ground again, but it wasn’t as bad as a helicopter flight, and I am so glad we did it, because so much of the island was not accessible at all. It was a great end to our visit there. Kauai was just amazing. So chilled out, just like the Hawaii of the movies (The Descendants was based heavily on land that is there in Kauai, and we saw where some of it was filmed from the air), and pretty much the opposite of Oahu and Honolulu (which are great, but super busy, with massive highways and shops and restaurant chains and night-life).