Sunday, January 24, 2010

I was misinformed...

...or perhaps just wrong. I don't know. I thought that we would be able to spend our first afternoon in Hawaii at the movies, watching Avatar in 3D. When we got to the theatre, we found out that it was in 2D. I would have to go to Honolulu or something, said the man at the ticket booth, to see it in 3D. So we skipped Avatar that day. However, on Friday we changed our minds and went to see it anyway. I'm glad we did. I found it beautiful. When we get back to Canada, we'll go see it in 3D, if it's still playing, but I won't be disappointed if it's gone, because 3D might just be gilding the lily.

Yesterday, we decided to check out the place that one of our tourist maps bills as, basically, the end of the world.

“Do not drive past this point!” warns the brochure. Rental cars are forbidden to go into the Waipi'o Valley. However, there is a view point just south of the valley, and apparently there is a waterfall – so off we went.

Along the way, we stopped at Borders to replenish my book supply. (I read The Lovely Bones on the journey and Dismantled since we arrived. What ever made me think that two books would suffice for a two-week holiday?) I found an Ann Patchett book – The Magician's Assistant – that looks interesting. If it's anywhere near as wonderful as Bel Canto, I'd better have smelling salts at hand. In a remainder bin, I came across Her Husband: Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath, which I've begun reading. I find it unsettling. So much violent emotion, even at second hand, feels dangerous. And they've only just met.

Anyway – the holiday. We drove through England again (Have you been there? Do you see the resemblance? This island is amazing, in that you can drive for a couple of hours and seemingly travel from continent to continent) and at the top of the trip we found this stunning place, the viewpoint that overlooks the Waipi'o Valley.

It's no wonder rental cars aren't allowed into the valley. In fact, only 4-wheel drive vehicles are allowed down there. At the top of the hill are signs warning of falling rocks and leptospirosis and how downhill vehicles must always yield to uphill vehicles and I hadn't the slightest desire to go down there. I did, however, enjoy the view from above. I couldn't see any waterfall, but it didn't really matter.

I met a goat there, tethered beside the road, indifferent to all the tourist traffic.

We followed an old road back to the west coast. It was reminiscent of Cornwall, which of course made us think of ice cream (Cornish ice cream is fabulous) so we stopped for an ice cream cone on our way to Hapuna Beach for our afternoon swim. My “cone” was a scoop of caramel-macadamia nut ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal-raisin cookies.

When we got back to town, Robin dropped me off at the Farmer's Market, where I topped up our papaya and avocado supply and bought a head of Romaine for salads. The market is open Wednesday through Sunday (or is it Thursday through Sunday?) so today I have to go buy enough papayas and tomatoes and avocados for the next several days. Now that I've found a reliable source of papayas, I can reproduce my $10 breakfast (half a papaya, yoghurt, granola) for less than half the restaurant price. My box of Cheerios is languishing on the shelf.

This morning, as every morning, I've tried to photograph the whales that come into the harbour for a visit with the swimmers. (If you ever want to get rid of a whale, call me. I'll point my camera at him, and he will disappear.) Even from my fourth-floor balcony, the morning whale visit is quite an event to see, but I do wish I were a strong enough swimmer to join the group that swims/snorkels across the harbour every morning. When the whales appear, the swimmers stop to watch. It must be wonderful to hover there, trying to get close to the whales but not too close, hearing their breath, perhaps making eye contact.


Karen said...

I'm enjoying this vacation tremendously! I must recommend the helicopter ride, though. We were able to see into the craters of volcanoes and also get a view of the waterfalls that rival the rides in Avatar! I was too frightened to be airsick, but I must warn you, we went straight up the sides of the falls. Beautiful!

AngelMay said...

Sandra...I'm confused. I thought this was to be an all-inclusive vacation - yet you are spending lots of money on eating and stuff. What's the story on this? (Great photos btw - really nice!)

Dominic Rivron said...

Waipi'o valley sounds great - inaccessible places have a real aura about them. Just been having a look at it via google image search.

I suppose there's no trace of the ancient grass palace?

The Clever Pup said...

Hey, you're in Hawaii.
I'm so glad you found other things to do besides the movie. Looks gorgeous.

Sandra Leigh said...

LOL - Hazel, we've only seen one movie, and that was planned. We will see one more, on the day we leave - because we have to check out of our hotel sometime early in the day, but our plane doesn't leave until around 11 p.m. - so a movie seems to be in order.

AngelMay, no, this isn't an all-inclusive - just air and hotel. I thought originally that we were doing an all-inclusive but, again, I was wrong.

Karen, I don't know whether I would die of airsickness or fear (or burn up when the helicopter fell into the lava) but I honestly cannot think of anything that would persuade me to take that trip, because I know that I would definitely die, one way or another. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but even watching it on television gives me the creeping, shuddering willies.

Dominic, I didn't see the ancient grass palace. I agree, though, about the appeal of inaccessible places. I could have sat there all day, staring down into the valley.

Barry said...

Like Karen I think I'm enjoying your vacation as much as you are, although I did get to see Avatar in 3D, so that was something.

As long as you keep posting I will keep reading.

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