Rose, how's this for a photo of Harry? Do I win your double dog dare? He's pretty fit for a guy of 65, isn't he? Now don't tell that I got his photo or he'll want to get even, and he's really devious at getting even!
Sunset over Poipu Beach park. this place is so freaking beautiful!
While we were at the beach on Tuesday, I slathered on the sunblock and managed just a light toasting, Kyle went for the full burn. In the shower, he noticed a peculiar white patch on his shoulder. Looks like the sunblock on my hands transferred when I caressed him.
So, on to tubin'da ditch: History. In 1861, the American civil war started and the south blockaded all sugar from reaching the north. So, alternate resources were needed. Hawaii had ideal sugar cane growing climate and conditions, and the sugar boom began.
Sugar cane needs water. Here is a photo of the wettest place on earth. 450 inches of rain a year. But the dry side of the mountain would also be good for sugar cane if you could just get the water over there. So this canny plantation owner decided to dig irrigation canals through the shoulder of the mountain to bring the water around. This was all done by hand. the channels are about 10 feet wide and stone lined. And the tunnels, dug with pickaxes, are a good 8 feet in cross-section. The water is about three feet deep, so there's lots of head room. And in one of the longest tunnels, there's a little room carved out where the diggers camped overnight because it took too long to hike in and out every day.
Here is Ricky, our guide. He was adorable! Full of energy and information and good cheer. He took excellent care of us as we floated merrily down the river. I didn't get photos though, since my camera isn't waterproof. But let me paint you a picture. Imagine 78 degree temperature air, with sunshine filtering through the greenery, and happy birds all around. Imagine brilliant tropical flowers. We were set up with sturdy gloves and aqua socks, and helmets with lights attached. There were 17 tourists and 4 guides. One guide stayed with the van to drive our clothes and personal belongings around to the take-out point. One guide took the lead, one guide took the end, and Ricky paddled up and down the line to make sure we were all happy. We were ensconced in great big STURDY colorful inner tubes, and off we went, drifting down the ditch. It was like the most marvelous lazy river you can imagine, with splendid scenery drifting by, and excited people laughing and bumping into one another. Then we got to the first tunnel. "Lights on!" It was really neat! Echoes up and down, a string of lights ahead and behind, squeals and squawks as the tubes bumped the walls and the other tubes. No bats, no cobwebs, no scary stuff. Then back out into the light. I wound up at the end of the pack (the more bum in the water, the slower the current drives you.) and had a great time shuckin' and jivin' with Nathan, our following guide. On one long stretch between tunnels, Ricky knelt on his tube, balanced, and grabbed a branch to hold himself in place so he could pick the low-hanging guavas. Heaven! Bites of bliss! After five tunnels, we finally got to the take-out point. The guides have it down to an art, decanting tourists from their tubes. I never got wet above my knees. And THEN, they drove us to a glorious little glade where they had a picnic ready for us. And there were port-a-potties and changing rooms as well. As we sat around in the sunshine, enjoying our sandwiches and bottled water, over by the far fence, a couple of baby piglets emerged from the tall grass to play in the sunshine. One of the group wanted to get closer to get pictures of them, and tried to sneak up on them even though the rest of us warned him that those were suckling babes, and the mother was likely to be near and aggressive. The piggies were wary though, and fled at the sight of the photographer. Then one of the guides showed us a big scar on his leg he said was from hunting pigs, and some of the other guides told pig-hunting stories and the next time the babies emerged, the photographer was content to be cautious. There are lots and lots of feral pigs on the island, and thousands of feral chickens. If you knew how, you could probably survive rather comfortably here.
After we got back to the headquarters, we signed up for zip lines on Friday. Then, on the way back to the condo, we passed my favorite fabric store in the whole world, and Lydia and Kyle very patiently sat outside in the sun while I went nuts over the Asian prints. Yes, I have more fabric than I can sew up in a year. And still I bought 60 dollars more. I am helpless in the presence of these gorgeous asian prints. And the bundles of fat quarters - 8 for $20 - how could I resist?
Ricky had recommended Puka Dog in Poipu for our lunch. I was pleased. The have a heated rod which they shove into the bun to toast the inside. Then they fill it with your choice of sauces (I had sweet garlic with mango relish) and then, when the hot dog is grilled to perfection, they poke it down into the saucy cavity and hand it over. YUM! We sat at a picnic table in the middle of a garden patch in the shopping center to eat our dogs. The local chickens came over to beg, and we gave them bits of our hot-dog buns. Some of them even ate from our hands.
Ooops, it time to get dressed and go for a drive to Waiamea Canyon.