I like share my life and experiences with my friends and thought this would be a great way to do it. My photo's, videos and story's

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wings Over Kauai

Mary and I had been thinking about going on another Helicopter ride over Hauai, which was to be our last island we would visit on vacation.

While we were on Kona we got talked into going to a Time Share sales pitch for a deal on an aircraft ride over that island and I was not going to set through one of those things again. We sat through it and said, No Thanks and pizzed them off. We took the deal on the discount but I was not going to do it again.

Well we had been talking about another copter ride but those things are just Sooooo expensive. Mary and I were in a small mall like area close to our Resort and we were in a small junk shop. I was bored and told her I would wait outside.

I went out and watched the chickens for a while and then saw a small booth offering discounts. I figured it would be a great place to check into a copter ride.

Well I went in and the guy was all over me, telling me what a great deal he could get us on anything on the island. I laughed and told him flat out that if he was selling Time Shares I was not gonna talk to him. I was not gonna set through another two hours of that crap for no 200 bucks. Once was enough.

Well he told me it was not necessary and that he could give us a great deal on a ride around the entire island on a 172, which I took some flying lessons in and also a ride along the cliffs on a tour boat. I told him that I was not allowed to make those decisions that my boss was in a shop and I would talk to her and maybe be back.

Well I caught her when she left the shop and told her about it. At first she said no because she too was fed up with the Time Share thing. I told her that all we had to do is listen and then decide, she didn't want to listen to him at all.

Well he showed us the brochures on both trips and gave us the price, which I thought was great.



I had flown lots of times in a 172 but Mary had never been in one. We had flown in the helicopter and the twin engine aircraft on Kona but I was wondering how she would take to the little 172. Well what the heck, she had run off the cliff with a rag on her back at Jackson Hole hadn't she? :D

Well we got to the airport early and Bruce was there with the aircraft ready to go.

It could not have been a better flight. It was very smooth and Bruce was a great guide. He took us over the  Waimea Canyon-  http://www.hawaiiweb.com/kauai/html/sites/waimea_canyon.html

The Na Pali Coast-  http://gohawaii.about.com/od/kauaiphotos/ig/captain_zodiac_photos/captain_zodiac_03.htm

and many other points of interest. It was my favorite flight of our whole vacation.

Botanical Garden on Road to Hana

While on Maui Mary and I drove to Hana. The road to Hana is world famous because it has over 700 turns in it, at least that is what they say and 50 bridges or so. It runs along the coast and is just beautiful, at least that is what they say as the driver does not get much of a chance to sight see.

As we were driving, up the road an hour or so we saw a sign to a Botanical Garden. Mary wanted to see it and I sure needed a break. This is the video we took. Because of Marys messed up feet we could not really walk the whole thing and the fact that I know next to nothing about taking video this is a short one.

It is owned and run by a guy and his daughter and is well worth the 10 bucks a head they charge. There are many walking paths and everything is well tended and much is labeled.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Whale Watch off Maui

We saw many whales on all the islands we visited, even when setting on our balcony having an adult beverage. Any place we stood on shore and looked seaward we would usually see a whale spout or breaching eventually. This was especially true when we were staying on Maui.

The area in the picture bounded my Maui, Molokai (Where Father Damion had tended to the lepers) and Lanai. This is a preserve with a fine of a quarter of a million dollars for molesting them. That means coming within a hundred yards of them. Now the boats can go out and stop and if the whales come to them,it is just fine but there is no approaching them. Two were hit last year I was told, one by a Coast Guard boat and the other by the Whale Research Vessel. Whoda thunk it?

Mary really enjoyed watching them as did I so we decided to go out on a Whale Watch boat. Now we had no idea what was best so we just picked one. We headed out and I found out that it is best to go on a smaller boat. Ours was just too crowded for my taste and it was hard at times to get a good look at the close ones because of the crowds on the side the whales come up on. Mary had one right below where she was standing, five feet from her but it just would not surface. She was excited for sure.

I imagine we saw 20 or more but some were at long range. Actually they were all over the place. I saw a big adult broach right next to a small boat a half dozen times. Heck it was not a hundred ft away from it. What a thrill that had to be.

They yellow stick pin with the Whale lable is where we were in the boat. The other one is where the resort we were staying at is.

I hope you enjoy the video

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kona Flight

Mary and I took a flight over the big island a couple weeks ago and this is the video I took. It is in two parts as there was a lot to see. The first is mainly the volcano which is toward the southern end and the second is on the northern coast which is totally different. The north is so green and beautiful and the volcanic area is so bleak. You can still see some of the homes that had to be abandoned when the eruptions started.

It was a great flight and as usual the videos have no chance of really letting the viewer see what we saw.

This flight was very enjoyable and cost much less than our helicopter flight but it was also at a higher altitude, which disappointed me. I still enjoyed it!

Waipio Lookout, Kona

this is one of the beautiful valleys we say while visiting Kona on our vacation. It is called Waipio Lookout.

"Located along the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i, Waipi'o Valley is the largest and southernmost of the seven valleys on the windward side of the Kohala Mountains. Waipi'o is a mile wide at Waipio Valley, Hamakua Hawaiithe coast and almost six miles deep. At the coast there is a beautiful black sand beach constantly pounded by the Pacific Ocean waves. On either side of the valley are cliffs reaching almost 2000 feet in elevation with numerous cascading waterfalls. Hiking in the Waipio Valley is amazing."

What a great vacation!

Road From Kahakuloa

This is the rest of the road that we took on Maui. It was an incredible drive. After we went through Kapalua we drove a mile or so up out of the valley and found the most beautiful Art Gallery we had ever seen. The view was incredible from their Porch, the Pacific to the right, the Village of Kapalua far below and a valley out of Jerassic Park to the left. Their landscaping was incredible too.

As you can see in the video the road greatly improves as we go further north along the coastline toward Kahalaui. The entire crooked narrow road has to be 30-40 miles. I don't really know but it was a long trip!!

Road to Kahakuloa

On our first day on Maui, 2-13-2010, Mary and I decided, even though it was raining, to take a ride up the coast and see the sights. I looked on the map and it looked like a winding road up the coast from Lahaina and looked interesting.

We started North on State Highway 30 and the scenery was indeed beautiful, even looking through a rainy windshield. We stopped at every opportunity to take some pictures and look for whales. we could see some at almost every stop if we looked a while.

The road ran along the ocean and back into hidden valleys and slowly got narrower. I did not really notice when the center line disappeared but somewhere along the way it did. I can not remember when I first noticed the dang road was getting pretty narrow until I saw a car coming and there was no place to really pull off. Cripe, there were two cars trying to pass on a one car road!  I looked at Mary and asked where the hell the road went!

It was white knuckle driving for quite a way, actually for miles but I was not looking at the speedometer at the time. It was funny because when the natives would squeeze past they would be smiling as if they were in their right mind but the tourist were, lets just say, rather tense :D Me included. I would guess we passed a dozen cars or so in this way.

There were several times that I squeezed over to the right as tight as I could and we almost took our mirrors off! There were several parts of this video edited because Mary and I were rather tense at times HAHAHHA  She wanted to kill me!  There was one time where the road was especially narrow and a car was coming and she said, "Look, there's a whale!" I explained to her, in a kind and gentile way I thought at the time, that I was not interested in a whale at the time. She must have interpreted that in a different way because she immediately called me an AH. Hummm, on reflection maybe I did react in a tense voice through terror. Hummm    Frankly I would not have noticed a Whale mating with a kangaroo right along the road at that point, I was so focused on the dang road. :(

We finally came to a spot where we could look down at the small Village of Kahakuloa. Heck I didn't even know there was a village down in that gully but there it was. A quaint little village with a beautiful church. The road was no wider through the village either. The enterprising villagers had set up little stands to sell water and banana bread along side the road to earn a little money from the crazy tourists too. Problem was, when someone stopped to get some banana bread the traffic on the so called road was halted until the transaction was finished.  That was fine as a few minutes of relaxation was in order about then.

After we passed through the village the road widened by about foot though and that gave us a little breathing room.  We could see some kind of building occasionally when we looked up to the top of the hill but could not make out what the heck it was. It looked like a resort or something but there is no way that sane tourists would drive this road to no dang resort!

As I said the road got a bit wider and we came to the top of the hill and there was a beautiful home. It was actually an art gallery and we decided to stop.