Hilo, Hawaii: departures and a traveling companion
Goodbye, Hawaii. It was a grand visit!

Nawiliwili, Kauai (Hawaii): a cautionary tale

Kauai is the fourth largest and northernmost in the Hawaiian chain of islands. It is called the "Garden Island" for its lush greenery and, according to our driver, is home to the second heaviest rainfall spot in the world. The harbor entrance was outstanding.

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Another ship was already docked by the cruise terminal, so we were relegated to a temporary dock in the adjacent freight yard. The walk to the terminal and to a nice park at the edge of the port was lengthy. We decided Uber was the way to get to our first destination, the famous Wailua Falls. Rides were plentiful, and Angelo arrived in a few minutes. The twenty-minute drive to the Falls was pleasant, and Angelo assured us there were a lot of Uber drivers in the area, so we would have no problems catching another ride.  The Falls were off the beaten path: the road off the main highway was lengthy and winding as we climbed to the dead-end at the Falls. Emphasis on "off the beaten path", "lengthy", "winding", and "climbed" become important.

The  Falls themselves were dramatic, falling a hundred or so feet to the rocks below. A lot of signs warned about the dangers of hiking to the Falls and told everyone not to go past the signs; we abided by the signs.

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Our initial view of the Falls was degraded by the presence of an entitled citizen who chose to ignore all the warnings and other signs to go down to the top of the Falls. He proceeded to stand there for an extended period with his cell phone and stick extension taking pictures of himself. There were a number of comments from those looking at the Falls about how nice it would be to have a sniper available. We concurred.


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No visitor, courtesy of good software.

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I bought a bracelet hand woven from a Ki or Ti plant. In ancient Hawaii, the Ki plant was thought to have great spiritual power to ward off negative energy. The vendor and Wilson became great friends.


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Why did the chicken cross the cliff....

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After we saw all that was to be seen and did all that was to be done, it was time to get a return Uber.

Thus begins the cautionary tale.

While there may be a lot of Uber drivers in the area, they are only as useful as your capability to book one. In our eagerness to view the Falls, we forgot one small, but very important, detail: always check your cell phones for the reception. It turned out that our Spectrum cell phones, which connect off Verizon towers, didn't have enough signal strength (the dreaded One Bar) to sustain a connection with the Uber app. 

Being experienced travelers, we quickly realized we had three options:

1. Ask some of the hoard of other tourists if they had a signal and if we could borrow their phone
2. See if one of the street vendors would call us a cab
3. Walk down the road from the dead-end until we get a signal.

For reasons only attributable to either the altitude or a Brain Cloud, we decided on option three and took off down the road. Because we were smart and sophisticated Americans, we avoided the temptation to run screaming in a panic as we went. Initially, there was Good News and Bad News. The Good News was the scenics were very nice. The Bad News was signal strength went from One Bar to SOS (no signal) the further we walked. 

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After days of stumbling through the jungle, fighting off wild beasts.... Actually, after about 1/2 hour, we came to a wide spot in the road and decided to take a break, sitting on the railing beside the road. There was nothing in either direction.

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While I bemoaned our fate, my wife, the smart one in the crowd, looked at her phone and saw two bars. My contribution was to tell her not to move a muscle regardless of how uncomfortable the railing was until she got us a ride. A Happy Ending followed: Ganny rescued us about twenty minutes later and took us to the Harbor Mall.

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Side notes: While we were waiting, one of the passing vehicles actually stopped and asked us if we needed a ride; thank you, unknown good samaritans! In route, Ganny told us that what he normally did was ask riders if they wanted him to wait and take them back down for an additional mere penance.  It turns out that AT&T cell phones have good signal reception at the Falls.

Harbor Mall

Only about a half dozen stores were open. The BIG excitement was a chicken shepherding her chicks through the food court, not at all bothered by the stupid tourists. The best store was what looked like a tourist trap from the entrance. But in two additional closed-from-outside storefronts accessible from behind the touristy stuff was an amazing collection of high-end model cars, trains, and airplanes. There was a section of vintage Lionel train sets, locomotives, and railcars all set up in display cases.    

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Mall entertainment


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"Where the sun rises on the past"

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A free- shuttle returned us to the port terminal for the <long> walk back to the ship.

End of day
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Click here for full-size images of Nawiliwili at www.ImagesByBill.us

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