Surf Report: Kinda flat
Winds: Trade winds
I wake up and walk down to Bogarts cafe. It has been my go to while staying on the South Shore. I get the coffee and acai bowl. The day is slow, and I move along with the speed of Hawaii.
I talked to Hawaiian Airlines yesterday, and finally got a live person today. I'll have to get an invoice from the shaper and send Hawaiian Airlines the copy of the invoice.
B-sauce is up, and we talk about what to eat for breakfast. De-Roy invites us into his room, and we play some Capcom vs. Marvel. B-sauce kicks our asses again.
B-Sauce says he has a spot to show me that is right down the street.
The phone rings as I am trying to make a left. The traffic is backed up with a bus, and we are blocking the intersection. It's Hawaiian Airlines again. I'm on the phone, blocking the intersection, damn it. I go straight, pull into the gas station, finish my phone call, cut through the traffic and get across the street to a food truck.
The Banana Banan truck is open for business! This spot is run by 2x World Champion Carissa Moore's boyfriend. He greets us, and takes our order. I ordered a turmeric banan. B-sauce gets a green banan. A Banan is the puree'd soft-cream style treat of tropical bananas grown locally on Oahu. They are combined with various other flavors like coconut, turmeric, ginger, carrots, and many others. It was a great tasting treat to have before my flight from Honolulu to Kauai.
My flight. What time was my flight?
While eating Banan, I think my flight is at 1130 AM. I look at my itinerary and the flight is at 1110 AM. I had to be there thirty minutes ago!
I accept the fact that I am late, and drive back to the Dojo with B-sauce in tow. I gathered my stuff: clothes, hydroflask, ukulele, supplements, and snacks. I jam to my car, and start driving to the airport. I know I'm late. Oh well.
I get to the rental car return and forgot to fill the car up with gas. Oh well.
Checking in, the teleprompter says the flight is departing. The check-in kiosk tells me I am too late. I check with a kiosk attendee. She says line up there, pointing to a customer service line. Oh well.
So, I get a ticket on the next flight. They tell me to go to the gate, and NOT TO GO TO THE BAR. I politely oblige.
I text my sister on what had happened. She told me, "Classic KK move! Missing your flight for some hilarious reasons."
Then, I get a call from my future landlord. He asks me some questions about my job, and some things that were illegible. He says thank you and we hang up.
My flight to Kauai is smooth. I have to pee badly, so I am eager for the fasten seatbelt sign to turn off. Once it turns off, I rush back to relieve myself of the pressure in my bladder. A girl gets up too, and she races on ahead of me... Damn it. She closes the door behind her with a smile, as if to say, "I'm gonna pee before you~"
As soon as I pee like Seabiscuit, I return to my seat, only to find that we are descending. The seatbelt sign turns back on, and the flight attendants are collecting empty juice cups and water cups handed out. Did we even lift off the ground? I'm not even sure.
Arrival on Lihue is smooth. I grab my uke, hydroflask, and backpack and head off to my car rental. The car rental aunty is a rather Rubenesque, heavy-set lady with dark shades on. Her large body and hidden face screams authority but is accompanied by a sweet voice. She tells everyone who brought more than one piece of luggage, "You guys tryin too hard! You're on vacation!!"
She helps haul in the last couples' luggage into the shuttle. The door slams behind her, and we are off. She explains to us where to go to check-in for our car reservation, where to return, how to return the car effectively by dropping off luggage and other passengers at the airport before returning the car, and for us to have a nice time during our stay on Kauai.
I get to the car rental, and line up at the counter. I get a sweet girl to help me out. She gets me my car, and wishes me a nice stay.
There is a dent on the car, and I mark the paper. But, no one is at the attendee's podium. I drive around, and no one is out. Da fuck? Did everyone take a break? I drive off the lot without handing them the ticket.
I think of a plan. My place that I rented is on the North Shore of Kauai. I'm not even sure how far that is at this point. One thing is for sure, I am hungry. So, I drive to the nearest town, Kapaa.
I stop into a few random places that have restaurants, Foodland, and another grocery store. I am getting hungry, but nothing tickles my pickle. I yelp a poke place close by, and there is a poke spot in a shopping center if I back track 0.2 miles.
I drive down and find the small shopping center. The shopping center is under construction, so I walk around to find the poke place. I peep into a few stores out of curiosity, including a local t-shirt shop, and go to the visitors center. They guide me to the right place.
I don't recall the name of the place, but it was near a hotel. The poke was $17.99 a pound. Damn that was expensive as fuck! So I get a pound, and a side of brown rice. The hot sun is glaring down at us as we try to find solace under the shade. The cold poke tastes great with the hot brown rice under the hot sun. The ahi is fresh, and the sauce is perfect: not too salty, a hint of sweetness, and a well-balance finish of sesame oil, sesame seeds and chives. One can tell it was made fresh since the shoyu hasn't soaked into the tuna, yet the taste of the sauce and fresh fish is equally delicious.
I drive up to a Foodland and buy some apples, some bananas, a small, "super sweet" pineapple, two avocados, a six pack of beer, and a pound of poke. I wanted to get some rest in tonight, and decided to head straight to the place I was staying. So far this Hawaii trip, I haven't been sleeping on a bed, let alone a whole night. Tonight, I had to rest.
I drive following signs that read North. I don't want to use my GPS for two reasons: sheer cheapness (data is expensive, man!) and I wanted to choose my own adventure. I wanted to get lost and to make a wrong turn. I wanted to find my Kauai.
I drive through Kapaa town, and it is CROWDED WITH PEOPLE. Holy shit, there are a lot of people, and cars!! It is all man-made traffic though. Much like that stretch of Kam Highway right by Chun's reef and Jocko's, because everyone is rubber-necking the break, jay walking the street, finding parking, leaving parking, and jacking off in their car. Kapaa was like that. Ok it wasn't that bad, but what followed after the exodus from Kapaa burns in my memory.
The drive up north was breath-taking. BREATH. TAKING.
The beaches were mostly empty. I couldn't believe it. There were waves out there, lifeguards on duty, and only one or two people out. Da boyz from the Dojo told me that Kauai will be empty, but I didn't think this empty. I couldn't believe how beautifully empty the beach was.
There was a stretch on the highway where the highway is covered over by gargantuan trees. The trees towered over measly humans and their concrete roads. Small gleams of light sparkled through as we drove forty miles per hour.
Driving forty five miles per hour was noticeably fast over in Kauai. I was stunned and also pleased to drive slowly, enjoying the serenity of the scenery. I had my iPhone connected to the cars system, so I had it going on random. There were some songs that I had always skipped over but I listened to them here in Kauai. They were songs of love, of rock and rolling, of Marvin Gaye.
I pay attention to the stores on my way to the North Shore. People have told me that everything shuts down at 900 PM here. So, if they are right about the empty beaches, I trust they are right about the 900 PM thing. So, if I need something and I know this before 900 PM, I should come to this spot.
Further down the road, I get enthralled by the rows of trees covered in symbiotic vines on their entire body, from trunk to branches. The dark green vines have huge leaves on them that fan over the branches. These trees have been here for hundreds of thousands of years, maybe even millions of years. It dwarfed the human ego inside of me. We humans seemingly act as though we know everything after a few decades of life. Mother Nature is and will continue to be living, thriving, striving, progressing, evolving, and overpowering. The mana of the Hawaiian islands is alive in the soil, the air, the trees, the mountains and the water. We humans must learn from Mother Nature. We must protect Mother Nature.
I near Princeville and start to read the instructions of where this vacation rental place is located. The instructions the manager wrote can only be seen on pdf, so I am having difficulty reading it. I realize that I had missed my turn, when I get a call. The phone reads, "Aisa."
Aisa and I met through a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel, and we hit things off through our conversations in the app. I was myself, and she was herself. I made suggestive inappropriate innuendos in our conversations about life, traveling, and careers. She matched with equal passion in response. I got her number, and started to text her through t he phone.
Then our conversations halted. I thought to myself, "What the fuck? Ok, well, if she ain't responding... I can't do anything."
And here she is, calling me. I pick up the phone, driving the wrong way still.
She first apologizes about not responding to texts. She has been going through some tough times, and haven't been available. Understandable, since we all have been there. We talk, a bit while I drive around, make a U-turn, and head back to the right direction. Our conversations are breaking up because of the poor service available in Kauai. We agree to text each other back and forth, and we hang up. Perhaps the poor service is a blessing. We kept the conversation short, succinct, to the point, and agreed on texting each other while I was on vacation. Actually, it was me who asked if it was ok to text food pictures, hiking pictures, and the occasional sexy selfie to her, and she said that was ok, with a laugh.
I punch in the address of the place and give in to GPS technology. My GPS leads me through a gated community full of old, retired white people. Talk about a homogeneous population! There is a fucking golf course here... Fuck, where am I staying? The fucking retirement housing complexes??
I arrive at my place. It's across a fancy shmancy gated community. That's right, there is a gated community within the gated community. Way to out-yup the yuppies, Yuppy McYuppy. The complex I am staying in has a top unit, and a bottom unit. I don't understand how or why there is a bottom unit. Wouldn't that make the units underground?
I get to my unit, and the instructions are hard to follow in the dark. I can't open the key lock, and struggle to punch in the right numbers. Even after punching in the right numbers, I pull the tab and release it before the cover comes off. I finally manage to coordinate my pulling of the tab with the cover popping off. I am so smart! Ess emm are tee!!
I get inside the unit, and the living room is an open space taken up by the bed, a round dining table, a sofa, and a coffee table. The bathroom looks nice, but where is the cooking area? I start opening the closet doors inside the bathroom. Extra towels in one drawer, books displayed on an empty compartment. I open another closet, next to the living room couch, and therein lies the poorly put together "cooking area." The small closet had shelves in it with bowls stacked on top plates stacked on top of cutting boards, various utensils and bottle openers, some mugs for coffee, and a mini-fridge. Well, paying $100 a night in a gated community does have its pitfalls. I throw my snacks, fruit, poke, beer, and avocado in the fridge. I crack open a beer and start reading the manual. It says to make sure to keep the room clean, and move any furniture that we move. I immediately move the coffee table that had this manual on top out of the way. Finally, some open space to lay on and foam roll!
I unpack my backpack and set up my living space. My laptop and ukulele are out, and I start chugging my beer. It's been a long few days.
I see the balcony outside, and there is a huge drop into a valley of greenery that does not allow for any visibility to the ground. The lush valley is filled with chirps of birds and croaks of frogs. Across the valley, there is another few acres of lush green grass and more houses.
As time tick-tocks away, I decide to go for a walk. I might as well try to exercise before the sun sets. Perhaps I can find a way to get to the water. I walk down the street, passing by scenic overlooks from the cliffs to million dollar houses and condominium complexes. Jennifer Lopez once tried to buy out a few complexes to put her own mega-mansion on the land, but the people of the Land said no, and insisted she sell her properties at once. I'm not sure if she did or not, but the message was clear: Don't build anymore.
I see that there is another gated community further, but there seems to be a dead end. I walk along the sidewalk, and see a small walkway. Two surfer girls, probably in middle school, wait for their parents to pick them up. I back track a few steps and take the small walkway. The walkway is red dirt, wet with the previous rain. The concrete wall on the right side separates the iron gates on the left side. The concrete wall turns into iron gates too, covered thick in vine. I can hear the voices of four males talking on how fucked up they got last night, and how fucked up they will be tonight.
The path leads through a brush area, and there are small stairs. A surfer dude and his chick walk up. He is carrying a rental longboard. We exchange hello's and continue on our paths. I can see the Hanalei peak way off in the distance. The sun is setting over it. I make my way down the path, to see a rope along the red dirt path. The rope is there to help travelers of this path to travel safely without slipping. I am in my slippers, and try my best not to slip. I make my way down, not knowing where I am going to end up. The path keeps leading down, through huge trees that have overgrown the air space but still reach for the heavens. There is an area of brown, dead tree leaves scattered all over the ground. A senior couple walk up the path. The gentleman is wearing shorts and a polo shirt. The woman is wearing a black dress with blue shawl, holding her shoes in one hand and walking barefoot. The gentleman thanks me for sticking to the side and letting them pass. I smile and say, "You're welcome."
I finally get down to the sand, and it is a small, secluded beach of brown, grainy sand. There are two surfers out in the line up, and the waves are at most two feet, California scale. I sit, and breathe. I bury my hands and feet in the sand, letting the grains run through my fingers and toes. I sit and enjoy the moment of solitary freedom.
The water slowly crashes inches beyond my sand covered feet. It has been a long day… I should go for a swim. I take off my hat, my shirt, put my phone and keys under a fallen, yellow leaf, leave my slippers on the rocks and head for the bosom of Mother Ocean. I crawl into her warm, inviting arms, and start floating.
The sky was still a light blue, glowing with a tinge of red and purple. I start to swim around, going out to see. I open my eyes under water and watch the coral dance. They undulate with precise synchronization, never moving too fast or too slow. I float head down for a while and come back for air. I swim more, going between the coral reef below me. My hand catches the reef as I paddle since the coral is shallow. I get some small cuts on my left hand as a result. I keep swimming out to the reef, thinking maybe, just maybe, I can body surf one of these waves.
I see a girl paddle back in with her longboard. I can only see her cute butt from behind. She walks up the sand, and disappears into the woods.
I swim for a while longer, and head back in to shore. I sit again, contemplating about nothing. Soul searching on Kauai, and keeping my mind blank. This feels good.
Now, the sun is quickly setting, and darkness is falling upon the land. I gather my things, and head back up to the trail. I climb slowly, not cautiously but at my own pace, uphill. I don’t need to use the rope on my way up, even though my worn out slippers have lost their grip. I finally make it back out to the grassy clearing, and find my way back between the iron gates and concrete wall. I make it through the pathway, and start walking back to my place.
As I am walking, I see in the distance a group of tourists stopping and pointing at the sky. I look back, and see a gorgeous purple sky tinged with orange and violet red. I start walking back to an open area where I can soak in the view. A retiree walks by and says, “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
“I never get sick of it,” I replied.
I head back to my place and it is almost too dark. There really aren’t any lights around this place. Inside my humble abode, I turn on the Laker game and crack open a beer. I cut some avocado and eat it with poke.
Tomorrow, I’ll head into Princeville, eat some food, and head to Waimea Canyon. Maybe I’ll do a hike before I leave?
Mahalos Mother Ocean and Kauai!