We checked out and headed over to Wailua Falls, which was just a short drive away. The view was from above, and the falls were impressive. The official government height of the falls is 80 feet, but in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook the authors note that it looked considerably taller, so they decided to measure it and found that it is 173 feet - as tall as Niagara Falls (although far less water flows over)!
As we started to pull out of the parking lot we were stopped by a woman who was there weaving baskets for the tourists. I rolled down the window and she asked if we were newlyweds - Heather and Anthony had written "Just Married" in the dust on our bumper the day before. She gave us a basket with two fish kissing - it was really quite touching.
For lunch we went to Kilohana Plantation. This was the plantation that our families had visited on Dec 23, while Mark, Sara and I were hiking the Kalalau trail. John had noticed that they had a special Christmas lunch offer, with all local food from the plantation, and had made reservations. We had time before lunch to walk around and see the historic buildings, farm implements, and tour the jewellery store. Lunch was delicious - a traditional turkey dinner but a tropical aspect to the ingredients (if I remember right it was a cranberry and mango sauce). We wished each other a "Mele Kalikimaka" (the Hawai'ian translation for "Merry Christmas"); it had been a wonderful family vacation in addition to our wedding, and it was a really special experience to have all our families together over the holidays. Then Mark and I headed off to the airport, for our honeymoon in Maui.
Mark and I had to make two flights - one to Oahu, then another to Maui. Flying out of these small island airports was so easy in comparison to the international flights - lines were short, luggage was unloaded promptly. We got into Maui and found the shuttle to our car rental - the woman at the counter was almost a cliche of hard island living: too much sunshine, cigarettes and hair dye.
We were happy to have borrowed Heather and Anthony's GPS unit - finding our way out to the countryside in the dark where we were staying at a little family-run complex would have been difficult otherwise. Once again we had winding roads, hairpin turns and a one-lane bridge on our drive into the "uplands" - a ranching area of the island near the base of the East Maui volcano, Haleakala. We got out of the car to find incredibly bright stars in a dark night sky and the overpowering sound of crickets. Unlike our resort in Kaua'i, this was a small and simple place - really just somewhere to sleep and eat before heading out to explore the islands.
The large luau dining hall at Kilohana - with a live tree growing through its roof!
The tree - a huge mango
Poinsettias - not just a potted Christmas plant in Hawai'i
Old plantation equipment decorates the grounds - like this crate of underwear?
At quick glance it's a mutant two-headed donkey...
Cat rising from a lazy nap on an outbuilding porch
Not all the outbuildings are genuine - some have been built for film sets
Yet another wild rooster