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Published: September 10th 2019
We spend the morning lazing by the pool. Issy asks me what the novel I’m reading is about, and I tell her that it’s a murder mystery. I’m not sure why she asked; she knows that’s all I ever read. She asks me why I don’t get bored with murder mysteries. I don’t know what’s to get bored with; they’re all different. It wouldn’t be very realistic if the same person got murdered every time, and if the killer was the same every time it wouldn’t be a mystery.
Now that she’s asked about novels I take the opportunity to vent about the one I’ve just finished reading. It’s not that it wasn’t a good novel; that was the problem, I couldn’t put it down. It was part of a series about a Detective Chief Inspector Matilda Darke. On the last page there was a twist that was a teaser to read the next novel in the series, but when I went to download it I found that it hasn’t been released yet, in fact it might not yet even have been written. This left me wanting to murder the author, a gent by the name of Michael Wood. I’ve
decided that Mr Wood will join the list of people who’ve wronged us on this trip, and need letters written to or about them when we get home. Others who will be getting letters include the Italian Fraud Squad, who will get one advising about the activities of the Noleggiare Car Rental Company, and TripAdvisor who will get one asking them to blacklist the owners of Starry Sky Charming House in Sardinia for abusing any guests who dared to post critical reviews of their establishment on the TripAdvisor website. I‘m also considering writing to the US Government suggesting that they increase the minimum wage of wait staff so that we don’t need to tip them in order for them to survive, but I’m not overly optimistic of a positive response from The Donald to that one.
We set off for the airport for our long anticipated joy flight over the legendary Na Pali Cliffs on the inaccessible west side of the island. Whilst we’re waiting to board we browse through a book about all the movies that have been made on location here in Kauai. It’s a very long and impressive list and includes such notables as Jurassic Park,
Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong and Avatar. The movie Soul Surfer, which was about 13 year old Kauaian girl Bethany Hamilton who lost an arm in a shark attack while surfing off a beach here, was also filmed here on her home island.
We're supposed to be flying in a four seater Cessna, but the look the lady at reception gives us suggests she thinks we might have been overindulging on Hawaiian food, and that they might need a bigger plane to accommodate us. We are all weighed, together with Issy's handbag and my camera, and it seems we've just made it in under the limit. I'm now feeling decidedly nervous. I hope the scales are accurate, and that they've included at least some margin for error. We pile into the Cessna with our pilot Cameron. He tells us that luckily for us the skies are unusually clear today and visibility is excellent. It is however very windy, and too dangerous for him to do the part of the route that he would normally take up Waimea Canyon. We fly north along the east coast of the island. The views are fantastic. Cameron points out a large
coastal property, which is actually three properties joined together. He tells us that this was bought recently by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for somewhere around a hundred million dollars, which I’m sure is just small change to Mr Zuckerberg. The terrain steepens as we fly west and we get our first views of the stunning cliffs. Cameron tells us that these are up to 1,200 metres high in places. Photos don’t do this place any justice at all. We turn around and get more views of the cliffs as we fly back along them. Cameron points out a section of road which was wiped out by torrential rainfall in 2018 when a world record 50 inches fell in 24 hours. That’s getting on for a staggering three times Melbourne’s average annual rainfall falling in a single day. Amazingly no one was killed or injured, but some people were isolated for a few days, and food and other supplies had to be ferried in to them. We head back across the island via the Hanalei Valley, which looks to be jam packed with spectacular waterfalls. This is clearly a ridiculously wet place and we’re now beginning to understand just how lucky we’ve
been to see it on a clear day. We all agree that the flight has been an absolute highlight.
Scott’s hungry, so we drop Issy back at the hotel and head out to look for somewhere to eat. We walk into what looks like a grill restaurant and immediately feel like we’ve landed on the set of an American movie. People are jammed around a bar, drinking beer, and watching the American institution of Monday Night Football. We might be out in the middle of the Pacific, but this isn’t stopping the locals from “rooting” enthusiastically for the New Orleans Saints as they take on the Houston Texans.
I go wandering down onto the beach to take some happy snaps and get chatting to Mike and Maryanne, a retired couple from Missouri. We compare notes about how long it’s taken to get here and it’s declared a draw at ten hours each. Mike says he wants them to come to Australia, but he’s a bit worried “about the bugs y’all have got down there”, specifically the funnel web spiders and marine stingers. We hear this everywhere we go; people are too scared to come to Oz because they
think they’re bound to get done in by something; if it’s not a snake it’ll be a spider or a jellyfish or a shark or a crocodile. I think we might need to do a bit of work on our international image.
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