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Jungle Fowl of Kauai

They're on about every square foot of the island. Supposedly the great hurricane of 1992, which practically leveled the island, demolished most of the chicken enclosures and they're now everywhere. Pretty soon you get so accustomed to the crowing that it's no bother.

Most of them are the breed known as Red Jungle Fowl.

It wouldn't be difficult — heh-heh —to have barbecued or stewed chicken at any time (pellet gun or snare).

Kamokila Hawaiian Village

This is a recreated traditional Hawaiian village, on the banks of the Wailua River. There are maybe a dozen buildings and walking around (not many turistas) you can get a feeling for what life was like pre-gringo.

Candy and the Ship in a Bottle at Aloha-n-Paradise

Yesterday I discovered the espresso hangout in Waimea, called Aloha-n-Paradise, run by the very lively Candy Baar. While waiting for Candy to make my latte, I spotted a dust-covered bottle on a shelf on the porch. It was an exquisite little bamboo house, complete with 2 people and a palm tree impossibly ensconced in a bottle with a rusty cap with a diameter of about 1-1/4 inches. Did they build it inside the bottle, or have it folded so they could slip it in and then pull it erect?

I had to have it. Candy and I agreed on a price and when I get back, it'll be a star exhibit in the Shelter office.

Coffee is excellent and there's an art gallery and wi-fi connection.

Breakfast With Gina and Chantal at "Gina's at Yumi's Restaurant"

Yumi started the restaurant in 1978. After she passed away, Gina bought the business from Yumi's daughter and calls it "Gina's at Yumi's." In the southern Kauai town of Waimea.

Chantal, Gina's mom was helping out when I was there.

A great breakfast.

Huge Surf ("…60-80 feet") Last Wednesday, King's Reef, Hanalei

I was in Hanalei this day, but couldn't see this from where I was (someone said Laird Hamilton was riding monster waves on a foil that day, but I can't find anything on it).
Photo: Terry Lilley
"…Asked about the best wave of the day, Kaeo said it belonged to “the guy having the most fun.” As for his own best wave Wednesday, he described it as “huge.”

'Maybe, like, bigger than this,' he said, pointing to the tops of the nearby palm trees. 'Bigger than this whole tree line. Yea, bigger than that. Out on the third reef, King’s. And just giant. I don’t know how big. I was too concentrated on how to surf it.'

Wolcott, Kaeo’s long-time surfing buddy, didn’t downplay his friend’s catch one bit.
'This guy stepped up to a record-breaker,' he said of Kaeo. 'Between 80 and 100 feet, guarantee … A monster. A mile or three-quarter mile ride. It was sick. Sick.'

And Wolcott didn’t let it go there. He made sure it was clear just how ridiculous Kaeo’s ride was.
'It was life and death, you could say. It was borderline,' he said. 'You fall on that you’re in big trouble.'…"
Chris D’Angelo - The Garden Island:  http://bit.ly/1C9Grds

Waterfall on Na Pali Coast

The 2nd part of my hike on the Na Pali Coast consisted of going 2 more miles from the beach up a canyon to this 300' waterfall, upon which I swam in the pretty cold water over to the rock face and got under the falls. I worried a bit about a rock or branch coming over the falls, but figured the chances were slight. A bunch of young people we doing the same.

By the time I got back to my car, I'd covered 8 miles (round trip) in 5-1/2 hours. It's about 11 miles to the end of the trail (you can't get through to the road north of Waimea (or at least it's very difficult), so you have to backtrack, and this means spending at least one night camping. I talked to a guy who went in for 2 days and ended up staying 11.

Local Food, Local Music

By way of asking around in Waimea (southern part of Kauai, where I've come today), I went to the Kaleheo Steaks & Ribs restaurant tonight, had a half order of baby back ribs with Hawaiian cole slaw, two local beers, and listened to local band Waiola do a bunch of covers (a perfect rendition of Percy Sledges' "When a Man Loves a Woman"), and then a stunning Hawaiian song where the singer hit impossibly high falsetto notes, the occasional yodel, and the maybe 25 customers were cheering.

This is out of chronological sequence with my trip, but I'll backtrack when I can.

The southern part of Kauai is WAY different than the northern part.

Buckwheat "Kauai Waffle" at Hanalei Coffee Roasters

Short Hike on Na Pali Coast

This is a steep, rugged section of land at the end of the road on the north shore of Kauai. I hiked in 2 miles to Hanakapiai Beach and it was tough! This is a mother of a trail, steep and slippery in parts. When I got to the beach, the surf was (sorry to use the word) awesome. 15'+ shore break. Anyone in the water would be more or less instantly killed, if not by the bonecruncher waves, by the rocky (no sand this time of year) shore.

A few observations:
1. There were just too many people on the trail.
2. I couldn't believe how many overweight people were making this trek.
3. There were also runners -- running no less.

At left, part of the trail going up…

This day's adventure to be continued…

Super-high resolution image of Andromeda from Hubble Telescope

From my friend Mickey
(Full screen please):

"Speaking of Tiny Places to live, here is an interesting video.

Each bright light is a star cluster or supernova. All the other points of light are stars. 100 million of them. They form a section of the Andromeda Galaxy which, in turn, is only a tiny piece of what we see in the night sky. And so many of those stars have planets orbiting them; many more planets than stars in this video, but unseen.

Makes our Earth seem very small. Tiny, actually."

Simple Wood Frame Home in Hanalei

Note how the porch is created by subtraction.

Wai`oli Hui`ia Church in Hanalei


Elegant Building in Hanalei

"Waioli Mission Hall stands as a major monument of Hawaiian architectural history, the primary inspiration for the Hawaiian double-pitched hipped roof so widely popularized by C. W. Dickey in the 1920s. Built by the Reverend William P. Alexander, Dickey's grandfather, the plaster walls of the frame structure repose beneath a sprawling roof and encircling lanai. The roof, originally thatched, was shingled in 1851. Similarly, the freestanding, ohia-framed belfry at the rear of the mission was of thatch construction, but most likely received a covering of shingles in the same year. The form of the twenty-five-foot-high belfry drew upon a long British and American colonial tradition. Common in its day, today it stands as the sole surviving example of its type in Hawaii.
This was the third church building on the site, with the earlier thatched edifices falling prey to fire and storms. It remained a center for worship until the completion of Waioli Huiia Church (ka44) in 1912, when it became a community hall for the church, a function it still serves today. The building has been thrice restored: in 1921 by Hart Wood, in 1978 by Bob Fox, and again in 1993, following Hurricane Iniki, by Designare Architects."

Swimming, Birds, Coffee,Stone Age Polynesian Sailors, and a Harley Davidson Pickup Truck

Ocean I took a last swim yesterday before leaving the hotel in Kapaa, with fins and some new goggles. Saw fish, coral, sandy spots. Got out and swam 4 laps in the very nice fresh water pool just outside my room. I walked past a hotel guest on my way out of the water and he said, You looked at home out there. Well, all right…Headed north to Hanalei…

Birds All of them are new to me. A flock of little (finch-size) cinnamon brown ones with black heads, elegant color combo, that flit around like a small cloud, staying about 15' from admiring humanoids. A small grey/white one with a scarlet head. Small doves with blue beaks.

"I like coffee, I like tea, I like the java java and it likes me…Right now I'm at the Hanalei Roasting company with a 16 oz latte and a waffle with papaya and banana slices and, er, um -- whipped cream. No wi-fi --  hey-hey-hey; makes me think of Mung Noi, Laos village reachable only by water, and no motor vehicles. Remindful in the sense of being in a different world from my normal coastal (east + west) everything's-on-all-the-time mileau.

Kindred Factor I feel at ease with people here. Brother/sister appreciators of the ocean and the earth, tuned in to the beauty of the physical world.

Stone Age Polynesian Sailors It seems that around 3-400 AD, Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands reached Hawai'i (as well as Tahiti sand Easter Island) in wooden dugout sailing canoes, carrying plants and animals. They had maps made of sticks and shells. When I get time I'm going to Google around for "Discoverers of the Pacific," which appeared in National Geographic Magazine in Dec., 1974. Also book with fascinating title, The Vikings of the Pacific, by Peter Buck.

The S. V. Kauai The size of Kauai is exquisite. 25 X 35 miles, a ship in the sea. Multiple climatic zones, clean fresh air. It feels like I'm out in the Pacific in a (stationary) sailboat, with the ocean moving around me.
Note on travel writing: my blog is hardly viral. It's down from 2,000 people a day to about 1,000 these days (am posting less), so I'm not worried too much about ruining great spots by describing them. I feel that readers here are more or less like-minded people and should they visit these places, they'll be tuned-in and welcome visitors.

Hanalei is stunning, but I liked Kapaa a lot. The comparison is a bit like San Francisco/Oakland, or Medford/Ashland. One drawback in Kapaa is the traffic jams. I guess if you live there, you try to travel the highway during off hours. This is Sunday, can't believe this is only my 4th day here. Oh yeah, I'm staying in  a nicely-converted school bus belonging to newly-met friends on the outskirts of town here.
Old Harley pickup truck in Kapaa

Home Sweet Ocean

I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin about half past dead…
This song recurs to me now and then when I'm on the road. In Puerto Jiminez on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, a kind of dusty border town, the song came to me. And here this morning in Kapaa, on the northern shore of Kauai, I've got only a half hour from the airport and I love the  place. It's got the big touristy hotels, but there's a healthy local gringo culture here, haven't been here long enough to suss out local Hawai'ian culture, been here less than 48 hours now, gotta check out of hotel soon, so will post some of yesterday's discoveries before the maid kicks me out:
My Daewoo beater, duct-taped sunroof, $25/day (30 w.tax), perfect, not being the new Avis/Budget/Alamo brand new tourist rental.

Found a place to lay my head, got into ocean, perfect temp., not too cold/warm, oh my! 3 times in water yesterday, each time with fins, once with air mat, which I'm finding difficult to control, squirrelly; a little body surfing;  the sand is rough and granular, fluffy, soft, nice to roll around when you come back in. Last night swam in rain. No one else at least here, doing anything like this. I'm like a starving man sitting down to a banquet, the Pacific so inviting and comfortable, unlike the 50 degree NorCal ocean.

Small Town Coffee
Annie Caporufscio set up shop in this converted Ford airport shuttle van with her partner Jeremy Hartshorn; Annie had run the shop for 9 years in rented space, but got tired of the landlords rising the rent and "…didn't want to be bullied in the lease." Great barista crema, the muffins make a good breakfast. Local hangout, good vibes…

Kauai Beach House Hostel
$40 shared sleeping room, $80 for a solo room (of which there are 3). Looks doable to me, especially in the land of 2-$300 hotel rooms. On beach, clean, wi-fi, young travelers, kitchen, shared baths, cool place.

Shared room.

Paul Iwai's Rooster Farm
How many roosters, I asked. 200?
More, Paul said. Are they beautiful! Had great visit with Paul, from a Japanese family, on family land, born here, I know chickens, and we talked shop. Oh my again! Look at these beauties; beautifully tended. You should hear the noise!

I asked Paul where I could buy a knife and he gave me two. We ate macadamia nuts from his trees, he gave me grapefruit, tangerines, I'm sending him 3 books. Kindred spirits abound here.

 That's part of what happened yesterday, gotta pack up and head north now. 

The Most Wonderful Day of My Life

I realize that I am afflicted with over-enthusiasm, especially when it comes to communicating my experiences as i move through life. That said, this was just about the most perfect day I've ever had.

I was a water person in earlier years, starting at 4 years of age when I fell in a lake and while underwater until my dad fished me out, enjoyed the experience. In high school I swam competitively and one day after a swimming meet at the great Fleishacker salt water pool out at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, a swimmer named Jim Fisher and I went out across the Great Highway to swim in the ocean. I couldn't believe it. The waves, blue water, invigoration. I was hooked.

Had my first surfboard ride at age 18, then changed my major at Stanford so I was through every Thursday at noon and able to head to Santa Cruz until Sunday night. I was a lifeguard, taught swimming, and then somehow over  the years, drifted away from the beach in comparison with my serious surfer friends.

WELL -- I've come to this small island of Kauai to get back in the water. Today I was in the ocean 3 times -- a little bodysurfing, mostly swimming (the last time in the rain tonight) and in a fresh water pool 3 times..

A barista coffee shop on wheels with wonderful coffee, muffins, and vibes. A hostel on the beach with rates (in this expensive resort area -- Kapaa --) of  $40/$80 per night for shared/solo rooms. A guy in the country with about 300 beautiful roosters and tangerine, grapefruit, macadamia and lychee nut trees.  A day of clouds and sun and clouds and rain. This island like a large boat in the Pacific Ocean. A Mexican restaurant that feels like you're in Mexico with delicious food and 3 TVs with Mexican soccer games.

I'll try to get around to writing it up (with photos) before long…

Super strong, lightweight cardboard bicycle costs $10 to make

"Israeli cycling enthusiast Izhar Gafni has created the coolest eco-vehicle to hit the streets in quite a while - a bike made entirely of cardboard! The sturdy cycle is cheap, eco-friendly, and certainly unique. Gafni first painstakingly bends and folds pieces of cardboard into what initially looks like a shipping package on wheels. He then dunks the design in resin, adds a layer of pearly paint and voila - his one-of-a-kind cardboard creation works and looks just like a beautiful bicycle, but it only costs $10 to make."

New Photos of Fit Old People

Russian photographer/writer/journalist Vladimir Yakovlev is doing a book on fit elders. Keith Levy of New Zealand sent us this link with photos of 8 of Vladimir's subjects: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/11343268/Life-begins-at-70-Pensioners-discover-extreme-hobbies-in-their-twilight-years.html

"For the past two years Russian photojournalist Vladimir Yakovlev travelled around the world, searching for people who have discovered new found hobbies and pleasure in their older age. With the series The Age Of Happiness, Yakovlev hopes to change the usual perception of life after retirement and promote positive aging. On his travels he met some extraordinary characters over 60-year-old - some very close to the 100 milestone - who enjoy each day and inspire others to make their lives equally fulfilling.

Yvonne Dole, pictured, had a car accident when she was 80-year-old resulting in serious concussion. Doctors advised her to hang up her skates. The 86-year-old - who continues to participate in competitions today - says, 'If I ever get in a bad mood, I look at my peers with their oxygen bags, put on skates and smile .'
Picture: Vladimir Yakovlev/REX

Duan Tzinfu, 73, demonstrates his amazing flexibility. He only started training when he turned 60. Before, 40 years of hard work at a glass production plant meant he could barely walk and was not flexible enough to reach his toes.
Picture: Vladimir Yakovlev/REX

Do You Have Hand Problems? Drink More Water!

I went in to see hand surgeon Dr. Robert Markison yesterday about the problem of my right hand getting cold. It's called "primary Raynaud's episode," and is due to restricted flow of blood to the hands. I mention this because I think it may be helpful to people with hand problems.

(I wrote about this, and Markison a few days ago here: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2015/01/hands-off-macspeech-dictate.html

The main thing he convinced me to do is to drink more water. He say 4 quarts a day, I'm starting with two (a half gallon). I'm going to fill a half-gallon container each morning and make sure it's gone by the end of the day.

He says that the body will divert water, especially if you eat grains and bread, to keep things moving through your digestive mechanism, and this leaves less blood to go to the hands. He does a "paleo diet" himself (meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit) and cooks in parchment to retain moisture. He thinks a lot  of physical problems come from dehydration.

Shamelss Commerce Department: Check out our program StretchWare, a software program that reminds you to take stretching breaks at your computer. Free 30-day download: http://www.stretchware.com
I'm getting back into using it regularly.

Let's face it: prolonged computer usage causes physical problems.

I'm Off to Kauai

I can't figure out why a Pacific West Coast native/surfer such as moi have gone only twice to Hawaii, and did no surfing and just a little swimming on both trips. Well, I'm off tomorrow early from Oakland on a $211 Alaska Airlines one-way flight to Kauai and I am excited! I intend to get back into the water in whatever way I can, and tune back into El Pacifico physically.

Whereas I've prided myself on not checking in bags for a few years, this time I'm taking a honker bag with wheels and about 35 lbs. of swim fins, air mat, tent, sleeping bag, soft rooftop surf rack, hiking boots + etc. What a luxury -- checking in  a bag! It's different when I was going to Southeast Asia and wanted to jump in and out of airplanes quickly.

I've got a bunch of people to visit, both near Hanalei and Waimea, and I'm doing a slide show/talk on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Princeville Public Library next Wednesday, January 21st (northern part of island near Hanalei).

Being away from the office and biz responsibilities, I'll be posting a lot more. I love doing the blog, but when in the saddle of running a publishing empire (hah!), there's only so much time. SO, stay tuned the next few weeks; come along with me and ride shotgun.