Day Three: What's better than a cheese omelet? An omelet that has two kinds of cheese. I heart cheese. Cheesy Cheesy Cheese. So, after filling my belly with a breakfast of eggs and cheese (see what happens when Dad is away?), we explored the beach. With sturdy beach sandals on (I still have my 14 year old, busticated Tevas), TP and I ventured out onto the unfriendly lava rocks and were greeted by slivers of black fish, scoops of black snails, and scurrying, scrabbling black crabs. The surf was pounding roughly on the beach that morning so there were only a few daredevils out in the water. We spent the morning reading our respective books on the beach: Mom with her Koran For Dummies, TP with his E.L. Doctorow, LB with her Hawaii, and me with Kim, which doubled as reading material and, when strategically placed face-down over the bridge of my nose and covering my eyes, sunscreen.
Dad met up with us and we drove over to Waimea, the closest town to us that was still about half an hour away. After browsing around a natural foods health store where TP snagged some rambutans we went to a small shack of a restaurant called Aioli's for some healthy Ahi sammiches. Holy role-reversal (part deux), Batman! Somehow, Mom got away with just having a huge slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream for lunch. We got back on the road and headed to the east coast.
We reached Akaka Falls State Park and the minute I stepped foot out of the car, I was accosted by mosquitoes. Why did I wear chappals to the tropical rain forest? Because I'm a glutton for itchy punishment. Taking the quarter of a mile trail to the falls, we enjoyed the towering bamboo groves, widdle bitty Kahuna Falls, a puny 100-foot cascade, and the star 442-foot Akaka Falls plunging into the gorge.
The falls were not as thundering and breathtaking as Iceland's Gullfoss waterfall, but they were attractive and distracting enough for me to score two more mosquito bites.
Returning to the car through the forest of banyan trees, native ferns, and more bamboo, we tried to figure out what the piercing, chirping noise we heard was. TP identified it as Hawaii's newest nightmare: the shrieking Coqui frog from Puerto Rico. Turn the volume down and listen to this: Ko-kee! Ko-Kee! No wonder Hawaii is considering calling a state of emergency over this.
On our way back to Hapuna, we stopped at an attraction which you will find in no guidebook but which amazed and delighted us to no end. The first time I saw it whizzing by on our drive the day before, I was stunned. Did I just see what I thought I saw: rows and rows of roosters, each one standing with almost military precision next to his little inverted V (not a consummate V!) house? We found the little farm, got out of the car, and discovered the secret: each rooster's ankle was shackled to his abode. Crazy-doodle-doo!
The sun was starting to set and we were all enthralled by its beauty. If not for the catlike reflexes of yours truly, I would have been dazzled by the sunset and run over a reckless mongoose who darted across my car's path on his way to attend to some urgent business. Here is a pix of the mongoose-widow-maker:
Next up: Groundskeeper Willikikihamawananameha