Monday, December 27, 2010

More rain

More rain over night and this morning. More thunder too. We threatened to take the girls on a four mile ridge walk followed by a trip to the Pearl Harbor war memorial, but they rapidly worked out that we didn't really mean it....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Simple Beach Day

We were supposed to head out at 6:30am across the island to pick up a whale watching tour, but when we woke at 5:45am there was a thunder storm going on outside. After five minutes thought, we all headed back to bed. This turned out to be the right choice, as we received a call from the tour people at 7:30 am - when the boat Was supposed to leave harbor - saying it had been cancelled.

The rain came down, often as hard as it had at the start of our vacation. Eventually we tired of looking through the window at it and decided to head down to the beach anyway. Hubby and the kids went into the water, while Dr Mom sat in a beach chair, under a black umbrella, reading the third Harry Potter book. All pretty standard mad English behavior.

After lunch, we played another game of Life, which Deep Thought won yet again - demonstrating for the second time that the most important thing in life to do is become a lawyer - then we went out for cake and coffee. The afternoon ended with a viewing of "Finding Nemo". A much quieter day after our recent adventures.

We might go to Pearl Harbor tomorrow, but then again we may stay in bed late and roll out onto the beach again....

Adventurous Walk

Christmas Day we ate our turkey lunch together - it was good - and then set off for a gentle walk.

As it happened, we missed a turn, and ended up doing the much more challenging Waimano Ridge Trail, which starts in a temperate forest before gradually shading into jungle as it goes deeper into the hills.

The going was rough under-foot.

Of particular note were the multiple rope-assisted canyon-wall traversals, one example shown here - though these photographs don't quite convey the hundreds-of-feet drop that loomed immediately to our right. As we read in the guide book afterwards, there was "no room for error" on this trail.

Dr. "No Fear" Mom showed especially commendable grit in conquering this obstacle.
Naturally, after we'd returned everyone agreed that this adventure-walk was much more fun than the gentle stroll we'd intended to follow.

Extreme Mom Bravery

It is very important that I mention the extreme reserves of bravery that Dr Mom had to call upon. I had intended for us to to do a two mile, easy loop through temperate forests - the upper and lower Waimano Trail loop - but we didn't take the correct turn to the left to make the loop, and went incorrectly ahead onto the much longer and more difficult Waimano Ridge Trail. (To be fair, the hike books said that the turn was marked with a sign, we sure as heck couldn't see, and one of the books helpfully told us it was marked by two mango trees, two stumps, and a rock....which didn't help much either.)

Anyway, the Waimano Ridge Trail turned out to be about 80% easy with a couple of really hard bits. We strolled along the ridge path, which was quite flat and mostly wide enough to walk with ease. Then we met a small family coming the other way who said we were heading to a place where you had to use a rope to get along the trail. Since our guide book for the loop hike said we would need to "traverse the canyon wall" we thought, at this point, that we were still doing the loop hike. When we actually got to the place with the rope, we started to have our doubts. Hubby will post pictures of the spot in question. Suffice it to say that Dr Mom had to steel herself to hold onto a rope, reach down to a bunch of slippery roots from a high rock, and balance along the edge of the wall clinging to the rope, all over a pretty sheer drop. Of course Deep Thought managed it with no problem, and Little Starlet only needed a bit more encouragement because of having shorter legs. But Hubby was full of praise for Dr Mom for not giving up.

A few hundred feet further on, we met another rope dangling over a bunch of rocks above a narrow ledge. Gosh, we thought, and this walk is meant to be good for beginners? At this point I think we concluded that we were on the wrong trail. Dr Mom got down that one by sitting on a rock in a puddle. Coming back the other way was easier: We all scaled the rocks like goats, and even the precipitous rope-over-drop experience wasn't quite so bad (though both Little Starlet and Dr Mom needed a bit of a boost from Hubby, or our little, unathletic legs might not have made the step up).

Didn't we all feel triumphant at the end of that one!

"It's wiggling its legs!"

This morning we were supposed to be going over to the west coast of the island to take a whale watching boat trip; but overnight we experienced a massive rainstorm with lightning, still in progress first thing this morning, so we abandoned that idea. Fortunately the trip organizers came to the same conclusion and cancelled the event, so we will get our money back.

I got up at 8:30am to the smell of bacon cooking - Dad making sandwiches - and the sound of small girl screaming. Little Starlet had discovered a large (big as a man's thumb) cockroach on the kitchen floor, on its back, still waving its legs. I subsequently discovered a second beastie next to the tumble drier, also waving. After much screaming and ewwwwwing, the two beasties were dispatched out the back door by brave Dad with the help of a very large glass.

It is still monsoon raining as I write. No plans for today, then.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jungle Walk

Yesterday, to clear our heads of synthetic sort-of-Polynesian culture, we headed off for a jungle walk in the rainforest above Honolulu. The steep climb and intense humidity threatened to undermine morale, but everyone kept going and enjoyed the tangled vegetation and forest views. "I love the woods" murmured Little Starlet, in a reflective moment.