We had two items on the agenda today - the long drive up Waimea Canyon, and an evening luau and show in Wailua. It's about 44 miles from our hotel to the very top of the Canyon and the Kalalau Lookout. One thing you quickly learn about Kauai - they love 25 mph speed zones, though I don't think they enforce them much. The entire 19 or so mile drive from Waimea up the canyon is posted 25 mph. If you play by the rules it'll take you a long time to get up there.
On the way we swung through old town Hanapepe and found the old swinging bridge. It pays to get off the main road every now and then. This is basically a much bigger version of what you'll find on Tom Sawyer's Island at Disneyland.
We made the trip up the winding canyon road, running from scattered rain to sunshine, and saw some breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon of Kauai. Here are a couple of shots we took today:
What's especially interesting is seeing the sightseeing helicopters passing a thousand or so feet below us on the way to the falls above. They must give their passengers a spectacular ride.
Up at the very top you have the lookout which sits at the top of a 4,000 foot cliff on the Na Pali coast, famous as the site used in the helicopter sequence in Jurassic Park. When the fog lifts, it's a spectacular sight.
After waiting for an interminable amount of time in Waimea for what turned out to be a pretty good lunch (there's no such thing as "fast food" around here), we headed back to Smith's in Wailua for their luau and International Show. Smith's also operates the fern grotto riverboat cruise we went on last Saturday, and the tropical paradise botanical garden.
Of course, they do the traditional pig in the ground thing, and we watched the ceremony as they uncovered tonight's dinner.
They have another tradition at Smith's which I really liked. Before they started serving, they asked a blessing on the food, and it was a very Christian prayer. I don't know much about the family that runs this enterprise, but I like 'em.
The food was good, and there was plenty of it, following by a pretty good show of dances from the various countries which make up the Hawaiian population. Here's the Mrs. on the way into the show:
It was fun, despite the gusty winds and occasional drops of rain. Tomorrow is the last full day in Hawaii. We'll probably be catching up on some shopping and whatever else we may have missed during the week. Tomorrow night we'll have another dinner with the agency folks.