we flew to kauai last month (thank you frequent flyer miles!) and the place left a warm impression on us: the friendly locals and their kids, the wild rivers, roosters and chickens running around, fiery, blazing sunsets and sunrises. all of these things.
kauai was this lush jungle isle and nothing more. intersecting the island were wide, navigable waterways, amidst flowering trees and vines, swaying palms, hurricane-damaged properties--it was all very old hawaii.
not only famous for its kodachrome sunsets, kauai was, for me, these smells--burnt beach bonfires, decomposing seaweed, guava, and everywhere you turned--white and pink blossoms. you string them together and make a lei, i told dylan, a necklace of flowers.
at kamokila, a reconstructed hawaiian village on the banks of the wailua (where many films have been shot), a tour guide talked about village life in old kauai, pointing out medicinal leaves and herbs, showing us altars, ruins and singing songs with her ukulele. we peeked inside the birthing hut, where women used to give birth, the natural way, straddling two flat boulders. fascinating.
|the 'birth hut' at kamokila. just squat!|
we also stopped to pet the village cat, napping in a woven palm-leaf basket. cozy.
dylan picked flowers, fed chickens and wild boars, and stayed clear of heavy breadfruit falling from the sky ; then a rain broke, forcing us to take shelter in a palm hut. it was dylan's first tropical rain storm.
|let it come down.|
|the plumeria kid.|
|dylan befriends breadfruit at the hawaiian village.|
how fantastic, we thought, to be a child and living in a place like kauai--rowing down its waterways and swimming in bath-warm waters, traipsing through forests and fern grottoes--all of it.
we had rented a house on moloa'a bay so we could be steps away from a locals-only beach; dylan said he wanted to stay there and live there. every morning, dylan and john boogie boarded and played gilligan's island, building driftwood huts and forts.
this was just fantastic in my book.
|dylan watches out for waterbirds (and indiana jones) on the wailua river.|
this is hawaii when you're three and a half:
you befriend local kids, and together, swing from vines and look for frogs hatching in the marsh. it was like tarzan, indiana jones, tom sawyer, huck finn, gilligan's island and robinson crusoe tales coming to life.
the most memorable scene: dylan and his friend tristan, a kauai local, are rafting through the moloaa river on body boards; they're catching frogs and pulling each other onto the riverbanks for hours on end. the sun is about to set, the light streams through the trees, making the marshy water sparkle and turning everything into a deep haze.
of course, the time came to go back home, and none of us were ready--we needed more time for neighborhood meetups at moloaa beach--we still hadn't tried all the shave ice stands, and we needed more time to hike the napali coast--and dylan would reply, 'i want to live here. in hawaii.'
what are the names of those flowers, we'd ask him.
'plumeria, hibiscus, ginger,' he would say. 'look! there's the bird of paradise!'
a huge thanks to dylan's buddies in moloaa bay for your generosity and friendship--we hope to meet up with you on our next visit!
DIRECTIONS TO MOLO A'A BAY:
heading on the kuhio highway toward the north shore, turn right when you hit the molo a'a sunrise fruit stand (pictured below). follow the road to molo a'a beach, where they filmed the pilot for gilligan's island. you should have the entire beach to yourself.
check out more moloaa bay photos here.
|the moloaa sunrise fruit stand for fresh smoothies, local fruit and veg, and healthy snacks.|
|aloha from molo a'a beach!|