Monday, January 3, 2011

In which Pepi almost Cuts off his Big Toe, and we Have Some Delicious Chicken…

Our intention today was to drive north up and around the island to one of the best places on earth (in my humble opinion) Hanalei Bay. This huge bay of beautiful blue water is fringed with golden sand and a backdrop of green mountains that fold up and around the bay and town of Hanalei. Serious surfers head out to the eastern point of the bay where epic waves rear up out of the water then crash down, shooting tiny little people out the end of the tunnel. Amazing to watch but way out of my league.

I have found my bliss here on past visits with a boogie board and some 6ft walls of blue green ocean that appear out of nowhere before crashing over your head. If you are lucky and time it right, you can harness the power and go for a ride all the way to the beach, If you are not so lucky, you can easily end up ass over tea kettle without a clue which way is up, sinuses full of salt water, a mouth full of sand and with or without various parts of your bathing attire. Both versions have happened to me, but really, it’s all so exhilarating that I couldn’t wait to get back out there.

And so it was with great anticipation that we loaded up the Van and headed out for the day. Our first stop was a grocery store for lunch items. All went well until we dropped some beer in the parking lot. Fortunately there was only one broken bottle but it was a bit of foreshadowing for the day.

We carried on, driving through the most excellent town of Kapaa. I love these Hawaiian towns with their unassuming airs and funky low-key vibe. Just north of town I spotted a hand-painted sign advertising Mango Bread. Another sign right after it said ‘Farmer’s Market’. Those of you who know me know that I have a bit of a thing for farmer’s markets and so one hard-left later and there we were parked at the side of the road. Mel had bought some Mango bread before the rest of us were barely out of the car. It was delicious – just like banana bread but made with mangos instead. Across the street was the farmers market but what really caught my attention was the BBQ. A sign advertised Huli Huli chicken, local boar, roast potatoes and fresh corn. Jacob tried the boar and declared it the most amazing thing EVER but I only had eyes for the chickens:

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That’s what I’m talking about!


I ordered two of everything and was just bringing it back to the table when Pepi, on his way back from the car with a load of drinks, quietly asked if anyone had any first-aid supplies as he had cut his foot. Well. Suffice to say I actually wondered for a few moments if he had sliced his big toe off at the first knuckle, such was the size of the slice and quantity of blood. A bottle of lemonade had fallen out of the back of the van, broken, and a shard had sliced in to his toe. We bandaged him up as best we could, ate some chicken and then high-tailed it back to Kapaa to the ER room.


Several internal stitches, 6 external stitches, and two hours later (which we spent frolicking in the waves at the local beach) we were back on the road. Pepi’s foot was still bleeding and we were all feeling bad for him as it meant he couldn’t go in the water for a few days (12 actually, according to the doctor but whatever…)

However, Pepi’s not one to let a near amputation slow him down and he insisted we carry on and I didn’t need to hear it twice so off we went again.

The trip was uneventful except for one moment when, approaching a one lane bridge, we noticed a truck pulled over against a rock face by a police car. As we drove by, the cop dropped his baton as he was getting out of the car, the truck reversed and backed into the police car, and then took off, a line-up of several cars formed coming off the bridge, and several large rocks fell to the road. We drove past with our heads turned practically all the way round. As we drove on, we saw several police cars heading back, sirens blaring. High times on Kauai. Not sure exactly where dude in the truck thought he was going to go though. Dude, you’re on an island. A small island. With one main road. I think they are going to find you! Hello! And the cop probably knows your cousin or is your cousin or something!

Anyway. There is a beautiful valley just before you reach Hanalei where they have grown Taro root for generations. It really is spectacular.


At least I thought so. Zoe was more interested in the flowers…

By the time we got to the beach I was happy to see that nothing had changed since my last visit. The waves were still rolling in, the water was irresistible, and the sun shining. I was in the water in record time and soon Zoë and I were being thrashed about by the waves. This beach is notorious for rip currents, however, and so I spent a good deal of my time trying to stop Zoe from being sucked out to sea. I finally ditched her back at the beach and spent some joy-filled moments out with the bigger waves.

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Back at the beach, Silas had found a hole…


The sun was setting and so we reluctantly packed up and went in search of dinner which was a rather lukewarm affair, but thankfully uneventful, as was the ride home unless you are a frog of which I managed to drive over two. I couldn’t help it and would advise the frogs not to sit in the middle of the road after dark.

I was glad to climb into my super comfy bed and let the trade winds lull me to sleep.

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