Hawaii Day 3 — Kauai

Originally published: 8/2/2003; 11:19:26 PM

Today was the hottest one so far on Kauai. Luckily for us, we spent most of it on a small, air-conditioned tour bus.

We went on the “Movie Tour” tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Marty moved here from Massachusets when he was five years old. His father announced the move one day and he’s been here ever since. He really knew his stuff. This was my first encounter with a mainland refugee and I was intrigued. Why had his father decided to leave? How did they adjust to their new environs? I wanted to pry but I thought better of it.

Gilligan's Island beach scene

The tour was fun. In between stops at various locations where movies were shot, they played relevant movie clips. Marty narrated and filled in with jokes and local lore.

We got to see the “Honeymoon in Vegas” house which is now owned by Peter Buck of REM and can be rented for $7,000/week. (Earlier in the tour we actually saw some rental property that was priced reasonably ($250/day) and sat right on the beach–the very same beach the S.S.Minow “shipwrecked” on in the original Gilligan’s Island pilot).

All of the places we went were publically-accessible except one–the Coco Palms Hotel. It’s been closed since hurricane Inini back in 1992. The owners have just now settled with the insurance company. Elvis fans will recognize the the name right away as the location of the last 25 minutes of the movie Blue Hawaii. What I liked about it, though, was that it was rairly rundown and decrepit. For some reason, I am always drawn to places that have been abandoned. They are kind of spooky in a “Scooby Doo” sort of way. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to prowl around inside the guest rooms, but we did go into the old cocktail lounge and walked around the grounds.

The Movie Tour is about $100 a head. If you’re on the cheap, or with several people or just need the flexibility, there is a book called The Kauai Movie Book that you might be able to use as a replacement for Marty, although you’d miss out on a lot of the local lore, and you couldn’t get in to the Coco Palms.

Next time, we’d get the tour company to pick us up and drop us off. The tour ends at the north end of the island which is right by the Hanalei Bay Resort.

For breakfast today we picked up donuts at the neighborhood grocery store. Lunch was provided on the tour (and it was good). In the afternoon, we had smoothies in Kapaa at a juice bar and then walked along the ocean back to the center of town. For dinner, we went back to Hanalei. We tried Postcards Cafe but they were booked up so we strolled down to Hanalei Gourmet.

Kilauea Lighthouse at Dusk

Gourmet was great. I had fish-and-chips, which were excellent, and Christy had the fettucini which she liked. Another outstanding dinner in a place with lots of character, at a reasonable price. Hanalei is quickly becoming our favorite spot on the island.

Went to the Kilauea Lighthouse today. The clamshell lens weighs 2.5 tons, produced 2.5 million candlepower, and was visible 20 miles out to sea.

A tour helicopter crashed today killing all five people aboard. Jack Harter Helicopters was one of the first helicopter tour operators on the island and had a perfect safety record before the crash today on Mt. Waialeale. No word yet on what caused the crash.

On to Hawaii Day 4 — Kauai