We’ve been in Kauai now for a few days, and my impressions are varied.
First, the island is mostly very green. There are indeed distinct “zones” where the terrain appears more arid and almost desert-like (or as my son says “it looks like Africa”). But mostly everything is green and lush.
Car traffic moves at two speeds: kinda slow and really slow. A ten mile trip yesterday took aboout 25 minutes…
We took a helicopter ride over the island and that was awesome. There can be no better way to see the terrain, especially the numerous waterfalls, than from the air. The Napoli coast is accessible only by water or air (or incredily determined, skilled hikers), so this was indeed a treat. We flew into several canyons that we wouldn’t have seen under any other conditions, and even flew *into* the dormant volcanoe believed to have been the source of much of the island over 1 1⁄2 million years ago.
And then there’s the people. My experience is limited of course, but consider this: I have seen clear evidence of anti-tourist attitudes, from the subtle at the Honolulu airport to the more profound in the jungle at the Kipu falls (the jackass local tour guide who tried to claim we were on private property…). But over at Brenecke’s next to the Poipu beach, everyone was very pleasant. Ditto for the folks in Ohi restaraunt where we had breakfast yesterday.
I suppose its the same dichotimy that residents of any tourist area experience: the love – hate relationship with the tourist. I love you because you fuel my economy and provide my paycheck, and I hate you because I depend upon you and you know it.