Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hiking the Napali Coast -- Did I have bad luck...or good luck?

As I said earlier in my blog, I had some difficult experiences on my trip. On July 7, hiking the Napali Coast, I had some difficult times. What a terrible day! Or was it? Let's review and see:

The day started out with breakfast at the Kountry Kitchen, the most popular breakfast place in town. It is a pretty place with trinkets playing homage to the local animals:

Here is my kimchee omelet -- props to the staff for helping me pick out a moderately sized meal, even though I asked about other meals which they thought were too big -- the staff's honesty is VERY much appreciated:

And here are a few pics of me hiking the coast:

The sign of what I would accomplsih:

Views of the cliffside:

Me with a large water bottle. I bought it off a stranger after poor planning on my part. I waited too long to buy water, until I hit the final opportunity before the hike -- and the store was closed! I knocked on the nearest door, and was sold the water by a kind stranger, who also told me to hike carefully in the wet weather...oh, were those prophetic words:

And that's the end of my pictures from the coast -- because that was the end of my camera! When I reached a beach, halfway to a waterfall I had intended to hike to, I had to wade through waist deep water. I forgot to lift my camera and cell phone above my head, or somehow keep them from the water, and both died. I replaced them on the trip, but it was quite a loss, and I regret not being able to take pictures.

I tried to hike on to the waterfall, but I kept falling. It was raining, the ground was slippery, and I was hiking through lots and lots of water, soaking wet and uncomfortable. I finally came to this conclusion -- my camera had died, my cell phone had died, and the next thing that my die would be me! So I finally had just enough wisdom to turn back.

I rushed to get back. I eat on a time schedule, and I wanted to get to a restaurant and eat on schedule. I guess that's part of my obsession with food. It could have cost me. I fell a number of other times, hitting my chin in the process. A woman who saw me fall asked if I was aware of what had happened -- obviously, she thought I might have hit my skull! That would have been much worse!

I can't remember if I had the next experience before or after lunch, but it is worth mentioning -- after I started driving, I was delayed by something. At first, I was annoyed -- then I saw what it was. A man was sprawled on the streets! I stopped said I wanted to help, but was told the situation was being dealt with.

My purpose in describing this is to express my conflict over my Na Pali Coast experience. I was angry and depressed about what had happened. I was angry at the concierge from the hotel, who indicated she knew nothing about such difficulties as waist deep water, both before and after the hike, when I spoke with her. I was angry at my own stupidity, not taking care of my electronics. And I was depressed about my losses, and how they were avoidable. This was obviously a bad experience, right?

Or was it? I was blessed by my Higher Power with just enough wisdom to keep myself from serious injury. I had some nice moments on the hike. And if that wasn't enough, I could compare myself to the man sprawled on the street -- I wasn't injured, like he was, and I hadn't hit my head, as the kind woman observing me fall had been concerned about. Maybe this was a better experience than it first appeared.

I am not including my lunch meal here -- perspective aside, I can't praise a restaurant that makes me take a menu to my seat and get my own water, even if the food was decent. I only acknowledge the positive experiences with others by name, so the restaurant, the hotel, and the concierge will remain anonymous.

But my dinner restaurant later that day -- The Bull Shed -- was notable for more than a cool name. Here are pics from my meal -- scrumptious fish and a nice salad, again:

By this time, I had replaced my camera and cell phone. I was moving on, as best as I could, from what was a depressing experience. I was alive and was still on vacation in Hawaii, with three days to go. Life was not all that terrible. Thank You to my Higher Power for everything.

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