Final Days on Kuaui

Donkey Beach

Picnic spot along the ride
June 19, 2012      Getting skunked for snorkeling by the surf, we decided to drive south to Ka’apa for a short bike trip along the waterfront.  Having packed a picnic lunch, we took off from the center of town, meandered along the trail, stopped to take a lunch break and continued to the end of the trail at Donkey Beach, 4-miles away.  After a pleasant ride along the water, back at the bike shop we inquired about the best shaved ice place in town, in unison we heard, Ono Ono Shaved Ice.  How could we not follow up on that kind of recommendation?  So off we headed to Ono’s.  Aloha General Store on the Oahu North Shore is still the best in our book, but this was a good second.   

Tunnel Beach
 Our last full day on Kauai, we drove north to Tunnel Beach again.  The surf had finally calmed down and we headed into the water to check out the snorkeling.  On low tide, we slid over the reef and the nearby tunnels and caves. Beneath us we saw not only a few new types of tropical fish, but skin divers exploring the tunnels below us; the air bubbles from their tanks coming up around us.  Obviously, we were missing a lot by snorkeling across the top.  After leaving the water, we briefly explored the dry cave across the street that runs about 300 yards under the mountain.
Doug and Sandy McMaster
Not familiar with the slack-key guitar, we decided to attend a concert with Doug and Sandy McMaster at the Hanalei Community Center.  In addition to the calming music, we received an education on what slack-key guitar is all about.  The musician starts with the guitar in standard tuning and then changes the tune by loosening or  “slackening” most or all of the six strings.  There are dozens of slack-key arrangements and they have names depending on how the strings are tuned.  Another part of the slack-key guitar is the use of the thumb to play the bass on the bottom two strings, while the melody is played on the top 4 strings; if you close your eyes, it sounds like two guitars playing.  Doug plays the slack-key guitar accompanied by Sandy on the ukulele.  He plays straight man to her wise cracks, but in between the banter, she explains and he demonstrates the basics of slack key.  Sandy also tells the story of how the guitar was first brought to Hawaii by Mexican cowboys.  They came to teach the Hawaiians how to manage their cattle and left behind some guitars and basic knowledge of the guitar, which the Hawaiians used to produce their own style.  We enjoyed the performance and will be on the lookout for other opportunities to hear slack-key guitar programs.

Now, we are moving on to Maui and more discoveries.
Surfer enjoying a ride near Donkey Beach

Cave near Tunnel Beach

Brazilian Cardinal in a mating ritual

Endangered Hawaiian geese-endemic to Hawaii

Ono's Shaved Ice

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