LOSING THE HOOD
It was 12:17pm when we arrived at the car park for the Spouting Horn. It was basically a blowhole that shoots water through a lava tube and high up into the air all the while letting out a loud whooshing sound. It easily dwarfed the brave local fisherman who risked his life net fishing into the rough and open seas.
In addition to people coming in and out of the attraction as well as the souvenir stands nearby, there were numerous roosters strutting around freely in the area. In fact, we realized that roosters were seemingly everywhere on the island. We had read that they were all released since the big hurricane in 1992 and, well, they’ve pretty much run amok now.
It was 12:46pm when we left the Spouting Horn after taking numerous photos. Next up was an expected short excursion onto Kipu Falls.
We eventually found the rather unsigned trailhead for the falls at 1:21pm. We knew we had found the right spot because of the number of vehicles parked here and the number of folks walking to the falls in bathing suits and flip flops. Julie knew the falls were not tall so she opted to stay in the car for this and not have to deal with the mosquitos.
So I took off with my camera gear and tripod. And as I walked the narrow use trail, I immediately slipped but managed to maintain my balance in several spots at the start. It was a reminder that I was back in tropical hiking conditions where muddy and slippery trails were the rule rather than the exception.
Anyhow, I eventually got to a slippery and steep trail leading to the top of the waterfall, I immediately saw numerous people standing on the rocks at the top while there were plenty of others at the base of the falls on the far end of the large plunge pool.
It appeared that the best photos of the falls were from the other side of the plunge pool below the falls, but it appeared that I couldn’t get there without going for a swim. With all the camera equipment I was carrying, I wasn’t about to do that as theft was a real possibility.
So I settled for profile views of the falls. And as I prepared the camera, I realized that the polarizer was on but the scene was too dark for it. So I had to remove the lens hood in order to switch out the lens.
But just as I removed the lens hood, it popped out of my hand and landed in the plunge pool away from all the commotion.
I was torn between going for a swim or leaving the lens. I took a few minutes looking around for another way to get down, but there didn’t seem to be any. There was a promising trail further along the reeds back on the main trail, but then a fence prevented any further progress.
So I settled for my photos and returned to the car at 2:06pm without the lens hood.
Next, we headed back to Lihu’e and returned to the government building at 2:27pm. Yesterday, I had come here to retrieve a hiking permit for the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast on Tuesday December 26. But after seeing rain in the forecast for that day, I had to come back here to see if I could secure a permit for Monday (Christmas Day), which was forecasted to be mostly sunny.
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