“So we go all the way to Kauai and we are looking to go to the beach. We have the book The Ultimate Guide to Kauai and the best food places are marked with ‘Ono’ (which is a good thing) and the best sights are marked with a ‘Gem.’ We are doing our best to eat at all the ‘Onos’ and see all the ‘Gems.’ This requires serious planning and a strict schedule. We are only able to stay and see some places for 12 minutes here, 38 minutes there, and so on.
“We have saved one of the ‘Gems’ for our last day. It is a beach called Mahaulepu. We follow the directions which takes us to a dirt road. At first it is not that bad. Then we get to a spot where it says that the speed limit is 15 mph. This is going to throw us off schedule, but, after all, it is one of the ‘Gems’ so we will do our best to adapt our schedule, a little less time whale watching at Shipwreck beach (hopefully the whales have gotten the advance copy of our schedule) and a shorter time at the Brick Oven Pizza place. But then we realize that the 15 mph is actually more of a goal than what is actually possible on the incredibly rutted and muddy road and it is going to take even longer. We continue to maneuver our way around huge potholes and mud pools, trying not to get car sick, or damage the rental car, continuing to adjust our schedule… skip the whale watching, call ahead for the pizza…
“Finally, we get to Mahaulepu Beach! This is supposed to be a ‘Gem???’ There is hardly any beach there, mostly rock and cliffs! The waves are nothing because of the coral reefs that are breaking up the surf! There are pools of water but they are full of crabs and other sea life! There is one really nice section of sand, but, wouldn’t you know, there is a monk seal lying there and the area is roped off so no one will disturb its slumber! I, frankly, don’t even think it is alive! And it sure is ugly!
“Every time I try to get a picture of the place (which is necessary for my scrapbook showing that we made it to all the Gems and Onos) there would be a rainbow in the way!! I know that Hawaii is a pro-gay marriage state, but must they flaunt it???
“After the allotted 13 minutes we go back in the car and began our journey back to the paved road. At this point we were going to have to get the pizza to go and eat it in the car on the way to Hilo Hattie’s to get our free souvenir tote bag that changes colors when it gets wet! On the way back we are telling every car that we pass to turn around and not bother with this one… There are better beaches!”
We smiled, said “thank you” and rolled up our window. We watched in the rear-view mirror as their car bounced through a pothole, adding to the reddish-brown mud accumulating on their car. Then we continued on to see the “Gem” for ourselves. Our conclusion…
There are better beaches…but not many.
(The previous conversation is very loosely based on a true encounter on the dirt road to Mahaulepu).