Tuesday, January 3rd - Part I
Tuesday started very similar to Monday; We woke up long before sunrise. We relaxed in the room for a little before heading to the Club Room for breakfast. After that we went out to play with the roosters that were causing trouble and chasing the kids around before it was time to head back to the room to get ready for my day.
The agenda on Tuesday differed greatly between my wife and I. A while back we had the discussion about the helicopter ride. After she had made her point more then clear to me, this was not going to be something she was joining me for. I know I know. Best part of the trip. Once in a lifetime views. She won't regret it. Bla Bla Bla.
I know my wife best. I tried convincing her but even I know when to stop pushing and we were at that point. She would have had so much fear and anxiety that she wouldn't have been able to enjoy a single minute of the ride.
So here I was, left to decide what type of helicopter tour I wanted to part take in. After reading up on the various options and differences between them it became quite clear to me that Id want - what I felt was the truest of experiences. Jack Harter's door-less tour it was! The fact that you can take better pictures was certainly one part of it but the idea of being up in the sky and being able to breathe in the air, watch the scenery, smell the ocean was something I just couldn't pass up on.
I left with a packed backpack of stuff as my plan was to do some nice hiking right after. [Again, not the most appealing to my wife so I decided to combine those adventures into one day so I could get it done while she hung out by the pool that day.]
First off we all met at Jack Harter headquarters where we confirmed our reservations and were given basic instructions on what we can and cannot bring with us. The basic rule was: No bags of any sort would be tolerated
. Any item you cannot attach directly
to your hand or put around your neck would have to stay back. Thank G-d I had brought my phone case that goes around my wrist with me. In addition I also had brought my camera and my gopro with. I basically looked like the lunatic spotted in the last post.
We then drove to the facility where Jack Harter has their helicopters. It is within Lihue airport next to the area where private jets roam around as well. While we drove over there, me and the family I was going with "listened" to all the safety rules the guide was giving us over. I won't lie, I am not a good example of someone that could have helped anyone or even myself once we were up there. I was way too excited about my first ever Helicopter ride. This stuff just went into one ear and out the other.
The family I was with was actually really cool. Husband and wife with their 15 year old child. The father owns a big cosmetic company in the US that manufactures everything in South Korea so he is over there 10-15 times a year. The parents vacation nonstop in very DDF like locations
He was telling me which spots to hit up when in Tahiti (other then BOB), told me all about Brazil and the different areas, recently returned from a 5 country tour of Africa and is heading to the Maldives in March. For a moment I thought it was AJK "Sr."
His "thing" are helicopter rides. Ever since the first time he went on one 12 years ago, everywhere he goes he tries going on a helicopter tour of the place. Just feels like he really gets to know the place best that way. This was also his first off-doors tour and he hands down agreed that it was his best ride ever.
When it was finally time to get into the chopper, I almost got killed walking around the wrong side. Something about information going into one ear and out the other..
Finally in my seat though it was time to get fully adjusted. GoPro on my head, camera turned on and phone in hand. We then put on our headsets and learned how to communicate using those. I was adjusting my headset - somewhat tricky when also having a GoPro on my head - and how could it only be, my GoPro fell off and out of the helicopter. Phew. Happy we weren't in the sky yet. The worker came to pick it up and handed it back over. I strapped it significantly tighter and off we were.
I will let some pictures do the talking as words really cannot describe the feeling and the beauty of seeing this place from atop but I can agree that Kauai is not complete without a tour from the skies. One note though: If doing it doors-off, bring warm clothes. Not just a sweatshirt like myself. Long pants, sweatshirt and jacket. It gets cooooold
up there. Pre-DepartureZooming around the skies.Always Cloudy on Mt. Waialeale Wailua Falls looks quite tiny from above