Kauai: Heaven On Earth

Another excerpt from the book I m working on. It is in draft so be kind with any issues here:

Late afternoon, looking out over the harbor, to the north of us, I noticed an opening.

I said “Hey Nina, there appears to be a river over there. Maybe a small creek. I think I am going to go and explore it.”

“I’m coming” Nina said.

Off we went in Akaru’s punt with me rowing as she lay back in the dinghy at the stern, her legs spread out with her arms swaying to an invisible inaudible hula, as if she was some Hawaiian princess. It was a river…indeed the Wailua River, as it turned out. A soft green sheen reflection off the water. It was narrow, deep, almost canal like, as it weaved and meandered peacefully through a very lush and very colorful landscape. Greens, and reds, browns and deep scarlet blooms, with an array of colorful flowers and ferns, none of which I knew the names of. Both sides of the banks were low and covered in hard packed red sand resembling ochre that could have been used as an adornment by the old Hawaiian Kings, their Queens and Royalty. The river water lapped up and onto these banks as the soft wake from our dinghy’s movement graced the shore as every ripple spread out to our left and right. Beyond the banks were large meadows with long green grass, butting up to banyan trees that were indicative of the Hawaiian panorama. The cool, cool shade of the banyan tree, with its wide green canopy, protecting all who were fortunate to be welcomed by its protective shade. The odd palm, coconut and royal, not native mind you but imported from Polynesia, could be seen on both sides but well back from the river. And off to the west and north of us you could see some distance hills that arose from green mossy lower slopes into a greyish black charcoal mass of sharp, edged crags, dry hard rivulets and steep cliffs that formed a backdrop and contrast against a blue sky that framed this wonderful country. Some of these peaks were graced with fluffy white cumulus clouds that seemed to float effortlessly skyward as if they were but white feathers dispersed with every breath of a airy updraft that swept them up, and then over the crests of these hills. Further west and north you could see the peak of Mount Wai’ale’ale. Covered by dark and menacing storm clouds. To the east of us there were lowlands that ran to and bordered the blue Pacific beyond. And this Wailua River? Its flow was peaceful and sleepy. It took us toward the northern part of the island. The Wailua, the only navigable river on Kauai. From our perspective we did indeed find ourselves bound within an earthly Garden of Eden. Kauai was the Hawaiian Garden Isle. It was God’s gift to the Hawaiian people with their pagan interpretation of their deity. But for God’ s salvation sake it was only necessary for them to keep their own faith and beliefs and be righteous underneath their god’s light.

After a couple of bends to the right, right again and then left, Nina motioned me to row toward a clearing that she saw on the right bank of the river. This I did but in the blind as my back was to our course upriver from her direction. Giggling, then laughing, as our little dinghy came to rest up on to a small red sandy strip. I got out, then Nina and we pulled the dinghy to a safe berth out of the water and on to dry land. I tied it off to the trunk of a palm, the shaft of which was bent out then up and over the river. There was a small clearing that was perfect for us to sit, lay and relax under the warmth of the late afternoon tropical sun. Beside me Nina lay, stretched out, her eyes closed with a broad smile of contentment and happiness that could be discerned by the features of her youthful face. The soft light of the afternoon sun highlighted her natural tan. To me, she was perfect. A real Hawaiian Princess.

“What?” she opened her eyes and looked at me above her studying her every feature. Embarrassed, I turned away and couched my head into the crux of my left arm.

“Nothing Nina. Just thinking. It is so peaceful here…so beautiful.”

“Mmmm, yes it is.” she moaned, as if she was caught within the confusion of a conscious thought and unconscious sleep.

After a few minutes I got up and walked over to the river bank. Looked around. To my right there was what appeared to be a weathered path that followed the course of the river.

“Nina, get up, let’s follow this path here and see where it goes.”

Nina stretched her arms high above her head with clasped hands and intertwined fingers. She then gasped, shook the late afternoon tiredness from her being and came over and joined me. Together we began to walk that path.

After about thirty minutes we could hear a light whooshing, rumbling, splashing sound ahead of us. We looked at one another without making a sound. Could this be the sound of a Hawaiian legend? Of Pele looking for her lover? Who knows? But in an instant the landscape ahead of us opened up to this large, wonderful vista. The Wailua river transformed itself into a cascading freefall over a cliff that was just to the left of our pathway. Not very big mind you but big enough to form a beautiful waterfall. “Whooo-ee” Nina screamed then ran ahead of me…down but not terribly so to a flat sand bar at the bottom of the cliff. I followed suit but my cautious nature had me tread gingerly down the path. It was slippery after all.  It didn’t matter to Nina. At the bottom, with the waterfall to our left was a large pool that captured the cascade above us. The water was an emerald green colour but graced with a bluish turquoise hue. A rainbow, a perpetual beautiful rainbow, with all of the colors, hung magically and perpendicularly across the face of the fall, forming a perfect arc across and through the mist. Behind the sheen and veil you could make out the  smooth, brownish grey rock face, the backbone of the hill that formed the cliff and waterfall.

Nina screamed with delight. On some flat rock that framed the east side of the pool, she stripped down, naked to me.

“Oh Jimmy” she exclaimed “this is so wonderful, so magical, mystical, whoa–wee. I am so happy, so excited here. A gift. A gift to us from the Hawaiian gods Jimmy.  Oh to my God…a gift to share with us.” And with that she dove off of the rocks and into the pool. Her tanned bottom that last thing I saw. She surfaced a few yards out with her beautiful back behind me, turned toward me, and screamed…a happy, happy excitable scream. Nina smiled such a broad smile. At this very moment in time, to me, she was perfect. And she was with me. Thank you God for thinking about me.

I stripped as fast as I could, hobbling on one leg in my excitement to get my runners off. Then a short run and off I went. Into this magical pool of enchantment with a girl that I was beginning to fall for. A cannonball for heaven’s sake. I had a juvenile mind I must admit. The water was so fresh and clean especially after our salt water bath. Surfacing, I swam over to Nina but stayed a respectable distance away. Shyness was drowning me. I just stood there in one place treading water and watching her. Scared, but in a good way. Nervous. Nina disappeared below the water and then rose behind me. She wrapped her arms around my neck, turned me ever so gently so that we were facing each other, and then held me close, smiling at me. Her deep blue eyes drew me in to her as if I was caught in a barb and being reeled into a net. I had no control. The water around her, the waterfall, the rainbow colors, the mist, the mountains around us and the outflow of the cool refreshing water of the Wailua was nature’s aphrodisiac. I was trapped, nervous with anticipation and helpless all the same but willing and able. Nina drew me close to her. I could smell her sweet warm breath on my face. Closer and closer and closer to her. Suddenly her broad, almost comical smile disappeared. She closed her eyes and drew me to her mouth, her arms and hands firmly placed behind her neck. We kissed – a long sweet embrace. I could feel the warmth of her breath and her nudeness all around me – envelop me, even with the cool ambient temperature of the pool. This was indeed paradise. If heaven is even close to this…..

“This is our heaven. Jim.” she whispered to me. “Never forget this place of ours.”

She broke off, looked at me affectionately. We kissed again and again and again. I couldn’t get enough. Our naked bodies were synergistically joined. Her warmth stoked my body’s heat. I was happy, and excited and extremely happy. Nina likes me. I thought. I think I love her.

All at once Nina said.

“We have to go. It will be dark soon. Dusk in the tropics does not last long.”

Without saying a word we swam back to the rock ledge. Up I went, put on my trunks and tee and runners. Nina smiled mischievously at me.

“Turn around.” she ordered and smiled again. I complied.

“Okay, let’s go.”

Up the bank we went to the crest of the falls. Along the path back to the clearing. I don’t think I remembered that walk at all as I was lost in the romantic spell of the place. Kauai will always be to me the “Enchanted Isle.” All I could think about was Nina. A perfect day.

In short order we were back at Akaru-Hime. Good thing too as it was getting very dark. Angie had some burgers on, with some salad. Nigel just sat aft in the cockpit nursing a scotch. He acknowledged Nina but not me. Don’t know why.



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