by two cruisers
May 5, 2005
The concierge at our hotel helped us select the helicopter tour company. There are many to choose from, with different features. For example, there is a "doors-off" flight that is great for photographers, but not so good for the timid.
Our tour started at the Aloha Cove Heli-USA center. A safety orientation video was shown. We were transported by van to the heli-port section of the Lihue airport. The staff was very good about answering questions about the flight and Kauai in general.
Our flight lasted about an hour. The pilot narrated the flight and explained about the points of the flight when he had to make safety reports. There were at least two places where we had to wait for another helicopter to clear the area before we could enter. He answered all our questions and inserted a little humor, too.
One area we flew over had the remains of a dense forest that had been leveled by Hurricane Iniki. All the trees were downed and lined up in the same direction. He also pointed out all the now-fallow sugar cane fields. This rich agricultural land could become truck farms to supply the island’s needs. Major highlights of the flight included Waimea Canyon; the Jurassic Park waterfall; the razor-sharp ridges of Na Pali, a remote valley that supported a population of 5,000 in ancient times; more waterfalls; Alakai Swamp, which has the highest elevation for a swamp in the world; the cultivated fields of Hanalei Valley; and the Mt. Waiale’ale crater, which is the wettest spot on earth. We didn’t attempt to take a camera along. I didn’t want to view this by looking at an LED monitor. Instead, I found postcards with good pictures to put in our memory book.
From journal Kauai – New Finds and Old Favorites