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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Wow! (03/11/10)

TITLE: The Garden of Wow!
By Barbara Lynn Culler


Left side: Splash and swish. Right side: Splash and swish.
Splash, swish, went the rhythmic sound of the oars as they paddled the kayak up the river. The Hawaiian island of Kauai was indeed the luxuriant Eden that is its trademark: “The Garden Island.” Along the river banks, partially submerged roots of woody banyan trees, gold and ruby ginger plants, hibiscus flowers and date palms swayed in the breeze. The dream like setting was just the beginning of this particular escapade. My friend, Cindy, and I were on vacation to this wonderland, and all day, all I could say was “wow!”

We had previously taken a double seater kayak downriver during the week and enjoyed it so much, we decided to join an all-day tour group. We were two over-weight and middle-aged women on excursion with 10 other tourists, most who were younger and more physically fit, yet we were ahead of the group in propelling our crafts!

Our ultimate destination was to a hidden waterfall, which, we were informed, was a short half mile hike up the mountain. We docked our vessels at the entrance to the shaded path and began the ascent. It was fun-at first. We traipsed through jungles of bamboo and ferns marveling at the colorful plants and birds around us. After 30 minutes of walking, the novelty had worn off. My friend was being eaten alive by mosquitoes and my soaked and muddied pool shoes were not meant for hiking! We were hot, tired and thirsty.

Then we came across a hidden oasis, but not the said waterfall. This was a swimming pond! For the adventurous, there was a rope swing where one could swing off the hillside and let go into the pool. Well, the water looked rather dubious in color, but I really wanted to act out my inner Indiana Jones persona, so I took the leap. Did I mention overweight and out of shape? Well, I swung down, and released the rope too soon. I dropped like an anchor instead of gracefully gliding into the cool waters of the pond. Oh well, at least I did it! After a few others tried to swing into the pool, we began our climb to find the obscure waterfall.

“There it is!” someone yelled out. We peered between the dense bamboo bushes, to see that we had to go down to get to the pooling area. By this time, we were hot, tired, thirsty, hungry and cranky.

“Wow! Was the exclamations heard echoing through the canyon. Some folks sat under the two pounding waterfalls and others perched on the massive black boulders and consumed their box lunches. After taking a cooling dip, I dined on the delicious sandwich. Following the meal, I swam to the center of the pool and with eyes closed in imagination pretended to be a gorgeous old time movie star romping in the falling waters.

Fantasies quickly fade, and it was time to head back to our kayaks. The downhill trip was much faster. Planning on us being tired, the tour leader had arranged for a larger boat to motor us to the starting point, while towing the kayaks behind us. We were beyond tired! My legs and ankles were swollen and Cindy’s bare legs were dappled with red welts from insect bites.

Upon return to our timeshare condo, we collapsed into comforting chairs. In spite of being out of shape, we had a grand adventure and wanted to do it again! However, we still had a biking tour, snorkeling cruise and dinner at an old sugar plantation scheduled before we were to leave the island. Wow!

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This article has been read 560 times
Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp03/18/10
This was great and loved the humor. I'm middle aged, over-weight and cranky...just because! Seriously, this was a very enjoyable read!
Nicole Campbell03/18/10
This was a really funny and desriptive story. You wrote this really well. Excellant!
Jan Ackerson 03/20/10
I lieterally laughed out loud at "dropped like an anchor". Great imagery!
Catrina Bradley 03/21/10
Your descriptions are so vivid! I'm still grinning at imagining being on the trip with these two. Try to limit your use of exclamations points - your words convey the intended emotions so they aren't necessary. I groaned when I got to the end and saw what else was on their itinerary - but I still want to join them. Good writing!
Beth LaBuff 03/21/10
What a vacation trip. It sounded amazing (red insect welts and all). Nature definitely provides some "Wow!" moments for us! I enjoyed this journey with you!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/21/10
It sounds like an awesome vacation, and I loved your sense of adventure, it really showed up in your words.
Joan Campbell03/22/10
This was a lovely story - you took your reader right into the forest adventure with you. Descriptive and fun. Great job!
Donna Wolther03/22/10
Great story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/22/10
I loved taking your trip with you...good story.
Darren Pettis03/22/10
You let loose of the rope on this one and plunged into a GREAT story. Very pleasant to read and look forward to seeing at the next level.
Carol Slider 03/22/10
Sounds like a great adventure! If this is a true story (and I would guess it is), then I'm sure you enjoyed the other activities... even if you WERE exhausted afterwards. I'm ready for a vacation now!!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/22/10
Whew! Exhausting trip, but sounds worth it. What a place to wow about!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/25/10
Congratulations on placing in the top 12 in your level!