Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 174 through 176 - Whales and Yoga, Palms and Hawaiian Entertainment at the Grand Hyatt Kaua'i

These three luxury resort days weren't lazy at all. My dad was working and I was attending the free yoga classes that the resort offered. So I happened to attend a Yin Yoga class on the first and last day which was pretty awesome, despite the fact that I'm unbelievable inflexible concerning my legs. The first day we did some exercises for the back when I had back pain that could be eased. The third day we did some exercises for the neck which came handy as I had TERRIBLE neck pain that caused heavy head aches in the morning. Why? Because of that ultra exhausting Sunrise Beachside Vinyasa Yoga (!!!) on the second day. Day? It was the sunrise session for which I had to get up at 5.40. Me, as mentioned not flexible at all, and not really a shining example for arm muscles and strength, fighting for 1.5 hours. As the last exercise was to relax lying on the ground, I almost fell asleep.

These two pictures were taken on different evenings. Although Maui is believed to host more whales than Kaua'i, I was impressed by the number of whale off the Poipu coast, in particular around sunrise and sunset. You needn't look for more than 15 mins and you would see at least a spout - sometimes quite far off shore but nevertheless a great sight.

The food looks stranger than it was. I'm not quite sure about the leaf puree inside, but the meat was super tasty (not really fat free) pork, cooked together with a leaf puree in a banana leaf "packing" called laulau. This doesn't mean more than "big leaf". Accompanied by two scoops of rice - so delicious! As the "Koloa Fish Market", a good spot to get hearty local fare like this, is take away only, we ate at a park pavillon closeby...accompanied by fourteen obviouls hungry chickens ;-) Can't explain how they were gazing at my food haha.

We were 15 minutes late and almost didn't find two seats until we
discovered a free table without reservation mark close to the stage,
probably because some VIP didn't come. Lucky us!

I can't believe this happened to me. Every year this conference closes with a Luau organized for the some 1000 participants. Actually I wanted to join my father, but a guest ticket would cost close to 100 dollars which I considered too expensive. The noon before the Luau, when I was waiting in the lobby for my father to finish his lunch I was chatted up by a guy on his way from the elevator to the exit, the suitcase in his hand. "You know there's a party tonight..." and holds his Luau ticket out to me with the explanation "I can't come, I'm gonna leave today". I couldn't realize my luck! He randomly chose me, as if he could divine my thoughts! So glad this world still owes some polite people who know that a simple act of unexpected kindness can save one's day :-) I enjoyed the evening so much. Thanks David!!

In contrast to the regular Luau show that presents a number of dances from different Polynesian islands, the Grand Hyatt's more upscale show concentrated on ancient and modern Hawaiian chants and dances - except of the inevitable Samoan firedancer at the end. We most enjoyed the ancient Hula performance. Did you know that Hula initially was only performed by men, in secret and considered a worship-like activity? Before being forbidden by the missionaries (which appear to be fun stoppers all over Polynesia), however, Hula had developed into an activity done by men and women alike and considered an important part of the daily life of the Hawaiians. Usually chants have many, many verses. The main singer announces the verse by a keyword, and then usually the dancers and the main singer alternate chanting.

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