Home > 2011 Posts > Paradise, Tropical, 1 Each

Paradise, Tropical, 1 Each

Days in the low 80’s, spectacular scenery, a hundred miles of lovely beaches and rugged coastline, wonderful tropical flora, no snakes or bad water-critters, beautiful birds, no annoying bugs to speak of, and only rare hurricanes or typhoons. That’s my description of a tropical paradise.

And First World standards for sanitation and services. That too.

Oh, and no pragmatic Marxists or Jihadi scum out to do you and your family in just because you’re you and not them.

That narrows it down a bit. In fact, there’s only one place that fills the bill, Hawaii. And the part of Hawaii that gives a vacationer the most is Kauai. Hands down.

On a recent trip, here’s what we were able to do in addition to relaxing in the sun and eating great food in great settings: surf and body surf, snorkel, kayak up a river, swim under a waterfall, see a rainbow from above, sail a beautiful, rugged wilderness coastline, see whales and three kinds of dolphins close up, hike in a deep canyon with spectacular colors, fly past hundreds of waterfalls in full torrential flow, including a few about a thousand feet high, swim with sea turtles in the wild, see amazing guy and gal fire dancers in the best luau show anywhere, experience a dozen famous movie locations, each more lovely than the last, and then make a list of a twenty things we still wanted to do but didn’t have time for. And, of course, we wanted to do all the things we did all over again, many times, because they were so much fun.

Admittedly, we didn’t see Captain Jack or Barbossa in person, but that’s what Blu-ray is for: tropical beauty and excitement without the filth, oppressive heat and humidity, or deadly diseases with horrible symptoms.

Nope, Tropical Paradise = Kauai, and sometimes Maui.

Tropical ‘adventure’ could be another story. For example, I had a friend, Rex, with a good job in pre-Katrina New Orleans. Out of the blue, a recruiter called him with a fantastic prospect: exciting work, twice the responsibility and three times the salary, plus great benefits and a lavish travel expense budget. And rightly so. The job was half-way up the Amazon River.

It was late June, and my friend thought about it for a week or so, talked it over with his family, and accepted the offer. By early August, he was ready, and the new company sent a plane to pick him up. One of the big concerns that Rex and the family had was equatorial heat, but over all, they judged that the positives outweighed the drawbacks. But now, actually on the plane, the heat loomed large in my friend’s thoughts. So after landing on an airstrip newly hacked out of dense jungle and a short taxi to the open air, corrugated metal-roofed ‘terminal’, Rex mentally braced himself as the jet’s combination door and stairs unfolded.

Not to worry. The heart of the Amazon was 10 degrees cooler than New Orleans in August, with lower humidity and a breeze.

All went well after that, too. Unlike my Air Force friends who came down with Malaria after a year stationed in Southern Turkey. Or the daughter of a friend who caught a horrible, flesh-dissolving disease and died from it after only two months with the Peace Corps in Bangladesh.

So, let’s see. On the one hand, we have endless fun in the sun with no worries. On the other, we have wilting heat, filth, bugs, killer reptiles and disease.

Hmmm, tough choice, let me think about it… .

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