Not in the Plans
A slight change of plans forced The Lady and I to stay on The Island of Hawaii longer than we anticipated. Normally we plan each day well in advance of our actual trip, but unexpected things occur and we must adjust. So when we found out that we’d be staying on The Big Island a little longer than planned, we looked for something to do. The Lady, who likes to pick up the brochures that you can find in hotel lobbies, found this little activity that looked interesting. Flumin The Kohala Ditch.
If you want to read all about The Kohala Ditch then I’d suggest heading here to the company’s website. They tell a nice little story about how and why the ditch was created. Though as a web-developer, I hate it when you have to click 5 links to tell 1 story. Anywho, for those of you who don’t want to read the long story on their site here’s the gist of it. Many years ago, many people, built a 22.5 mile irrigation ditch to supply water to the sugarcane fields in the valley below.
Now-a-days we put inflatable kayaks in them and flum. How the times do evolve.
The adventure begins like all things of these types do, with a safety briefing. On a practical side, the briefing serves as a “now you can’t sue us” precaution. In reality, I’m not sure how you could possible hurt yourself. I guess you could sprain your ankle walking? In any case, once the briefing is given our group piled into a van to begin the 30 minutes drive to the place where all Flumes meet.
Along the way one of the tour guides regaled us with stories of the town and answered any questions we may have had. Before heading to the flumes the van make a pit stop at a scenic overlook.
Actually, calling it a pit stop is not quite right. All we really did was drive in a slow circle before heading back out. Still pretty though.
After the drive in a circle, we headed down a bumpy road which would take us to the flumes. It was a neat little drive as the road was lined with sugarcane fields and various other crops. Our guide did a great job of keeping us interested as we bumped and bounced our way along. Fun times.
Upon reaching our flumin destination, we took a short walk along side one of the flumes to get our flumin entry point.
Our group was split into multiple “crews” and placed into the kayaks. I supposed I looked the most awesome as I was given the job of steering from the front. And by steering I mean using the paddle to gently push-off of the walls. But before we hopped in… pictures.
For those of you thinking, “Oh my god! A life-preserver!!! I can’t swim!!!”. Fear not my aquatically challenged friend. If at any time you somehow manage to fall out of the kayak, and trust me when I say that simply falling out would be a feat in of itself, the rushing 2ish feet water will do little to impede your love of air-breathing.
Honestly the ride is extremely relaxing. You sit in the kayak, float, and enjoy the view. No stress or worries.
Pictures taken, we hopped into our flumin steeds and began our flumin 3 mile ride. As I mentioned before, this is a chill ride that is about relaxing and enjoying the stories that the guides spin. That said, we did encounter some white water rapid and even though my position as Captain kept my attention focused on the crew, I did manage to capture a picture of one of the 3 rapids that you’ll encounter. Brace yourself.
Don’t let the image fool you, that’s a solid 6 inches slope at what I can only guess to be a 30% downward grade.
Joking aside, the main attraction I would think is the tunnels, the longest of which is I believe 1800 feet long.
Between the tunnels you’ll either be in the ditch…
or on the wooden bridges.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. A couple of points along the way, our guide stop us and let us hop out of the kayak too cool off. During this time he would tell us the history about that particular location. It was all pretty interesting and enjoyable. At one point our guide hopped out and pulled up some roots of a plant that we were floating along side of. He then handed each of us the piece of the root and told us to bite into it. Ahh cinnamon. Very cool.
After about of hour of flumin down the way, we finished our 3 miles course and found a van waiting to take us back.
So the price of this little adventure is on the steeper side at 135$, the upkeep on the flumes is pretty expensive, so that’s a consideration. But The Lady and I both enjoyed it. If you’re that kind of person who enjoys a laid back ride or you simply have a little bit of extra time, I would recommend taking the flumin tour. It’s a cool way to get a some island history and be outdoors. And afterward, you should and head down to Fig’s for a decent burger.
For the rest of the pics. Head here!
Thanks for reading!by