One more day on the island. But today I'm off to do the final thing I felt the need to do here – there will be, I am told, no future full of regrets where I find myself screaming, “we have to go back! We have to go back to the island!”
Just before one I would be picked up by the Kos Tours hummer. Until then, however, there was time for food and chatting and – well to be honest, there wasn't all that much time. But I did grab the 3.95 breakfast meal, which had me worried, being only 3.95 for pancakes, bacon, and eggs. The bacon? Like rawhide. You've never had such tough bacon. Who knew it could be like that? But the pancakes had IHOP beat – not that that's all that hard.
The thing about eating in sit down restaurants is that they quickly cost more than you'd think. First I needed a drink – orange juice was 2.79, but it was two for one, and I've been without orange juice for so long. But then you add tax, and then you add tip, and suddenly your 3.95 special is running eight bucks. But food is food, and on a day when I need to spend five hours in an off road hummer, Taco Bell is not an acceptable option.
When we headed out, we first drove by three locations not on the tour – a hotel where Hurley shot Sayid with a tranquilizer dart, and a few gas stations used for various reasons. As it turns out, most of the show was filmed on this island. Which is impressive when you think of how many different situations, areas, and countries were conveyed in the show. Indeed there was more than just an island, some jungle, and a long beach.
Our first stop was a few of the jungle scenes. While looking deeply hidden within the trees, most of the shots are done about two feet away from the road. This, of course, makes sense in a world where filming requires many a vehicle, and set spotting is done from a similar vehicle – normally someone driving around being paid to say, there's a tree... we could use that tree! We also drove by Locke's father's house.
Our first real stop, at a building and everything, was a place which represented three different countries, once two at the same time, with two windows being dressed differently. Saudi Arabia on one side, and Korea on the other, I do believe.
The sub dock that Whitmore pulled his boat up against was docked here, although the submarine you could see above water was simply a plastic shell. All the interior shots were taked on the Bowfin at Pearl Harbour – had I known that, I would have paid the eight dollars to wander around. It's hard to say if they should advertise the fact that it was a LOST film location. On the one hand, tourists – on the other hand, Pearl Harbour may be too 'real' to try and pull such a stunt. Once more, my lack of research foils me.
Right now the area in front of the dock was being dressed for a wedding. Not only is a filming location, it also happens to be a very beautiful area. At the welcome centre down the road you could tell the guests from those more interested in kicking through the muddy fields. They were the ones in the formal dresses. It's possible that they too wished to romp through the mud, but as much as I wish it were so, it probably jut wasn't the case. Something about people n ot wanting to destroy their clothing.
After one year in five shirts, five boxers, and two pairs of pants (and down to one from two pairs of shorts) I'm not really sure what nice clothes are, anymore. In all fairness, I don't think I ever did.
Into the Kualoa Ranch, our hummer drove. And the car? It wasn't just for show. A lesser vehicle could not have travelled the paths we travelled. ATVs and horses are the main way to get around. Now, there must be normal flat roads that go from point A to point B, as I doubt production companies transport their gear like we were transporting ourselves, but really – what's the fun in that?
After a good rain the tracks were muddy, and there were puddles full to the brim, ready to splash the window with liquids, unclean. And oh the unclean liquid window splashing there was, as we tore across the paths, leading us to an open field. An open field with two logs in it. But these weren't any two logs, no – they were two logs that the actors sat on, and walked past in a recognizable scene. Ohh. And then there were some straw huts. These huts? Also important, because one of them was touched up to fill the role of Richard's house before he came to the island years and years back.
On the hill above was a temple created for the filming of a sci-fi original movie. Apparently a T-Rex would come and eat those sacrificed on the alter. Not only the best of films have been created on in this park.
Beyond, another prop was left by the creators of LOST to add a touristic interest to the ranch. The tower which held the nuclear weapon, Jughead, still loomed large on the landscape, an walking up to it it seemed to grow with every closing step. What looked relatively small from afar was mammoth from up close. We were advised to not climb it. It wouldn't do to injure myself at this point in my travels. The advice was taken as soudn.
Pressing on more and more we reached Hurley's golf course. For the most part, this was just a flat bit of grass, which recognizable peaks in the distance. What was more impressive were the three large footsteps leading up to the course. These were not made by any smoke monster, but rather the awkward American re-imagining of a truly ferocious beast: Godzilla. Created for the film which somehow managed to take a tried and tested formula and screw it up, these footprints were to scale. They had to be. In the film, there were all number of actors walking around deep within them.
While they still exist, they are no longer the dug deep. The reason for this? Cows could fall in and find themselves trapped within the giant indents. Or, you know – more likely – they would just die.
Rare steak indeed does walk these hallowed grounds.
Bumbling along the road, we reached another log – sacred to LOST fans – for being the location where the Man in Black and Jacob sat and discussed their individual plights. Then we were at a slope. Again, not just 'a slope' but a 'the slope.' The slope that Hurley pushed the van down. Well, if it was good enough to push a van down, I had no choice – emptying my pockets, I lay on the grass, and log rolled down as long as I could, before veering off course, and ending up in the thick.
Standing up hopping once, twice, three times, before regaining balance, I looked back up to the top of the hill, proud of my accomplishment: “no one has ever done that before...”
That didn't sound quite so complimentary.
My shirt was now dyed with the red mud of Hawaii. People pay good money for shirts dyed this colour, with this dirt. Fools – if only they knew they could do it for free, right here.
A few non-essential locations were shown next, where a plane landed in You, me, and Dupree, and where the wee little penguin was almost crushed by Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. An awkward confession: I kinda like the latter of the two, though I completely forgot who the male lead was, until shown a clip.
Every site we saw was given context by a clip from the movie, or by a still image from the TV show, proving the authenticity and also making the location far more exciting than if we just had to recall from memory. Ahh, those are the same peaks, are they? But no – shown the still we could look to the image, and then look to the reality of your current position, excited that they were the same peaks, in the image, and before us. Amazing! (Like finding a tombstone commemorating a Nazi dog in downtown London. Man, people love dogs.)
Pressing forward, there was one more site to be seen, and this was the one I had been waiting for. To be honest, I dig LOST to an extent, but my one true love, ever since my father took me to see the Midnight showing, I want to say seventeen years ago: Jurassic Park.
I knew the scene immediately. It was the location, sure enough. The trees were there, both grown and fallen. This was where the veggie-saurses flocked towards Grant and the kids. I could stand by the log they hid behind, and look out to the fields full of dinosaurs. Imaginary, though they may have been. Costa Rica holds an appeal to me, only because Jurassic Park was based there, and I assume it must be beautiful – but here is where the movie was filmed, even if only this one small part. Most of the film was created on another island in the Hawaiian chain – suitable reason as any to return some day.
With this, I found myself quite ready to head on back, but there was, apparently, one more stop. On the way out, a museum of sorts houses movie posters, and memorabilia from the projects filmed here. The museum was the inside of a bunker created by the Americans during World War II when they appropriated a section of land from the ranch for national defense purposes. The bunker also featured briefly in the film Pearl Harbour. More importantly – we were later told – it was used as one of the hatches from LOST. Everything had come full circle, and as I looked out at the ocean, watching the waves crash against the shore, I knew it was time to move on.
Not just from this ranch, but on with my journey. I had enjoyed my time here, but this was only a brief vacation. A small peaceful interlude in the deluge of travelling. Tomorrow, American Independence Day, I would by flying out, and returning to the mainland – eventually landing a scant two hours from my home town.
It was time to shift gears, shift perspectives, and start movin' on once more.
Good-bye room with the red balloon.