September 19, 2011
I spent way too much time and posted way too many photos of our 6 days on Big Island in Hawaii. Even though we followed those 6 days with 14 days on Kauai, I will try to keep that recap briefer. I mean, we’ve been back for 6 months now! Besides, as beautiful Kauai was, it wasn’t as adventurous as Big Island, and definitely more relaxing, so who knows? Maybe I’ll actually have less to say!
We arrived at the Lihue airport in the early evening, after a very quick plane ride. The airport was so small – we had to get out on the runway and walk across the tarmac. As we were walking across, a light rain started, and a bright rainbow appeared, like a warm welcome for us. This was to be the first of many, many rainbows. Unfortunately, the rain increased, and it was pouring by the time we got our rental Jeep. While there were a few rainy moments while we were there, it was definitely sunny most of the time.
The first place we were staying on Kauai was a condo rental near Poipu beach. We had no idea what to expect, but we were extremely pleased. The rain stopped on the drive down, and the condo was a two-minute walk from Poipu beachpark. We loved the condo itself – clean, big, gorgeous kitchen, and best of all, a patio and a hot tub right outside. Our first night, we walked down to the beach and watched massive waves roar in, in the dark. Scary, exciting, and we couldn’t wait for the next morning. One beer at the bar, and we headed home to sleep.
The next day, we were awoken with the loud rooster calls. There are chickens and roosters everywhere on this island, and we even had a little family of birds that hung out on our patio. They wander across the streets, peck at food in the sand on the beaches, strut their stuff in parking lots. And they make noise all the time – morning, afternoon, night. But especially the morning, and they were a great alarm clock the whole two weeks.
We started with a great omelet breakfast that Soli made in our kitchen, with a fantastic avocado salad to go with it (and this whole bowl of avocado comes from just ½ of a Hawaiian avocado!)
After breakfast, we decided to check out Poipu in the light of day; turns out it was one of our favourite beaches! The snorkeling was fun, the beach was gorgeous, it had this amazing sandbar that waves would come crashing in on either side, so lying around on it was like visiting a waterpark, and it was connected to quite the resort, complete with a bar, and a saltwater pool that we snuck into more than once.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
We made the drive to Waimea Canyon, which is supposed to resemble the Grand Canyon, just smaller (10 miles long, 1 mile wide and very, very deep). It’s actually just one canyon of many, many, many canyons in Kauai; an earthquake had made half the island drop into the water, and the consequent carving of the land by water created these vast canyons all along one coast. This coast, the Na Pali, is inaccessible by anything other than boat and helicopter (both of which we did!). Waimea Canyon is a hikeable canyon, which is why we were off to visit it. I had read about it being a somewhat…difficult…hike, but I don’t think I was prepared for how difficult it was! It was entirely worth it though.
The drive into the canyon:
The hike into the canyon! We started with a fruit salad Soli had made with fresh mango, coconut and pineapple and headed out to do the next 3 miles on foot. The initial part this hike had some pretty exhausting moments, as it was so hot out, and most of it was all uphill:
It was soon worth it though, as we ended up on a point that narrowed into an overlook that terrifyingly gave us a view of an entire valley. It felt as though one strong gust of wind would blow us right off:
The hike continued down towards a small pond and waterfall, where we relaxed for a bit and replenished our lost energy with beer, and then we hit the trail again in search of the real waterfall. When we found it, we were able to clim right to its edge, and dangle our feet into the stream that was thousands of feet above the ground. Pretty scary for anyone afraid of heights, that’s for sure! We got wet, refreshed, and admired the view:
The hike back was not as difficult, and in about 3 hours time, we were back in our Jeep and driving on to the end of Kauai’s one road to get our first glimpse of the amazing Na Pali coast (of Jurassic Park fame!). You can only go so far and see just the very edge of this coast this way – the Na Pali coast actually takes up 1/3 of the island’s entire coastline. It’s an awesome, striking thing to see, like massive mountains all wrinkled together, covered in green.
On the drive back home, we stopped for what was pretty much one of our favourite meals at Shrimp Station. They coconut shrimp were the best I’ve ever had! Light – crispy – sweet – amazing! We also had some shrimp tacos that also filled our hungry selves up nicely after the long, long, long day.
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