September 12, 2012
It’s been well over a year since our trip to Hawaii, and while cleaning up the site a little, I realized I had never finished my recap of the trip! I still remember it like it was yesterday, so let’s finish this up!
We set out early one morning to hike the Kalalau trail along the Napali Coast. The entire hike is 11 miles, and it rated a 9 by the Sierra Club – it can be quite strenuous and treacherous due to steep coast, crumbling rocks, muddy paths, etc. (not to mention, it is apparently difficult to get a permit to hike this and we did not have camping gear). Needless to say, we were not up for the whole thing, so we decided to do the 2-mile option, from Ke’e beach to Hanakapi’ai, which is already quite difficult.
The hike there was indeed a hard one, with lots of grappling down waterfalls and across slippery paths. A lot of it was a steep incline, and I needed lots of breaks and lots of water.
The views along the way were absolutely stunning though and worth every drop of sweat!
The climb down to the beach at the end of the two miles was across giant rocks, but we had already made it that far – no turning back here!
The beach at the end of the 2-mile leg has a lot of warnings, as rip currents can be quite strong and drownings occur regularly. The waves were big, but we were unable to resist swimming in the ocean. In fact, we spent so much time and so much energy in there that we got nervous about being able to make the hike back!
We did, however, make it back, and packed up our stuff in the apartment. We had spent the previous night trying to find a place on Kauai to stay for the next seven days, as we had decided in Hilo that there was no way we were leaving after just a week (our original plan when we left was to spend the last week driving the California coast). In Kauai, we called the airline, switched our flight for one a week later, and used Hotwire to find a “resort” on Kauai to stay at. We had no idea what we were getting, and the first room we got was awful. After a lot of complaining on our part, we got placed in a better room with a much better view (of the pool and of the ocean). We are on the eastern side of Kauai, right in the middle of the north and south shore, which was a great place to be, as it took no time to travel anywhere we wanted.
We spent a few days exploring the island, checking out beaches and just relaxing. Polihale beach was amazing – it took a long drive and a long empty road to get to this deserted beach.
We were lucky to see a monk seal sunning himself on Poipu beach.
And then there were palm trees, waterfalls, lighthouses and mountains. We had BBQs in the wind and the dark.
We also ate wonderful, wonderful food! This included shave ice, ramen and the best burgers in the world, the ono burger from Duane’s, packed with fresh pineapple and avocado.
The last two days on Kauai were spent doing those big-ticket things that one should do while on Kauai. The most exciting thing, and the most beautiful thing, was the helicopter ride over Waimea Canyon and the Napali coast. Just flying in a helicopter was exciting enough, especially a helicopter with no doors. Add the magical and awesome views, and it became the highlight of our trip!
We also flew into Mount Waialeale, which is the wettest place on earth, and it was damp, scary, dark and cold.
Finally, on our last full day, we took a boat ride around the Napali coast, so we ended up seeing the coast on foot, by air, and by sea. On the way in, I had a great time. The boat stopped near the Forbidden Island so that we could go snorkeling and eat lunch. On the way back, the boat went through a whole lot of waves, and I ended up massively seasick. I spent the whole trip back holding back vomit, with my eyes closed, and even passed out a few times. Not quite sure the view was worth it, but it was mostly fun.
Our flight to San Francisco was in the afternoon, so on our last day, we packed up the jeep and spent the morning at Ke’e beach, saying goodbye to our favourite spot and to our time in Hawaii.
Read the other Hawaii posts:
Big Island, Day 1 (Puako)
Big Island, Day 2 (Puako to Captain Cook)
Big Island, Days 3 & 4 (Kona to Hilo)
Big Island, Days 5 & 6 (Volcano and Mauna Kea)
Kauai and Waimea Canyon
Kauai and Getting to Hanalei
Kauai – The Last Week
And here’s our two days in San Francisco!