My Hawaiian Diary

Part 2

 

Kauai - Day 3

Yesterday was another very full day. This time we headed in the other direction, toward the Na Pali Coast. It was "beach day." My word are the beaches gorgeous, and clean, and uncrowded, and blue, blue, blue water. We stopped at several to take pictures, to "take off our shoes and stockings and paddle," and to just drink in the beauty.

The farther we got, the more dense the vegetation and more isolated the communities. Hanalei is the last big town before the end of the road. From there to Lumahai beach it is private homes. We noted that most of them are on very tall stilts. We are assuming that these were perhaps rebuilt after Hurricane Iniki, which destroyed so much of this island.

Ha'ena beach is a camping beach and had more people than we had seen before. It is across the road from a huge cave ("The dry cave," pictured at left), which we explored, as far as one can without a flashlight. Then over to the beach, where we watched surfers.

We had lunch in Hanalei at a deli, which turned out to be the perfect choice. It had a local feel to it, a tad grungy, but with local types hanging out with the tourists. The food was excellent (and seemed to be cooked next door, actually) and shortly before we finished, The Mango Brothers arrived to play Hawaiian music, which we listened to for awhile. Really, really nice.

At the end of a long day, we picked up food at the local supermarket, had dinner at home and went to bed early.

 

Kauai - Day 4

Well, our last day in Kauai has ended, with lots of ups and downs, geographically We were on the road around 11 a.m. and drove up to Waimea Canyon, passing through some beautiful, lush countryside. The trees along the road are dripping with yellow-flowering vines that grow very thick. There is brilliant bougainvillaea, red hibiscus, and other smaller flowers. As you approach the North Shore, it becomes very barren and dry and if it weren't for the red, red dirt (Mars, anyone?) and the sugar cane fields, you'd think you were in Nevada.

The road wound round and round up 11 miles to the Waimea lookout. A short climb to the top viewers' tower gives you a gorgeous view of this "Grand Canyon of Hawaii" (as Mark Twain described it). I took several pictures and then happened to glance down at the lower viewers' platform and whom did I see? Bob and Bill, friends from San Francisco! What an incredible surprise. We had a great visit with them. interesting when Nelson joined the group because the talk was in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French--and when I met up with them, they had been speaking German to a couple of tourists. Most of my friends are multilingual.

The ride down was by another route and more beautiful than the first. A gorgeous panorama of the coast and off in the distance Niihau and two other smaller islands. The weather was clear and the skies and water deep blue. Truly a wonderful sight.

We stopped at the remains of a Russian Fort. We took the wrong footpath and never did get to the fort (by the time we figured out where it was, all but Walt and Sergio were too tired to walk over there--the two of them went alone). But we did walk along the black sand beach and take some pictures.

While Walt and Sergio went to the fort, the rest of us sat and munched sugar cane that Nelson had picked from the adjacent field. The ubiquitous chickens were at our feet and while they ignored the sugar cane, if you pre-masticated it and tossed it out for them, they gobbled it right up.

By now it was nearly 4 p.m. and we were quite hungry, so we just drove till we found some place. It was a grill somewhere in Hanipepe and it turned out to be another serendipitous choice. I told Walt that when you spend a lot of time at McDonald's, you forget what really good burgers taste like. These (like Bubba's) were really good and we even had dessert (macadamia nut cream pie for me, coconut cream for the others). Our final stop was Spouting Horn, the blow hole near Poipu, so Nelson could take pictures...and then home again.

Now I have clothes washing and then I'm off to bed. We have to be packed and on the road by 9 a.m. tomorrow.

 

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