Kauai

We arrived on Kauai in the dark, and being the same day we woke up early to catch an hour-long shuttle to Kualoa Ranch, ran 13.1 miles while nearly throwing up, shuttling back to Waikiki, then hanging out at our guesthouse pool until our flight left, it was feeling like a very long day. We found our car rental agency with some difficulty, then headed to our guesthouse and eventually found with even more difficulty.

It was advertised on airbnb as a “Tropical Jungle Cabin/Treehouse”, and while it wasn’t an actual treehouse, it sure felt like it was. There was a deck overlooking the trees, which was actually pretty much in the trees, the only shower was outside on the deck, and there was a ladder leading up to the bed. There was also a full kitchen with beer waiting for us in the fridge. We drank a beer with Neil, the guesthouse owner, who was actually from England, and chatted with him for awhile.

Our airbnb “Treehouse”

I cannot even put to words how amazing it was to fall asleep in the loft overlooking the trees and hearing all the unique sounds of Kauai. I expected a monkey to swing by, but sadly, it did not. We were in Hawaii after all.

Waking up the next morning, we drank our coffee, waiting for the monkeys to arrive, but they didn’t, so we decided to head out to explore. The plan for day one on the island was to drive to Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Our guesthouse was located in the south central part of the island, not on the coast, but located between Lihue (where the airport is) and Waimea (where the canyon is). The town we were staying in was called Kalaheo, which is fairly unremarkable other than having an extremely cool guesthouse there.

Driving west toward Waimea, the landscape became quite dry as we’d expected from the guidebook. Speaking of the guidebook, if you are going to Kauai, you must get The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook by Andrew Doughty. What I loved about this drive was how few cars we saw. I couldn’t believe this was Hawaii. I was expecting a crowd. Before getting to the turnoff for Waimea Canyon, we stopped at Ishihara Market, which Neil had recommended for having good seafood. Hawaii has a unique dish called poke, which is made with raw fish. David was given a sampling at the seafood counter and was sold. I think he ate it every day we were in Kauai. I, on the other hand, did not partake as it looked pretty gross.

Waimea Canyon

Soon after our Asian grocery store stop, we took the turnoff to Waimea Canyon, which I believe is fairly close to the end of the road going in that direction around the island. By the way, there is basically one road going around the perimeter of Kauai, and it doesn’t connect. Where it disconnects is the west side of the island. We drove a bit and watched the scenery change, while seeing very few cars. We got off at our first viewpoint. It offered a great view of the canyon, but we knew we had a few more viewpoints to see. We got back in the car, and kept going. Each viewpoint was pretty cool, some more than others, and it didn’t take too long to see them all. We drove as far as the road would take us. We should’ve gone for a hike, which we saw others doing in the distance. But we were (ok…I was) still recuperating from the trail run on Oahu the day before, so we didn’t venture much farther than necessary. At the very last viewpoint, we caught a glimpse of the Na Pali coast, which we were scheduled to be boating to the next day. It looked like it would be pretty beautiful.

Glimpse of Na Pali Coast from top of Waimea Canyon

Heading back to our treehouse in Kalaheo, we stopped at a Big Save grocery store to grab some groceries for the next day. Prices of groceries on Kauai seemed to be comparable to Oahu. Very expensive fresh vegetables, but fruits were quite affordable. You do need to watch the price of milk. At some grocery stores, it was very expensive, and at others, it was fine. I think people tell you how expensive things are in Hawaii to keep you from going there, because they want it all to themselves. Clever idea actually, and I think it must be working.

It was a pretty great first day on Kauai.

DAY 5 IN HAWAII

There are a variety of boat choices and options from which to see the Na Pali Coast. My first choice was to have kayaked it, but this time of year, they didn’t offer guided kayak trips. We actually considered renting our own kayaks and doing it ourselves, but I figured there was a reason the professionals weren’t going out there. Our second choice was the zodiac, because this boat would fit inside the caves. A zodiac is a rigid, inflatable raft that seats 10-12 people…4 or 5 on each side, the driver, and the guide who can sit in the middle on the ice chest full of soda.

We then had more choices regarding the length of the trip and whether we wanted to spend time snorkeling. I have what I call a healthy respect for the ocean and its creepy creatures that lurk within, so I was completely fine with skipping the snorkeling bit. It was even a bit cheaper without it, which I especially liked. Much to my disappointment, they upgraded us to the snorkeling trip at no extra charge, because we were the only ones signed up for the bare-bones trip. I just hoped that I wouldn’t be pressured into snorkeling, which I wasn’t. I wasn’t even the only one who didn’t want to do it.

We left our tree house guesthouse early in the morning to get to Port Allen where we were to check in at the Kauai Sea Tours office. It was only 5 miles away. It was rather unorganized and we ended up sitting around for probably an hour not even knowing if we were in the right spot.

We all finally gathered and went down to the raft. Before boarding, we were warned that this was not to be a luxury ride but was geared more for the adventurous and physically fit. We were told that if we were pregnant or had a bad back, we should not take this trip. One couple reconsidered after this speech and were allowed to board a Catamaran instead. I actually even started questioning whether or not I should do it, since I’ve had occasional back problems for 20 years. But I really wanted to do this, so I didn’t say a word. But do be aware that you are sitting sideways in the boat while facing forward, which puts you in a twisted position, and you really get pounded for 4+ hours. Honestly I was quite shocked my back didn’t go out. It was pretty rough.

Heading north up the Na Pali Coast in our Zodiak

We were also told that we better hold on tight if we didn’t want to fly out of the boat. I sat at the very front, which I learned a little too late that this gives you the roughest ride. I took their advice to hold on tight pretty seriously. After 10 minutes, the very nice guide told me that I might want to loosen my grip a bit, since we would be out there all day and I’d need to keep my strength. That was slightly embarrassing but also quite appreciated. Incidentally, to hold on, there’s a little rope that’s attached to the inside of the boat, and that’s basically it other than anything that you can hook your feet onto to make yourself feel more secure. It was a little worrisome at first, but you get used to it. You do eventually stop feeling like you’re going to bounce out of the boat.

Dolphins

Within 15 minutes of our boat trip, we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins. They were swimming all around the boat as if they were playing with us. There were about 20 of them. It was very cool. As we boated north, the scenery became more breathtakingly beautiful. The sea was extremely rough, although it was only really noticeable as you got closer to the shoreline, which we did often. The waves were crashing into the rocks with such force that it was slightly terrifying that we would crash into the rocks with it.

We got to our first cave, and the driver backed into it just slightly. It wasn’t a very large cave, and the boat wasn’t going to fit inside it, so we just approached it and got way closer than I felt comfortable doing. I couldn’t believe that I had wanted to go inside the caves. I had no idea the ocean would be this rough. There is no way one could kayak this in these conditions that was for sure. Once I saw the danger involved with entering caves, that was the very last thing I wanted to do. Unfortunately, everyone else thought it was a great idea. I think they all must’ve taken too much Dramamine.

We were going in!

We continued on and got to another much larger cave. This was the commonly photographed cave with the open ceiling. In the summer, I bet it’s amazing to go inside in a kayak. But in rough seas, it’s a different picture COMPLETELY. Well, we entered the cave. It was THE MOST TERRIFYING thing I’ve ever experienced. The driver had to time it right so that we entered just at the right time to take advantage of the swell, and of course our exit needed to be timed with it as well. The driver did a pretty phenomenal job getting us in and out of there, while making sure we didn’t crash into the narrow sides of the entrance or into the huge rock inside the middle of the cave. I couldn’t believe everyone was enjoying themselves during all of this. Clearly I was the only one on this boat who had any sense.

Trying to get out!

After that cave, thankfully, we were done with caving. I instantly forgave everyone for their insanity, and we continued to boat north, taking in more of the amazing scenery. We turned around before reaching the northernmost part of the coast, but I believe we were close to it. Heading back, we stopped and had our lunch and took a swim off the boat. They boated us past Port Allen to a popular snorkeling spot where most people checked out the underwater life. David was elated when he jumped in and instantly became face to face with a moray eel, wide open mouth with fangs starting right at him. I very happily hung out on the boat while catching some rays, drinking my soda, and chatting with the other non-snorkelers of the group.

Getting back to the marina, conveniently the only microbrewery on the island was located directly across from the Kauai Sea Tours office, so we had to check it out. It was especially nice to discover that they brewed good beer. It was a very fun day, but it was pretty exhausting. It was also a huge relief to be on land again, having felt like I just narrowly escaped death.

On our way back, we drove to Poipu and explored that area to get our bearings and have an idea of what we might want to do the next day. We drove down a long, very rutted sugar plantation road that looked like it would lead to a very cool place. That would need to wait until tomorrow. We stopped off at a different market to grab some groceries for dinner. We were getting pretty skilled at planning and cooking our simple, inexpensive dinners on the guesthouse deck BBQ. We were most definitely adapting to island life.

Sugar plantation road near Poipu

DAY 6

Third day on the island of Kauai and nothing planned other than explore. Ahhhhhh. Life’s rough.

We decided to start at the south of the island, where our treehouse was located and explore northward as much as we wanted each day. The next day we would continue where we left off. We figured we should be able to see the entire island in 8 days, and if we didn’t, we’d just have to come back. We headed to Poipu, passing through and exploring on foot the little town of Koloa. Not including our little jaunt through Koloa, it didn’t take long for us to get to Poipu from our guesthouse in Kalaheo…only 5-15 minutes.

Arriving at Poipu, which we’d already briefly checked out the night before, I was surprised how appealing the big touristy hotels looked. I normally am not into that type of thing, but I have to admit that they did a nice job of landscaping and making the area aesthetically appealing. Even with all the places to stay, it didn’t feel as congested as I expected. Maybe occupancy rates were down while we were there, but David and I once again felt like we had the island for the most part to ourselves. It actually was nice when we’d run into other people, because sometimes the place makes you feel a little lonely! OK. Maybe that’s going a little far. Let’s just say the island’s not too crowded. Well, except for the north part, but we won’t get there until the last couple days of the trip.

Kauai
Spouting Horn

Back to Poipu. Of course we had to see the Spouting Horn. It was neat. Nothing to drive out of your way to see, but more than likely you’ll want to check out Poipu anyway, so you might as well see it. It was near Spouting Horn that I saw one of my favorite signs instructing people not to feed the feral cats or chickens. The sign should’ve said don’t feed the feral roosters. They’re the real problems. They are loud and they are everywhere.

We mosied on down to the beach, which was pretty gorgeous, and there were people scattered about, some walking, some watching their children playing in the water. Not many people, if any now that I recall, were sunbathing like in Waikiki. It was a totally different feel from Waikiki. It was a beautiful day and must’ve been close to 11, so I would’ve expected way more people than what we saw. There was a huge monk seal hanging out on the sand , roped off so people didn’t get too close. He/she was entertaining everybody by just laying there and occasionally moving ever so slightly. There was a volunteer there prepared to move the ropes whenever he decided to relocate himself, which apparently he was likely to do in a day’s time. These volunteers are an organized group with vests and all, taking shifts to be sure no harm comes to the seals. Very nice.

Kauai
Seal

We found our rutted sugar plantation road from the evening before that we knew would lead somewhere cool, thanks to our most awesome guidebook. We managed to get to our secret beach after dodging many potholes. These were not small potholes mind you. Having bounced our way to the end of the road, we were now at one of the Maha’ulepu beaches, but don’t ask me which one. But whichever beach it happened to be was my favorite, or at least was tied as my favorite (I’m not sure of the name of the beach it’s tied with for first, but it may have been Secret Beach). David and I set out our chairs and had our lunch enjoying ourselves not even believing how incredibly amazing it was. After lunch, we decided to hike the shoreline trail to the east or north. Such a cool trail! Everything about this place was exceptional.

Kauai
Tied with 1 other beach for my favorite beach

There were occasional blowholes that were mini spouting horns all along the trail, amazing rock formations and cliffs, grassy areas that looked they’d been mowed they were so perfect (we saw this a lot in the middle of nowhere or up on a mountainside), and tidepool areas. And it’s always so fun to go for a hike in flip flops 🙂 I don’t how long we hiked, because I stopped wearing my watch in an effort to adapt to island time. We found another beach, which we could’ve continued past because the trail kept going, but we turned around.

Somewhere on the southern part of the island

Driving back on our potholed road, we explored some more and were now in search of Shipwreck Beach, where the rock that people jump off of is found. While looking for it, we did another hike, which did not bring us to it, but we had a nice hike nonetheless. The rock is actually just to the left of one of the hotels ironically and is not so hard to find at all. When we did finally see it, I knew instantly that there was no way I was going to jump from it. Trying to find places in the guidebook was like being on a scavenger hunt. It was very fun. It felt like being a kid again. Oh, and I need to mention that the temperature was PERFECT! That was one word that came up daily if not a few times daily between David and I. “Perfect”. Everything about this island is perfect.

DAY 7

It’s Thursday, and Thanksgiving day is here. This is my second Thanksgiving spent in a tropical paradise, and it feels pretty weird. I normally associate Thanksgiving with frigid cold temperatures and no snow, so the day typically centers around eating and playing games. I always start my Thanksgivings going for a run, so I can eat relatively guilt-free all day. While I wouldn’t be experiencing cold this year, it was important to me to maintain my running and eating traditions. I’d learned of a 5k Turkey Trot in Kapaa on Thanksgiving morning that we figured we could start the day with, so that was taken care of. We left our treehouse early to get to Kapaa to register for the race, knowing that we would be gone until very late that evening after the luau. We also wanted to kayak the Wailua River which is in Kapaa, so it was looking like it was going to be an epic day.

Sunrise at Kapaa before the Turkey Trot

The race was one of the most unorganized runs I’ve ever done, which was totally fine. It was a fundraiser for the foodbank and I seem to remember that it also may have benefited the bike path foundation. The entry fee was non-perishable food, and other than that, we had to sign our name, releasing liability to the them. They didn’t even ask for our address or age. The race started and ended on a park right off the ocean and had us running out and back on the paved bicycle trail right off the ocean the entire way. What a great trail! Eventually they plan to extend the path all the way to Lihue. I’ll fly back to Hawaii just to bike that. And if they ever build a trail going all the way around the island, excluding the Na Pali section of course, I’ll need to move there.

After the fun run, we grabbed some breakfast and lunch fixings at a grocery store, and headed to Wailua Kayak, where we would rent our kayaks. Changing from our running clothes to our bathing suits on Thanksgiving morning and jumping into a kayak was a pretty amazing way to start the day, let me tell you. This was turning out to be an amazing day! Embarking from the riverbank in our kayaks, we were pretty appreciative of where we were. The Wailua River is beautiful. And the coolest thing about it is that we had no idea where we were going. We just knew there would be a secret waterfall at the end, and we also knew that there was a touristy Hawaiian village to visit along the way and some cool grove of trees in the area called the Fern Grotto that we were hoping to check out if we could find it.

Wailua River

The river wasn’t crowded at all and was actually quite empty. I think we saw 5 people on it the entire day, not including the crowd of empty kayaks beached on the shore where we got out to hike to the not-so-secret waterfall. But before we get to the waterfall part of the trip, we stopped off at the Hawaiian Village. It was pretty fun pulling into the village from the river. We tied our kayaks up to the dock with some rope and started exploring. The village was set up to look like how a village looked hundreds of years ago…thatched roof huts, interpretive signs and all. There was a small entrance fee, and it was worth the price. Not necessarily worth a special trip to go see, but if you’re in the area, then definitely.

After about an hour of exploring the village, where by the way we had the place to ourselves once again (!), we hopped back into our kayaks and continued on down the river. So so so much fun! By the way, it was on the river that we discovered that the flowers fall from the trees and land everywhere. Our rental car for the last 2 mornings had flowers on the windshield and we had half-joked that Neil, our guesthouse owner, must have placed them there as a welcome. We were actually seriously considering that he’d done that. But as it turns out, these flowers are everywhere, because they fall from the trees! Just another little thing that makes Hawaii perfect.

A couple hours of paddling total (?) brought us to the shore where we would bank our kayaks and explore on foot to get to the secret waterfall. There were at least 30 kayaks here. It was a bit shocking, since we had barely seen anybody up to this point. Heck, we still weren’t seeing anybody, but we knew we would be soon. The trail to the waterfall was way cooler than I’d expected…and longer, and wetter, and slipperier, which made it all the more fun.

Fun trail to the Secret Waterfall

Ironically, the secret waterfall was packed! It was still pretty great, but it was weird to all of a sudden be in a crowd. Despite the sign warning people not to stand underneath the waterfall because of falling rocks, everyone was taking turns doing it and getting their pictures taken. It made us a little worried to tell you the truth, and we are not typically the worrying type. We ate our lunch hoping that no one would get injured, which of course they didn’t, and then returned back on our super fun trail.

Parts of the trail were a little overgrown

Getting back into our kayaks, we left that little bay and continued down a different fork in the river to find the Fern Grotto. We were alone again and didn’t see anyone on this stretch of river. The Fern Grotto was pretty cool. It was extremely well maintained too, which was a surprise considering the lack of visitors to it while we were there. We walked around the paved trail leading us to the actual grotto. This was the only place we saw feral cats while in Hawaii, who were very friendly, quite unlike the feral cats in Idaho, who are very skittish. And of course, there were plenty of roosters, as there are everywhere on Kauai.

Fern Grotto – this picture doesn’t do it justice

We made our way back to the docks where we’d tied up our kayaks and got back in and kayaked back to where we started. I think we must’ve gotten back at 2:00. This was good, because it gave us a couple of hours before needing to arrive at the Smith Family Luau, which we could see across the river. Not having showered since our run and kayaking expedition, we took advantage of the outside shower in the park after we turned our kayaks in. These showers most unfortunately didn’t have hot or even tepid water, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. I somehow managed to get my hair washed and rinsed in the freezing cold water.

Once we were sufficiently presentable for an evening out, we still had an hour and a half to kill before we could go to the luau, so we decided to check out a place that someone back home had recommended to me for outdoor dining. Supposedly this was the only place on Kauai, or one of the very few anyway, that has seating overlooking the water. We couldn’t find the address, but we remembered seeing a cool looking place during our run that morning, so we headed there. As it turned out, that was the same place that had been recommended to us. It had just changed owners and its name. It was called Beachwalk Restaurant.

View from Beachwalk Restaurant in Kapaa

Our day ended with the luau, which wouldn’t have been greatly missed had we just gone back to our treehouse after our beers at the Beachwalk. But I’m glad we went to see what a luau is all about. The best part was the grounds. They gave us time to walk around and see the unusual trees and birds. It was actually more like an arboretum. One other thing I really liked was the more intimate, less polished show during dinner. It was more fun than the real show, but it may have also been because I hadn’t gotten so sleepy yet. Once we all moved to the stage area where the actual show started, and the lights went off, it was all both David and I could do to stay awake. The dinner by the way was great. They even had turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. I got my run and my feast in for yet another Thanksgiving.

Smith Family Property where Luau is held

DAY 8

The day started a little rough. We woke up to a flat tire on our rental car. Luckily this wasn’t one of the 2 days that we had somewhere to be in the morning. We were able to take our time putting on the spare tire then searching for a tire shop. We found one in Lihue, which must’ve been 15 minutes away. We dropped off the car and figured we’d head over to a sports bar we’d passed and have an early lunch. I think it must’ve been 11 or so. This sports bar we were in had received great reviews on Yelp too, but I have no idea why.

They were to call when it was done, and having finished our meals before getting our call, we took our time walking back through the residential streets. Being that it was the day after Thanksgiving, some people had their Christmas lawn decorations up. It was strange to me seeing Christmas decorations on green lawns. So that was the highlight of my morning. On the positive side, we were starting to feel like locals rather than tourists, which is always a good thing.

We finally got our call from the tire place and were mobile again. Our plan for the day was to just drive north on the east side of the island and check things out as we saw things that interested us. We’d been as far as Kapaa the day before, so this was the point where the explorations most likely would begin. I won’t bore you with all the side roads we went down and the beautiful places we saw, but there was one place I must mention.

This was a really cool area

Up on the northeast side of the island, we found a beach that is phenomenal. In fact, it is tied with that other super amazing beach down near Poipu for being my favorite beach of all time. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know what it was called. We tried really hard to figure out which one it was from the guidebook, but we couldn’t find it. We thought maybe it was Secret Beach, but we didn’t see a waterfall which the book described. To get to it, we drove down some road and parked at a fork near some plantation or huge yard. It looked like the road would descend to the beach and it also looked like the road conditions would pose a challenge for our 2-wheel drive rental car. It was a very good thing we didn’t drive down this road. It got progressively ruttier and I’m talking huge potholes. I’m from Idaho, keep in mind, so I’m no stranger to rough roads. Even in a 4-wheel drive, it would’ve been a huge challenge. It was a long walk, but we didn’t mind. We hadn’t done any hiking yet in Kauai, so the walk was welcomed. Besides the road was almost more of a trail than a road. As soon as we caught a glimpse of this beach, we couldn’t even believe our eyes. Amazing!

Horrible road leading down to amazing beach

There was a little pond that was inland from the beach separated by a narrow inlet, where kids were playing on a rope swing. The ocean was full of surfers who must’ve known what they were doing, because the sea looked pretty rough. A storm was most definitely coming in, as it was becoming darker by the hour. Entering the beach, we had to cross a very fast moving stream, which was a blast. I just love how you need to be prepared to get wet everywhere you go on Kauai, and I especially love that flip flops are the shoes of choice on the island.

My other favorite beach

Driving back to Kalaheo, we were expecting the weather to improve, because we knew it was typically sunnier down there, but not today. The storm was beginning to cover the entire island. It was exciting to watch it unfold hour by hour. That night we woke up to dripping water from the ceiling of our treehouse, and I don’t mean a little dripping. Luckily none of our stuff got directly hit with water, but everything still felt extra damp the next day from all the humidity. All night long, we heard the rain saturating the island. I’ve never heard so much water before in my life.

DAY 9

After a night of constant torrential downpour, we woke up to find that we would most certainly be dealing with a very wet day. It was not looking like it was going to be stopping anytime soon. So we got into our uncomfortably damp clothes and took off to continue our exploration of the north part of the island.

We drove through the rain, the windshield wipers barely keeping up, and eventually made it to the end of the road at Ke’e Beach. When we parked the car, we were worried about opening the doors, knowing that the inside of the car would be filled with water. We waited a minute or two for it to lighten up, but it didn’t, so we just opened the car doors as quickly as we could. The rain was warm, and it didn’t really matter that we were in it. It felt weird. We saw a lot of people at this side of the island, which was of course really ironic, because the weather was lousy. Everyone was running around in the rain and enjoying it.

Ke’e Beach

The famous 11 mile Kalalau trail that many backpackers are challenged to hike here starts/ends here, and the backpackers didn’t look too happy coming off the trail that day. I can only imagine how slick that trail must’ve been since the rain started last night.

The start and end of the infamous Kalalau Trail near the Na Pali Coast

Checking out the beach, we noticed a man hanging out in a beach chair looking completely unphased by all the rainfall. As we approached him closer, we noticed that he was under a tree branch that was sheltering him completely from all the rain. With our luck, he started packing up, so we claimed the spot. We hung out there under this tree watching the rain and the ocean and the kids playing for awhile.

Shelter from the rain

When we’d decided it was time for a change of scenery, we hopped back in our car and headed back south. We stopped at a couple beaches on the way and watched the storm some more. We saw a mainlander snorkeling in the water while there was a red flag up on the beach, so I did my good deed for the day and informed him what the red flag meant, which he was unaware of. I think they should do a little more than put a red flag up on a beach when it’s unsafe to go into the water. Too many people who don’t live near the beach don’t know what that means. I had to learn the hard way too, so I like to spread the word.

We went to Poipu and watched the sunset through the storm clouds, which was quite beautiful. We also saw a few Portuguese man-of-wars that had washed up on the shore. Getting back to our damp treehouse, we were a little bummed to not have anything dry to change into. But at least it was warm. It was odd taking a shower on the deck in the rain too. A very soggy day.

Stormy sunset in Poipu

DAY 10

Our Hawaii vacation was coming to an end, and we still had done very little if any hiking. We’d kayaked and run, but we’d thought we would’ve done a lot more hiking by now. Unfortunately the trails were still extremely wet from all the rain the previous 24 hours, so we decided to use this day to scout out some potential camp spot possibilities for a future Kauai trip. The camping is very limited here, so we figured we could easily do it in a day.

Unfortunately I’m writing this 10 months after the fact, and the only two I remember much detail about are Anahola Beach Park and ‘Anini Beach Park. Anahola was full of permanent-type campers and didn’t look so desirable. ‘Anini, on the other hand, was pretty awesome. The sites all seem to have a nice view and close proximity to the ocean. But man, I cannot imagine having camped in the downpour that we’d experienced 2 days beforehand. It was still wet everywhere. And I think it rains a lot here, so you could expect some rain on a camping trip here.

Another beach

After our campground exploration and much beachwalking, we visited Wailua Falls, a waterfall you can easily drive to and is located on the southeastern part of the island. Not a lot of adventure today. We were definitely winding down.

Wailua Falls

LAST DAY

Our last day on Kauai and we’re finally going hiking.

The hike we’d decided on was the Kuilau Ridge Trail because, depending on the weather, it might give us a great view of Mount Wai’ale’ale, the rainiest spot on earth. We encountered a flooded road that prevented us from going further, so we parked below it and I think we walked through the flooded road to get to the trail.

Flooded road that we didn’t want to drive our rental car through

After a 30 minute (?) steady, easy climb on what’s more of a lovely path than a hiking trail, it opened up to a level grassy area with a covered picnic table and fantastic views all around. This was supposed to be where we might see Mount Wai’ale’ale, but we forgot to look for it. Or maybe we didn’t realize we should be looking for it. Well, anyway, I don’t remember seeing it. We continued past the picnic table area, which we somehow knew to do, and the trail got even cooler. We turned around on the bridge where the Kuilau trail merges into the Moalepe Trail and headed back. A very different hike than what we’re used to, and we were very happy we finally made the time to do it.

So lush

I would most definitely love to do more hiking on Kauai, but I don’t honestly know if that will ever happen, since there’s a pretty big world out there that we hope to see. But I am SO happy I finally came to Hawaii. It’s been on my bucket list for years, and it was totally worth the wait.

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ByzantineFlowers

Health & Wellness, Natural & Herbal Remedies, Whole Foods, Diet, Recipes, Home & Garden...