Published: June 17th 2012June 12th 2012
12th – 16th June ’12 Kauai
After our very brief flight we were soon landing at Lihue Airport of Kauai. We picked up our rucksacks and walked outside to the car rental office, a bit of paperwork and a short shuttle bus drive and we were at the Enterprise office and in our hire car –a Dodge, which made me laugh.
We found our accommodation – the Kauai Sands quite easily, it is a kind of giant motel, has a beach with very, very big rough waves and warning signs and a pool which has seen better days. Our room is nice, clean and has a fridge but the bed is full of springs.
After dropping of our stuff we went out for a look around and found the Coconut Grove shopping centre just a couple of minutes’ walk away. Although most of the shops had closed down the once that remained were really nice, full of interesting knick knacks and beautiful clothes that were out of my price range. There were a couple of eating places and I had a wonderful bbq pulled pork sandwich.
Later in the evening we drove out and found 2 supermarkets
Cave near Haena
so we could stock up on drinks and a McDonalds – so that was tea, dollar menu of course!
13th June ‘12
Today we were up and out in order to drive up to the north of the island. There is only 1 main road going most of the way around the island, with other small local roads, so finding your way around is quite easy but the traffic is always pretty heavy – goodness knows what it is like in high season!!
We were heading for Ha’ena at the end of the road for a stunning scenic walk. We passed through a couple of small towns, with gorgeous mountain views to one side and the beautiful coastline to the other. Everything is very lush green and tropical.
When we got to the end of the road there was nowhere to park, in fact there was very little parking at all, considering there is a beach there, caves and the stunning scenic walk it is totally mad. A policeman was walking along the road ticketing all the many illegally parked cars. We drove up and down a couple of times trying to find a space before
admitting defeat. We did manage to see a cave though as it had a couple of 10 minute waiting bays that you could use. Howard was pretty gutted but there was nothing we could do so we drove back to the town of Hanalei where we stopped. We had a bit of lunch and a look around and then went to the beach.
Hanalei beach was listed in the 10 top Kauai beaches and I could see why! There were changing facilities and a grassy area which led down to the beautiful white sand beach, which gently sloped down into a blue blue sea with fantastic big waves. The back drop was gigantic mountains and palm trees!! We found out that this was used in the film South Pacific – cue ‘I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair’ ‘Bali hai is calling’ etc etc.
Going in the sea was great fun, once again we spent ages jumping the waves and attempting to ride in on the waves, while small kids with boogie boards did it for real. I loved this beach!
On the way back to the motel we stopped at another of the
top beaches – Kealia, which isn’t as developed and used more by local people. It was just as lovely as Hanalei but in a very rugged way, there were less people, no facilities, but far bigger and wilder waves and we just sat and watched the surfers – wonderful.
We stopped off at McDonalds for tea – dollar menu again! And then went back to the motel where Howard went on the internet and I watched the start of the new Dallas series – Bobby, JR, Sue Ellen and the poisoned dwarf looked positively ancient but it was just like the old days only now it’s their children that are taking over as the baddies and goodies (except for JR who is still up to his dastardly deeds!) ha ha great stuff.
I also found a message from Holly saying she has been offered a job at Sheffield Children’s Hospital Neonatal unit!!! So it’s big decision time for her and I am so proud of her – well done Holly!
14th June ‘12
Today we are heading south west on the only main road round the island and off to the other end of the road
and the Waimea Canyon.
We did the 20 mile canyon drive which wound backwards and forwards up into the mountains. The clouds got darker and darker, the mist rolled in and at the final viewpoint you couldn’t see anything! The signpost announced it was the wettest place on earth! And on a clear day you should have been able to see across to one of the other islands but not today!
From the other view points lower down the mountain we got tremendous views down into steep canyons of golden honey and orange coloured rock, great folds of rock and off to the sea. I can see why it is said to be the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
There was supposed to be a monument to Captain Cook in Waimea but try as we might we couldn’t find it which was a shame as our journey is now sub titled In The Footsteps of Captain Cook! We did find and visit the Russian Fort though, which is now just a few overgrown walls.
From here we called in at Salt Pond Beach, which was full of kids on some kind of a church camp outing
and all screeching their heads off. We did go in for a swim but it was a very steep beach and the sea bottom was very up and down with stones in parts. The waves were a bit disappointing as they just broke very gently on the shore.
On the back we called into yet another beach at the Lydgate State Beach Park which was set in lovely grounds. As it was high tide the beach was a very narrow strip of sand that was covered in driftwood, it looked great but not much good for lazing on.
Tea that night was at the Coconut Grove (hooray) and another divine pulled pork sandwich.
15th June ‘12
Today was a delayed start due to the England match (no comment) but Howard was in a good mood due to the result! We decided to go and see a couple of the island’s waterfalls today. The really big massive one you can spot up in the mountains cannot be reached by road unfortunately.
It didn’t take us long to get to the Opaeka’a Falls as it wasn’t far from where we were staying. We followed a scenic road
up along the top of a valley until we reached the viewpoint. The waterfall was beautiful and the valley sides were covered with brightly coloured flowers.
We had thought the same road might lead us up and over to the Wailua Waterfall so we kept on driving but eventually we came to a river crossing. After watching two cars attempting to cross and only just making it before having to turn around and come back due to the extremely steep rough track on the other side, we decided to give it a miss and go the long way round instead.
So we back tracked and then came to the Wailua River State Park where we got great views across the Kalepo and Nounou Ridges. Theses ridges make up the Wailuanuiaho’ano area, which is where the Hawaiian Chiefs and Priests built temples and houses. We saw the remains of one of the temples and the site of the sacred birthing stones. All of which was built to be in line with the mountains and the ocean.
The road continued up until is stopped at the viewpoint for the Wailua Waterfall, this was a spectacular double waterfall. It was
obvious that at some time there had been both a bridge and a trail down to the head of the waterfall but now it wash washed away with just a few rusty posts to show where it had been. The area was fenced off but with a gap in it, so Howard insisted on walking part way along it just to make sure it really was as dangerous as the sign said and it was!
After our waterfall visits we drove back up the coast road to visit the town of Kapa’a which was near to where we were staying. It was really just a collection of eating places and shops strung along the main road. We came across Bubba’s which everyone seemed to think was fantastic so we decided to have lunch there as the prices weren’t too bad – it’s famous for it’s burgers and special sauce, well all I can say is come back McDonalds all is forgiven! The best thing about the place was the sign outside that said Reserved parking for Harley Bikers which made me laugh.
Following this it was back to the motel for a much needed dip in the pool.
At 5pm we went back to the Coconut Grove place as they had advertised Hawaiian singing and hula dancing. It was actually just one man on guitar and his daughter dancing, that said he was clearly a very well-known Hawaiian performer and from his spiel in between songs I gathered that he had written and recorded a lot of hits particularly in the 60s. One of his interesting stories was about a particular song he wrote which Elvis had asked to buy, he wouldn’t sell it but let him record it and after Elvis’s death he was flown out to Gracelands to perform the song and tell the fans the story behind it.
His daughter – who must have been in her 40s was a fabulous dancer, so graceful and fluid and she could really move her body. It’s no wonder hula hoops are called that as she used the same kind of hip/pelvic movements and made it look so effortless.
And so another day ended with a pulled pork sandwich!
There are more photos below