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Published: July 30th 2009
Taro, Kauai. Photo taken by: Paolo A. Santos
In 2007 I went camping with my wife, Caroline, a French-Canadian Montrealer who is totally in love with Hawaii. I am too, and our dream is to one day buy ourselves out of all the noise and buy a large plot of land in Hawaii and live quietly and harmoniously with nature.
We have visited Maui twice, Oahu and the Big Island some time ago, so now it was time for Kauai.
The moment we landed, it definitely felt different from the other Hawaiian islands. It just felt a little quieter and definitely a lot more green and moist. We also found the beaches a lot cleaner and nicer. The locals, as well as the local transplants were more relaxed than the ones from Oahu or even Maui, but not much more than the ones from the Big Island, especially on the Hilo side.
The vistas are amazing here and you feel like you are in a prehistoric land where dinosaurs just might peek through the foliage or rise up from the turquoise waters that are bashing up against the rocky outcrops and sandy shores. The current is pretty strong here, just like the other islands, so please
My wife in the Queen
My wife Caroline Sicard in the Queen's bath in Kauai. Photo taken by: Paolo A. Santos
do take a lot of precaution when playing in the surf.
The camping areas are clean and are situated on the beach. We camped all over, but we found Haena and Anini the best. There were lots of other campers that were very respectful and safe and there were a few tattooed ruffians here and there, but hey, I am tattooed and have been told many times that I look like a ruffian myself. So, no judgement from here :-).
I did get scolded by some guy from Oregon not to sit on the picnic tables or else one of the large Polynesians was going to "kick the shit out of me". He also told me that one of the locals told him to tell me that tables are for glasses not for asses.
I did not like the delivery of that so I marched on over to the group of guys hanging out and told them that I was sorry and I did not realize I had offended somebody, but if they wanted to teach me something about their culture, then they should tell me themselves and not to send some guy from Oregon, who buddied
Anole Lizard in Kauai. Photo taken by: Paolo A. Santos
up with them, to relay their message. They gave me respect and bashfully laughed immediately and told me that all was cool "bra" ("Brother"). All went smooth after that and we became quite friendly with each other during the whole stay there.
When in Kauai, the Queen's bath in Princeville is worth to see. It is an easy drive to it and then a hike down to the edge. The locals know about it quite well so one just need to stop and ask where it is. The Kalalau point is a definite must see and the $175 boat excursion to the Napali coast is well worth it.
There is also Polihale beach that is a crazy-bumpy 45-hour ride when you get on the dirt road. You can brave it with a front wheel drive, but don't risk it when it is raining. A 4 wheeler is recommended, unless you enjoy snapping axles on 2 wheelers. We did traversed this bumpy ride with a front wheel Pontiac G6 and we were fine. There were drivers headed the opposite direction that kept telling us to go back and that it was not going to happen with this car, but
Me in Polihale
This is me: Paolo A. Santos in Polihale
we ignored them and discovered a very isolated beach that was quite pristine and peaceful.
For us, Kauai's vistas are much more impressive than the other islands, but of course, that's just us.
Perhaps, that is why Pierce Brosnan lives there?
In any event, visit this place and give it the respect and love it deserves. It will give it back to you in folds.
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