Kauai, Hawaii, the Garden Isle:
We ended our slow trip from California to Arizona at cousin Bob
and Barbara's house. Bob had confirmed with the across-the-street
neighbor, Adonis, that we could park in front of his house. We
parked there, but before you knew it, a law enforcement officer
was knocking on our door. We answered the door and were prepared
to move. To our surprise it was Adonis with a welcome greeting
and a bottle of wine! Tough neighborhood!
1) Off to Kauai: Ellen waits in the airport for our gang to check
in. 2) Ellen figured schmoozing with our pilot couldn't hurt.
Turns out it was just cousin Bobby!
1) Barb and Bob's two bedroom condominium is in Princeville on the
North side of Kauai. It is surrounded by a golf course with
grass, houses with grass, hotels with grass, apartments with
grass, condominiums with grass and a few open grass areas. 2) The
timeshare had this pool, a new larger pool being built, a tennis
court and club house. You could be happy spending your week right
at the resort, but withing a few miles is the majestic Hanalei
This was our first view of Hanalei Bay from the roadside view
point. Hey, look, there's grass!
The sandy beach stretches all along the bay. This panoramic photo
surrounds the pier at Hanalei Bay Beach. At the point in the
distance where mountain meets the ocean is Ke'e (kay-ay) Beach.
Ke'e is the start of the Kalalau Trail you'll see later in this
1) Ellen stands on Hanalei Bay Beach pier, thinking she has met
actor John Goodman. Nope, just Bobby again! 2) This bay surfer was
out quite far into the rough waves from a recent storm.
If you don't get a free invite to Princeville, Kauai, you can
always book a week at the St. Regis, overlooking Hanalei Bay, for
just $600 per night.
1) Bobby and Barbara, generous and gracious hosts, pose here at
Hanalei River. While we did not, we were encouraged by several
friends to rent paddle boards on the bay. You can use the calm
river to practice your balance before you head into the waves. 2)
From the condo, it was short drive and short walk to the Queen's
Bath. This waterfall is along the trail to the bath.
The first day we went to the Queen's Bath, the stormy waves made
for spectacular photos.
The bath this day was more a whirlpool that would caress you, spin
you and smash you into the rocks. The view was great. Ellen and
Bobby returned later in the week and entered the calm bath for a
look at the sea life.
The Kilauea Lighthouse sits on the northernmost land of the
inhabited Hawaii Islands. A perfect spot for a lighthouse, the 31
acres were purchased by the US Government in 1909 for $1.00
While electronic systems have replaced the need for lighthouses,
there is still a beacon viewable for small watercraft.
Beautifully restored, tours of the Kilauea Lighthouse are
available for a fee.
Kauai is filled with waterfalls. Billed as the "rainiest spot on
Earth", Mount Wai'ale'ale averages 452 inches of rainfall per year
for a month average of 37.6 inches. At times the waterfalls
coming off the mountain top turn "on and off" each day. Most
waterfalls on the island must be accessed on foot. The Okaekaa
Falls can be seen from an overlook on Hwy 580 coming west out of
the town of Kapaa. The 151 foot falls will vary greatly in width
depending of the rainfall of the day.
Just across the road from the fall viewpoint, you can see the
Wailua River. 1) Notice a little spot of color in the river in
the left-side photo. 2) Using the incredible 30 times zoom of our
Sony CyberShot HX200V camera, you can clearly see what it is. What
a camera! What a
1) On the south side of the island the terrain is a bit drier but
no less interesting. This is Spouting Horn which erupts every few
seconds with the height depending of the tide and storm activity.
Nearby Spouting Horn was Kukuiula Seaplume, a blowhole that spewed
water as high as 200 feet! According (not verified) to various
web references the salt water was damaging nearby sugar cane
fields and the Seaplume was blown up in the 1920's. 2) Either
way the turtle near Spouting Horn is not impressed.
Hanalei Valley, just a short distance inland from Hanalei bay, is
gorgeous like the rest of Garden Isle. We met "Jeff" on the plane
ride to Kauai. Jeff, a local, recommended a hike up the valley.
You see the river and to the right a little road. Jeff said to
follow the road to its end, ignore the "keep out" signs and hike
to a beautiful secret waterfall.
So off we went, past the signs, past the giant bamboo forest and
onto the river. The trail was level all the way; not up. Never
found the falls, but we were able to get this photo and return
with very muddy shoes.
A short distance before the end of the road was the Okolehao Trail
to the Hanalei Bay lookout. This trail was moderate to strenuous
and also very muddy as it had rained the day before. Reaching the
lookout offered confirmation that it would be pretty on another
Our next day offered sunshine and a chance to hike the Kalalau
trail. Starting at Ke'e Beach, this trail is strenuous to
strenuous with a touch of strenuous. The full trail is 11 miles
long and reaches Kalalau Beach but this requires camping gear,
permits and 10+ hours one way. We chose to go only 4 miles to
Hanakapi'al Falls. This first photo is only about 1/2 mile from
You never lose sight of the ocean and beaches along the hike. The
trail starts at sea level and goes drastically up, then down, then
up, then down, then up/down, up/down, up/down ... we don't know
how many times.
Hanakapi'al Beach is only two miles in. We started at sunrise and
had the trail to ourselves, taking about 90 minutes of strenuous
hiking to reach the beach. The creek flows through these boulders
just a few feet before it meets the ocean.
The beach was just lovely. But don't go in the water; it can be
very dangerous and there is no one to help you if need be.
Now, off to the falls. We believe the trail to the falls just goes
up. Hmm! Two more miles up, two miles down, then two miles of
up/down, up/down. Yeah, right! Did we mention it was strenuous? We were told by
those that made, it's worth the strain. Maybe next time,
we'll start before dark, wear hiking boots, pack more water and
food and make it to the falls. One of many great views heading
Proof that we really took the trail. This very large spider was
suspended over the cliff between two trees that were 20 feet apart.
More of the Na Pali Coast.
Beautiful multi-colored waters of Ke'e Beach, our ending point,
We got dozens of great photos like this. You can get some of
these only 30 minutes into the hike.
Back at sea level, Pete and Bobby go snorkeling at Anini Beach.
Ellen and Bobby went the day before and it was chock full of fish,
turtles, eels and other fun stuff. Bobby brought his underwater
digital camera, the Canon Powershot D10.
Just to clarify, the shot on the left is NOT underwater and NOT a
Spotted Eel. That's on the right.
We saw many Green Sea Turtles, this one about four feet long.
Well, it's our last day and we drove to and up the Waimea Canyon,
known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. 1) The base of the
canyon can be seen from a roadside viewpoint on Hwy 50. A long
but beautiful drive up the Hwy 550 reveals the great depth and
width of the canyon. It's luck whether you will get good photos
or not. Remember, you are only 10 miles from the rainiest spot on
Earth. 2) This photo at least shows the canyon. The other four or
five lookouts were completely fogged in on this day.
We hope you enjoyed your time and get a chance to get to Kauai, it
truly is one big garden. God is a good creator!
We have to give a big Mahalo shout out to our cousins. To Barb and
Bobby who invited us to join them: Thank you for your generosity
and for allowing us to spend this week with you. You are an
awesome part of our family. To Kerry and Dennis who stored the
Mothership at their house and cared for Mandy. It may seem like a
small deal to you but our biggest concern in taking this trip was
Mandy's well being. Allowing her to stay in her own home at your
home gave us peace of mind.
We love all you cousins,
Pete, Ellen and Mandy
Mandy says woof to Mattie and Chuck.
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