Around south on Kauai

Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Monday, September 29, 2008

Today we had beaches and canyons in our sights. We drove clockwise around the island this time, stopping at Poi'pu beach (as suggested by my guidebook) for some snorkeling and boogie boarding. There was a small shop just nearby that rented the gear for only $20! I was completely expecting it to be a rediculous $100 fee for tourists, but thats really where Kauai shines...everyone here is really like a tourist, some just stay for decades.

The water was great, but the snorkely was only decent. The water wasn't very deep but there were a few stunning fish here and there. Right in the middle of the snorkeling beach was an endandered Monk Seal who decided last night that he was going to nap and sunbath all day on Poi'pu beach. The lifeguards must get there early in the morning to look for them because by the time we got there, a rope cordon was around him to prevent people from waking up him up or bothering him. They suspect 8-16 of this type of seal live around Kauai.

Our boogie boarding attempt didn't fare quite so well. We paddled ourselves pretty far out to where the surfers were catching waves, but we only could "catch" four or five ourselves. It'd really be more accurate to say the waves caught us and thrashed us about a little bit. Not much worse for the experience, we hand paddled all the way back to shore, only then learning we were supposed to have our snorkelling fins on our feet. Oops.

Feeling rather exhausted, we drove further out west towards Waimea Canyon, stopping only once to pick up some food at a Shrimp stand (shrimp burger is ok). The canyon road is a narrow winding road that leads 18 miles up into the western highlands of the island. The canyon is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. While the views were rather awesome, I suspect the Grand Canyon has the edge. We drove a little further up the road to the clockwise end of the road so we could look out into the valley that we were unable to hike to yesterday. Unfortunately just as we got there, a front moved in and obscured the entire valley with rain. We waited an hour or so but the rain just never let up. I suspected it very well might have rained for 2 more days so we just left before it got too dark.

Kauai is interesting in that seemingly everyone just does odds and ends work just to make ends meet so they can laze about the rest of the time. It's an interesting take on life. Most all the workers at our hostel are just passing through and paying their way with trade-work.
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