Akialoa Cottage

Trip Start Apr 12, 2014
Trip End Apr 27, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We were up between 7:30 and 8 but Erin had already been up for over an hour.  We had breakfast and Erin got packed.  We headed for Lihue about 9:30.  We stopped at the Russian Fort, Fort Elizabeth, but it was not much more than a bunch of rocks inundated with weeds and access to a black sand beach.  We did see a Northern Mockingbird there which is an uncommon species on Kauai.  We stopped at Costco so Erin could look for Macadamia nuts, but they didn't have what she wanted.  So we went to Hilo Hattie's where she found the two kinds she wanted but in a different brand.  Then we drove up to Wailua Falls.  This time the falls had more water going over them and there were two guys swimming in the pool at the base of the falls.  By this time it was time to take Erin to the airport.  We got her there about 11:30, said our goodbyes, and headed back to the cottage for lunch.  We ate out by the pool and there was a nice breeze.  Because it was so hot in the cottage we opened all the windows, the small slatted glass kind that swivel open with a lever.  We left the windows open while we were gone this afternoon.

After lunch we put on our hiking boots, filled our bottles with water and headed for Waimea Canyon.  This time we took the road from Kekaha up to the park.  We went to the Pu'u Hinahina Lookout where the Canyon Trail began.  The trail is 1.8 miles one way.  Almost immediately the trail starts to descend into the canyon.  The first part of the hike was pretty easy with only a few tree roots on the trail.  Then it got narrower and steeper with one section of very steep downhill with lots of switchbacks, lots of rocks and lots of deep steps down.  Thank goodness for my hiking poles, they really help stabilize my knees on the downhill.  There were some parts of the trail that were flatter and we got a breeze sometimes.  We went through forest most of the way and we saw a Hwamei or Melodius Laughing Thrush and we even got to hear his song.  This was a new bird for this trip but we saw him last time we were in Hawaii.  While we were still in the forest there was a short side trail to a cliff which we took.  The views from there were great.  Back on the main trail we started coming out of the forest and out into the open on top of a large rock formation that looks like a hump from a distance.The view from the hump was spectacular as we were down into the canyon.  It was barren of vegetation.  On the far end it dropped down steeply to the top of Waipo'o Falls which we saw from the helicopter and from the lookouts the other day.  Larry and Derek ventured further down the trail to see the top of the upper falls.  It was too much rock climbing for me.  When they decided to explore further upriver from the falls, I headed back to get a head start knowing they would catch up before I reached the end.  I had just finished the most difficult part of the trail when they caught up with me.  We weren't far from the parking lot by then.  They had gone upriver and saw a falls into a pond.

When we got back, we changed into our sandals and went to the lookout.  It was then that we realized that there are two lookouts: the canyon lookout and Niihau Island and another little island.  Niihau is not open to tourists because there are 200 Hawaiians living there who live the way Islanders used to and have Hawaiian as there first language.  When we left there we stopped at a couple of vistas along the road to look at the falls.  It wasn't until we stopped at Waimea Canyon Lookout that we could the the small falls above the large falls where we had been.  We took the road into Waimea to get milk and juice for breakfast.  We saw our waitress from the Brewery and talked to her a little bit.

When we got back to the cottage we all chipped in to make supper.  Derek made "garlic" bread with sandwich rounds, butter, and sprinkled Italian Dressing powdered mix on top, Larry put the salad together from Costco and I made the spaghetti with garlic spam which I fried in a little olive oil before adding the pasta sauce.  It all turned out great and we ate by the pool.  Today was pretty clear so there were very few clouds for a good sunset.  After supper we did the dishes, blogged, had showers, and watched Doc Martin.
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