Up to the Mountain, Down to the Beach

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

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Where I stayed
Akialoa Cottage

Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Thursday, April 24, 2014

We were all up by 8:00, had breakfast, put on our hiking boots and headed up the mountain to the museum at Koke'e State Park.  We hiked the nature trail, which was very short but didn't see any birds.  It was already foggy and spitting rain.  We went all the way to Pu'u a Kila Lookout hoping to hike the Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp Trail.  This swamp comprises 8000 acres.  It collects the rainwater that falls on Mount Wai'ale'ale and this water feeds most of the rivers on Kauai.  Well, it was good that we brought our raincoats as we were in the clouds and it was raining.  We tried hiking the trail anyway but it was too wet and slippery.  Even with my hiking poles I slipped twice in the first 100 ft.  We stayed at the lookout a while looking for birds and did see the Apapane which is pretty rare.  We had seen it before but not on this trip.  After a while of waiting around for some clearing we gave up and got back in the car.  We stopped at the Pu'u Ka Pele Picnic Area again but this time we got a table in the large shelter where we had our lunch.

After lunch we decided to head to Hanapepe to the Salt Pond County Beach.  On the way we stopped in Waimea to see the Swinging Bridge across the Waimea River and the Menehune Ditch.  We walked across the swinging bridge and while we were on it a strong wind blew and it became a truly swinging bridge.  The Menehune Ditch was a small ditch maybe three feet across but it was dug by the ancient Menehune which was quite a feat.  The part we saw disappeared into a tunnel through the rock.

We drove further east and turned on Lele Road to go to the Salt Pond to bird.  Well when we got there, there was no pond but there was a beautiful beach protected by a reef.  We walked the beach from end to end and wished we had our swimming suits.  We decided to go into Hanapepe because they have a swinging bridge too.  This one was near the main street.  So we parked and walked across this one too.  It was in much better repair than the one in Waimea.  The old down town is kind of run down with many places in need of repair.  But there is a kind of renaissance going on with a lot of art galleries and other stores featuring a lot of local arts and crafts.  We went into the Aloha Spice store where I spied a children's book called "The Magic Ukelele" which has many of the chords written in the end papers with the fingering in color.  It also has a CD with it.  Derek got a book for the little boy of his friends.  The books are by the same author, who is local and had signed the books.  We went to several other stores, just browsing and when we were ready to turn around we noticed that there was a farmer's market further on.  So we went and browsed even though we can't use any food now.  We saw lots of things I didn't know the name of.  I was awed at the radishes we saw.  There were flowers for sale too.  The last place we visited was Talk Story Bookshop, the Westernmost Independent Bookstore in the USA.  It was full of used books.  Larry spied a whole stack of Doctor Who paperbacks.

On the way back to Kekaha we stopped in Waimea at JoJo's Shave Ice.  The best shave ice on the island according to "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook."  Derek got a #12 papaya/guava and pineapple/orange with macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom.  Larry got #10 Berry, Berry with blackberry, boysenberry, and red raspberry with vanilla cream on top and vanilla ice cream at the bottom.  I got a #6 Pina Colada with pineapple, banana, and strawberry with coconut cream on top and macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom.  They were so good I can't even begin to tell you.  If you are ever on Kauai you have to go there.  But don't be confused and go to the wrong JoJo's.  There are two, you want the one on the main road, not on the road by the Big Save.

When we got back we spent some time in the pool.  Then we relaxed for a while.  I played my ukelele for a while.  For supper we had leftover spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.  After supper we went across the road to see the sunset which was nice but not as good as that pink one.
After we cleaned up from supper we blogged and watched our last episode of Doc Martin.
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