Hawaii, Kauai Island

Trip Start Sep 25, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Monday, October 8, 2012

Summary: We enjoyed this island the most – it was the Hawaii we had imagined. Well, apart from the roaming chickens which were everywhere and woke us up reeaaallly early every morning. We were there almost a week, camped at different places, swam, snorkeled, hiked, kayaked and generally lived very simply- i.e. like beach bums. Scenery was amazing, especially the Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coast.

Shrnutí v češtině: Na ostrově Kauai jsme strávili 1 noc v hostelu a zbylých 5 nocí jsme stanovali. Z celé Havaje se nám líbil nejvíc, hlavně jeho severní pobřeží. Kempy byly lepší, než na Maui, ale i tak v nich spousta místních bydlí. Ostrov je známý svými hezkými plážemi, kaňonem Waimea a útesy Napali (které se objevují v úvodní scéně Jurského parku), a také tím, že tam VŠUDE volně pobíhají zdivočelé slepice. A kohouti, kteří ve 4 ráno začínají kokrhat...

We took a little 36-seater plane for the 1 hour flight to Kauai - known as the Garden Island. We picked up our car, stocked up on groceries for the week and booked into a room in a lovely little town called Kapaa for the night.

We immediately really liked this island. It was smaller, more rural and much greener than the other islands we’ve seen with dramatic green jagged mountains. The towns felt more traditional and quaint and there were wild chickens roaming around EVERYWHERE. The big roosters strutting around were colourful and very impressive. There is a general rule that buildings cannot be taller than a coconut tree so the views are preserved.

The first few days of our stay the beaches in the north shore were all closed by lifeguards due to the swell so we headed to the sunny south and spent a few days snorkeling in Poipu, the main resort spot. We have to mention the delicious Mexican food we ate (fish tacos mmmmm). We swam a few days at a beach with a big curious sea turtle popping up beside us to get a look.

We drove up the west coast to Waimea Canyon, often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The canyon is approximately 10 miles/16km long and 3,000ft/1km deep, only a fraction of the size of its Arizona namesake, but its location, carved into the lush landscape is unique. The Kalalau Lookout at the end of the canyon was a disappointment though as the clouds blocked the views of the coast. We hiked a few hours through the forest to the (smaller than expected) Waipoo waterfall although the view from up there was worth it.

Next day we hired a kayak for 5 hours along the Wailua River on the east coast with a short hike to Wailua Falls for a swim in a pool under the (again smaller than expected) waterfall. We had a lot of fun jumping off the cliffs into the river.

Finally we made it to the north coast and it seems we saved the best to last. The coast here is called the Na Pali cliffs and was featured in the opening scenes of Jurassic Park. The campsites were really good, the views were beautiful and we camped on green grass right next to the beach (although the mosquitos were out in force with J being the main victim (17 allergic bites on one leg- driving her mad).

We hiked a strenuous enough 2 miles from Ke’e beach up along the high cliffs and down to Hanakapi’ai Beach. It was absolutely stunning. The beach was dangerous and there was a sign warning of the 82 deaths there due to drowning so we stayed well clear of the water and instead watched the wild (but very tame and cute) cats that were begging lunch from tourists.

Since we are always on the move and it gets dark from 6.30pm we don’t get to meet too many people but by pure chance we happened to meet the same couple hiking in Waimea Canyon (west) kayaking the Wailua River (east) and again in Hanakapi’ai Beach (north). They were from Denver and were lovely and it was nice to have some company along the way.

We also need to mention our rooster alarm clocks. Every night no matter where we have camped they start cock-a-doodle-dooing from 4am, right beside our heads. That terrible sound will forever remind us of lovely Kauai.

After a final swim in the one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen (Tunnels beach) and some more delicious fish tacos we head to the airport for a final few days back in Honolulu.
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