Kauai

Hawaii-03

Kauai, the first island on our trip, is geologically the oldest of Hawaii’s main islands. Our visit starts with a very heavy thunder storm.  Due to the long traveling our first day after this crazy night is a lazy one. Get up, organise, shopping for food and driving along the coast to the north. It is cloudy, raining sometimes, but the temperatures are great. First stop is at the Kilauea lighthouse, where we spot red footed boobies, nene (endangered Hawaiian goose) and a nice, bright green gecko. Lovely. Further it goes tot Anini beach for some snorkeling. It is a fantastic beach to relax on and to see a bit of wildlife under water. I see little moray eels, the state fish of Hawaii Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (wedgetail triggerfish) and last but not least a big green turtle. We end the day at Hanalei, a nice town on the north side of the island. Here the sun starts shining and we enjoy a nice dinner. Life is good!

The next day starts with a clear blue sky. Immediately I am happy. Today we go west. There is a tree tunnel on our route, which basically is a tunnel of trees. We go see blue sea, blue sky and an interesting blow hole,  where the sea is pushing the water through a hole in the rocks to sprout in the air. Spectacular start of the day. We keep on going, pass some small villages, try to find coffee and decide to stop in Waimea. Here we visit the landing place of Captain Cook. This world traveler discovered many nice places a few hundred years ago. Some of them I have been able to visit, others are still on my bucket list. We are wondering what this guy thought when he entered this Island. In the end he was murdered on Hawaii, so the story did not end well. Lucky for us, the weather is close to perfect. We move on, go as far west as possible. In the end.. there is nothing. Well, apart from a clear view on the islands of Ni’ihau and Lehua.
We head back to Kauai Coffee Company, which we spotted earlier along the way.They grow and roast coffee beans, and we need to try. Together with Seven Layers of Heaven, a heavenly snack with all kinds of nice ingredients (chocolate, peacan nuts,…). Time to move on to Poipu for some beach time and… to see a few rare monk seals and a green sea turtle between the sun bathing humans. Amazing. They come to sleep on the beach every day and are monitored and protected by some volunteers. A nice end to this day.

Easter, without eggs. Ah well, we survived. It was a great day for visiting one of the nicest parks on this island for some hiking. Koke’e and Waimea Canyon. Again we head west, but halfway we go up the mountains. A winding road with spectacular views into canyon country. The rusty red of the soil gives all kinds of colour to the rocks. At the end of the road we hike along the rim of the mountain range and have a great view over the Na Pali coast. Doen there ends  the famous Kalalau trail on a beautiful beach. We will hike a small part of tahat trail tomorrow. For now I have no clue what to say anymore, this is so amazing. I have visited many places, seen many spectacular views, but this beats them all. Wow… simply wow. We walk a bit, until the clouds are suddenly moving in. Time to go. Next stop are the Canyon and Cliff trails. A 2 hours hike takes us along the cliff, into the canyon to a giant waterfall. Nice, nice, nice… need I say more. I am a very fortunate person to be able to do this. Traveling, exploring, meeting people, seeing fabulous places. I am glad we just started. As my fortune cookie says: “counting time is not so important as making time count”.

Last day on Kauai has arrived. We would like to hike a part of the Kalalau trail. We decide to start as early as possible and get up at 5:30. Really? Yes, and we were not the first at the start of the trail. But at least it is not too busy yet. We start with a large number of warning signs. Don’t do this, careful for that, watch out for… still, people do crazy things. We will do the first 2 miles of the trail. A nice walk through forrest, just above a clear blue sea. The weather is ok, not clear but temperatures are great for some exercise. We walk from Ke’e beach to Hanakapi’ai beach. The last is a very rocky place with many cairns. We have lunch at 10:30 and decide to leave the extra 4 miles to and from a waterfall. We rather go for some snorkling at Ke’e bach. It looked very tempting at the start of our day. And… the weather is clearing, the sun is shining. Time to enjoy! While snorkling I again see a green turtle, but also a young spotted eagle ray. We end our visit to Kauai with some nice fishy dinner… tomorrow we go to Big Island.

Conclusion, Kauai is great. Nice nature, great beaches and not very crowded. Just the driving is a bit challenging. The line maker must have been drunk. The lines on the highway are far from straight.

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