Kauai Adventures & Beyond The Napali Coast

The dreams you have when you sleep in Hawaii are incredible...like being underwater and seeing the surface but wanting to stay under the waves with the fishes!
The dreams you have when you sleep in Hawaii are incredible…like being underwater and seeing the surface but wanting to stay under the waves with the fishes!

Waking up in the soft beds of the Resort Quest Islander on The Beach was like slipping out of the warm Pacific ocean waves of a starfish dream. I looked over at the Hula-Dancer lamp on the bedside table. After the whirlwind in our heads from our Lanai evening of my extra-ounces of my Kauai Kaboom coconut and rum drinks we were due for a sleep in despite the best efforts of those Kauai Roosters!

I was up first and, ouch, I had a bit of a headache and sore legs and it’s no wonder we we’re extra tired after our hike up Kailua Ridge where we passed a group of hunters wearing camouflage carrying rifles with a pack of dogs who were sniffing at the trail as they hunted for wild boar. They had two four-by-four vehicles parked at the trail head, the hunters not the dogs, with homemade cages attached in to the truck beds. We asked one of the hunters, a young Hawaiian girl of about 22 years old what they were hunting and she told us pigs. Maybe they sell them to the large resorts for their Luau’s?

The dreams you have when you sleep in Hawaii are incredible...like being underwater and seeing the surface but wanting to stay under the waves with the fishes!
The dreams you have when you sleep in Hawaii are incredible…like being underwater and seeing the surface but wanting to stay under the waves with the fishes!

We didn’t do the entire loop of the trail which starts near the end of Highway 580 West of Wailua. We thought of heading down the Moalepe Trail or the Kuamo’ o NaNou Trail but decided to just stop at the top of the ridge and admire The Sleeping Giant to the East. The Sleeping Giant is a delicate and subtle mountain formation than when you look at from a distance it appears to be the silhouette of a large sleeping giant, you can spot his chin, his forehead, chest, arms and feet. It’s like looking at a constellation in the sky which suddenly becomes a Bull or a Lion but this Sleeping Giant, from atop the Kailua Ridge was spectacular, being on the ridge was amazing also because you can look behind you and seen an incredible lush green Kauai Valley and mountains and then turn around again and you see the Sleeping Giant in the distance with the clear blue sky and the Royal Coconut Coast!

DAMI crosses the Wailua River on Kauai, wearing the new brown hiking boots and safety orange fashion so no wild pig hunters mistake him for a wild pig!
DAMI crosses the Wailua River on Kauai, wearing the new brown hiking boots and safety orange fashion so no wild pig hunters mistake him for a wild pig!

After hiking back down the ridge we drove to the end of route 580 to the Keahua Arboretum. There is a small creek at the end of the road where people can park but since we had a 4 x 4 Dodge Nitro and since the water level was low we decided to venture across the river. There was a cement bridge that was submerged by the fairly smooth current and the water was only 9 inches deep so we drove across the bridge, it felt like we were on some military adventure seeing the river beneath us.

Instead of stopping right away we decided to follow the road beyond the river crossing. It was likely a fork of the Wailua River but maybe was just a stream, anyway, we continued up a rough dirt road and the road got steeper and bumpier and narrower and after about 20 minutes we decided to turn back…it looked more like an off-road 4 x 4 trail probably used by boar hunters so we turned around and parked near the river crossing to check out the Keahua Arboretum.

Colored trees of Kauai! These are incredible skinless, barkless trees with colourful skin that is red green and black...creepy but so lovely!
Colored trees of Kauai! These are incredible skinless, barkless trees with colourful skin that is red green and black…creepy but so lovely!

So let me say I’m not a tree maniac, I don’t hug trees, I mean I like trees but I don’t have a special interest in naming or classifications of trees. I like trees and this peaceful little site with picnic table and clean public pavilions in the shade of the forest which was home to monkey pod trees, mango trees and eucalyptus trees. Don’t ask me to pick one out of a line-up though…but there were these crazy multicolored trees that looked like they had no bark! They were red and green skinned trees that looked like rubber skinned toys, we couldn’t believe it! And they weren’t all clumped in bunches either but just spread out here and there…huge tower trees with trunks without bark and this multicolored smooth skin! We strolled along an open field beside the river and I chased a rooster who wanted to play a game of tag with me!

We left for Wailua along highway 580 and we stopped at the Lookout over Opaekaa Falls and the winding Wailua River with the small sight-seeing cruise-boats chugging along through the State Park. It was windy but probably always is at that height, the falls were a bit sparse but it was a nice stop but we didn’t have time to chat with the many tourists who had parked for a snapshot since we were getting hungry and needed to get some groceries for the kitchen back at the hotel.

Longs Drugs on Kauai! Everything you need for a tourist stopover!
Longs Drugs on Kauai! Everything you need for a tourist stopover!

We stopped at the Wapouli Plaza, OMG we loved Longs Drugs with everything from books to plastic crowns and post cards to cheap booze, and grabbed some Mini Mai Tais and a book on what is the meaning of Aloha. We hit the Safeway, signed up for a Safeway Card to save a bit of money on purchases, and bought some roast beef and cheese so we could have a comfort food meal at the hotel on the Lanai and learn about Aloha and of course have a Mai Tai which is likely less strong than the mean rum drink I mixed last night which held about 3 ounces of dark rum per glass!!

Back at the hotel, we have a private parking spot because we are renting a suite at the Resort Quest which is a good thing because the parking lot is full with guests and shoppers at the Coconut Marketplace; we had our lunch overlooking the pool and then had a nap. Ahhh…nothing better than having a nap after a hike and a Mai Tai!

DD in her Hawaiian Dress on the Lanai of the Islander Resort Quest Resort on Kauai. The red flower dress with black draping was beautiful in the warm air filled with the Honeymoon romance of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. I love my Hawaiian Princess!
DD in her Hawaiian Dress on the Lanai of the Islander Resort Quest Resort on Kauai. The red flower dress with black draping was beautiful in the warm air filled with the Honeymoon romance of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. I love my Hawaiian Princess!

When we got up we strolled across to the Coconut Marketplace. It’s really cool, like a board walk with shops, boutiques and restaurants in a nice little village. The perfect spot to shop, have a snack and just check things out. We took our time and went into cool little nick-nack stores and expensive jewellery store…they had everything and it was a warm evening so we took our time and so did a lot of other tourists! I bought a red flowered Hawaiian shirt and a sharks tooth necklace and some funky ukelele and palm tree key chains. DD bought an awesome, and rather sexy Hawaiian dress, black with red flowers and two straps, along with a necklace and some flowers to put in her hair. We went back to the hotel and took some pictures on the Lanai with candles and the moonlight! How romantic it was…if only it had been our Honeymoon we would have said it was perfect. But even though we were only on holiday it WAS perfect!!! We had a mini MaiTai and Safeway Sushi for supper and with the sounds of crashing waves in the distance we went to bed early, rocked to sleep in the arms of the Aloha Islands.

The next day we got up relatively early as we wanted to take full advantage of the day, another sunny day on Kauai, and after the stress of the trip from Canada and the initial hotel shock we had finally reached a point of comfort and were ready to get up and take on the island! There is so much to see and do and in only a few hours we have to be prepped and have a written itinerary!

The sun was shining in the morning on the Lanai of the hotel. We loved having the suite! At $325 per night it is no wonder!
The sun was shining in the morning on the Lanai of the hotel. We loved having the suite! At $325 per night it is no wonder!

I was up first, making coffee with our portable espresso machine that we brought with us, oh it’s great to have a kitchenette in the room! Cool tiles on the floor beneath my bare feet and the sun coming through the main windows off the Ocean outside. Having the large suite at the hotel is perfect because I can get up early and download my pictures to the laptop and have a cup of coffee while keeping the door closed so DD can sleep. When she did wake up I had been sunning on the Lanai watching the cat prance about the grounds and the guests heading to their rooms with fluffy towels wrapped under their arms or shopping bags in their hands. When DD woke up I made us a roast beef and egg breakfast that we enjoyed with some fresh juice, no rum this morning peeps, on the Lanai.

The wind was rustling the palm trees and a cruise ship passed in the distance. After a relaxing breakfast we grabbed our snorkel gear and the days supplies of power bars, snacks and water and sun screen for an awesome day of come what may!! The wind and sounds of birds from the Lanai was magical! We love staying at the Resort Quest Islander on The Beach… dum dee dum…as we go downstairs from our suite which is right above the lobby and closest to the main entrance we find our rental car in our private parking spot! Sweeeeeeet!!

Driving on Highway 56 on the road past Waimea Bay Kauai. What a great road and incredible views of the ocean!
Driving on Highway 56 on the road past Waimea Bay Kauai. What a great road and incredible views of the ocean!

We drove south on Highway 56, which is the main road that circles the island of Kauai along with Highway 50, to do some snorkeling. We drove the Kaumaulii Highway which had fairly steady traffic, we started to recognize the locals from the tourists because the locals all had beads or shells or flowers hanging from their rear-view mirrors and the tourists all had late model clean vehicles. Two weeks later, as we left back to Canada, we bought some shell necklaces at Hilo Hatties and we’ve had those hanging in our Salsa Vibe ever since we returned…sometimes I grab the shells and rub them between my fingers and it sounds like the surf wrapping her warm arms around the driftwood of a sunlit Kapaa Beach! The traffic is pretty bad in Kauai but we were there in the off season so it wasn’t too bad but apparently 5 people miss their connecting flights every day because of the snarled island traffic…maybe the island should only allow Smart Cars and not big bad Dodge Nitros!

Driving on highway off of Highway 50 we passed under a long tunnel of Eucalyptus Trees that whizzed overhead like green rustling walls!
Driving on highway off of Highway 50 we passed under a long tunnel of Eucalyptus Trees that whizzed overhead like green rustling walls!

Turning south onto highway 520 towards Koloa and Poipu we passed under the Eucalyptus Trees Tunnel which was an incredible canopy of tall trees fencing the road and hanging their leaves over the road; it was like really driving through a shady tunnel! We got a bit lost as we tried to find Poipu Beach Park. There seemed to be a lot of roads with condos and hotels and we turned in to the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club parking lot, the Hyatt Regency Kauai parking lot, the Sheraton Kauai Resort and the Poipu Bay Golf Club before we actually found the Poipu Beach Park so we could do some snorkeling.

We parked the Nitro right beside the outdoor change rooms and grabbed our gear and got changed. The beach was across the street and quite full because it was a hot sunny day. It was nice to get on to the warm sand and as we walked west on the beach we passed a group of people performing Baptisms! Maybe people come Piopu for religious ceremonies or there is a regular Baptism service here…it wouldn’t surprise me since even we came to the islands with my Gramma’s ashes to spread some of them in the sea here since this was here favorite place…well she loved Maui but my point is that I understand seeing 30 people in the green waters off the Kauai Channel getting Baptised…it was GR8!!!

Poipu Beach Snorkelling in Kauai
Poipu Beach Snorkelling in Kauai

We found a spot of sand, oiled up with some SPF 30 Salt Water Sunblock and I got my camera ready for some underwater filming. I had bought the Canon G7 and the Canon WP-DC11 WaterProof Case to allow me to film and take pictures underwater. When we went to Florida we only had those cheap disposable 35mm underwater cameras and we were disappointed with the results.

We got our flippers on and headed in to the sea, not sure what to expect, the area is very shallow and protected but with so many people we thought it would be barren with all the choral trampled and all the fish running scared but no! There were all kinds of fish, mostly Lemon Butterfly Fish, but a few others as well dodging the flapping feet of the swimmers. After about 20 minutes the cool waters and current were getting the best of us and we crawled back on shore, dried off, enjoyed a bit of sun and then left. We drove back under the Eucalyptus Tree Tunnel towards the hotel, excited after our first trip in to the ocean…it always leaves us wanting more after we come out from snorkeling!!

The next day we decided to head North towards Hanalei as we wanted to do some canoeing on the Hanalei River which winds in to the Hanalei National Wildlife Reserve. It was a nice drive along the Kuhio Highway winding along the coast of the island, reminded me of The Sunshine Coast in British Columbia with the lush growing forests and winding roads often single lane. We got to the kayak and canoe rental off of Hanalei Bay and rented a canoe and paddled inland towards the bird sanctuary instead of heading North towards the bay which they said is better to visit only in a kayak which we didn’t want to do.

We took about two hours return-trip to go up the river and back which was a calm river which got interesting when we got further into the preserve and were in thick mangroves on the banks and could here natural springs but couldn’t see them through the mangrove shadows. More than half of the canoe-trip was parallel to the busy 560 Highway so it was rare when we paddled without seeing power lines or hearing the vehicles passing on the road. Despite that, the reflections of the palm trees around us and the flower petals drifting around our canoe and the birds nesting in the thick mangrove walls made it a worthwhile trip.

Entering the Mainihola Dry Caves at the North of the Island was an awesome and freakish experience like crawling in to the mouth of a beast!
Entering the Mainihola Dry Caves at the North of the Island was an awesome and freakish experience like crawling in to the mouth of a beast!

We continued West from Hanalei and past Wainiha Bay where there were cars parked along the narrow winding road at beach access points and surfers in the waves since it was fairly windy up on this North side of Kauai island. We stopped at the Maninihalo Dry Cave; a mouth-like opening in a huge towering rock face where we could go inside! It was quite freaky to see so much rock overhead and everyone is so small as they enter the huge wide opening into the cave!

In the caves it was dark and spooky with only the sunlight from behind us to illuminate the floor and distant walls. There was liquid oozing from the ceiling overhead and as you get deep inside the cave and turn around I felt like a little mouse looking out through a hole in the wall! We took a few pictures and then went back to the beach parking lot; there was an avocado tree right beside our car! How cool! We could have made homemade guacamole if we had the time but the day was wearing on and we wanted to get to the Napali Coast State Park which was only two miles from the cave!

Hiking on Kauai was awqesome. The Napali Coast Trail with the coast and whales in the distance was a most wonderful Hawaiian experience!
Hiking on Kauai was awqesome. The Napali Coast Trail with the coast and whales in the distance was a most wonderful Hawaiian experience!

It was so exciting to arrive at the parking of the Na Pali Coast Park! We got our hiking boots on, grabbed our backpacks and hiking poles and headed towards the trail-head. As we stood at the brown wooden trail map we couldn’t really believe the people who were venturing on to the rugged trail without being properly prepared! There were people wearing flip-flops, untied running shoes and we even saw one guy with bare feet! There were ladies in un-sensible shoes and without any water bottles!

We couldn’t believe our eyes and as we started up the initial climb of the trail, which was knotted with roots and uneven stones we couldn’t understand how people could even contemplate hiking the Napali Coast Trail without understanding what was involved! We saw one poor fellow lying on the rocks at the side of the trail with a group of hikers and he had slipped and broken his leg or ankle because he had a bone sticking out of his leg and he was wearing sandals! Uh Oh! Hotdog! They were waiting for a helicopter rescue. We were saddened to think that the resources of the search and rescue teams would be wasted on a hiker who wasn’t prepared.

Proper hiking gear for the Napali Coast Trail is required! The trail is well marked but requires a serious attitude!
Proper hiking gear for the Napali Coast Trail is required! The trail is well marked but requires a serious attitude!

With our hiking boots and poles we were like Hawaiian Mountain Goats leaping and charging up and down the trail. The trail was totally spectacular with the green turquoise ocean to the North and whitecaps and endless horizon while we headed up into the coastal mountains….it was so exciting. Every turn off the trail opened up a new panorama, the mountains receding into the distance, huge flowing trees shaped like sculptures with the coastal winds, red rocks and formations on both sides! We didn’t have time to do more than a two hour return walk, we didn’t get to see Hanakaa Falls or pass through the Kalalau Valley, but that was fine…it was dry at first but as we got further down the trail there were some muddy spots so we were happy to turn back. The views were unforgettable and when we got back to the beach we felt as if we had been to see a most incredible magic show and had a hypnotic glow in our hearts!

On the way back to Kapaa we stopped at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge but it was closed for the day so we just took a look at the Kilauea Point Lighthouse. There is an awesome lookout where you cn see this bright white lighthouse perched on the craggily cliffs and thousands of birds are swarming overhead and the wind is enough to make Steve McGarrets hair move!

White Lighthouse on the Coastline. A romantic sight through the ages! Here in Hawaii it is even more poignantly breathtaking!
White Lighthouse on the Coastline. A romantic sight through the ages! Here in Hawaii it is even more poignantly breathtaking!

In the distance, there were humpback whales…well…that’s what the sign said although we don’t think we saw any…there were too many whitecaps to be able to tell if it was a whale coming up for air or just a big Hawaii-Five-0 sized wave!

On the way home we had to detour because a car had flipped on the road and the police had closed off the road. It looked like two vehicles involved in a mash-up and they looked like rentals. The roads are fairly good on the island but there are many turns and curves and if you’re not a local and used to the road it could be dangerous…we tried to always stay within the speed limits!

We picked up a nice piece of fish at the market and we bought some cajun spice from the girl behind the counter who said it was a traditional cooking spice for such fish so we gave it a try. The hotel room filled with an acrid cajun smoke as we cooked the fish and we were both coughing and had to dash out on to the Lanai for fresh air! It was funny! So we had our fish and then some cookies and ice cream and after the day we were just exhausted and so we climbed in to bed early and drifted off to dreamland with the distant crowing of roosters reminding us of the sounds of paradise!

Resort Quest Islander Hot Tub! Nice way to wake up or end the night!!
Resort Quest Islander Hot Tub! Nice way to wake up or end the night!!

The next day we decided to hit the hot tub first thing because DD was homesick, probably thinking about our cat Pauline being home alone! The hot tub was nice once we finally figured out how it worked; there were already people in the hotel courtyard reading and sunning themselves! Ahhhhh nice way to start the day with tea and magazines under a thatched roof!

We drove to town to buy a Ukelele but the music store in Kapaa wasn’t very nice and we weren’t exactly welcomed warmly…I guess we looked like tourists…DD had been looking forward to buying a real Ukelele on the vacation but in the end we just bought a couple of wooden flutes, which, by the way, ended up cracking from the humidity or lack of humidity when we got back to Canada.

Spouting Horn on Kauai. It was a calm day so we had to wait for the sea to fill the lava tubes enough to create the plume of spray...one spray happened every 2 minutes.
Spouting Horn on Kauai. It was a calm day so we had to wait for the sea to fill the lava tubes enough to create the plume of spray…one spray happened every 2 minutes.

We headed back to Poipu for some more snorkelling and then to see the Spouting Horn. The spouting horn is an interesting coastal formation where underwater tunnels allow sea water to be forced out of the shore so the appearance is like a whale exhaling water from a blowhole. The tides and waves were not very active when we were there so it was hard to capture the spray as it hung in the air.

We got back to the hotel for some burgers and beers and then went back to the Coconut Market for some last minute shopping. I got a very funky shirt, a long sleeved blue shirt with a funky turtle design on it! My new favorite shirt! We started packing because tomorrow we flying to The Big Island and we are so excited!

Leaving and Arriving by Hawaiian Airlines into Kauai gives you jaw-dropping coastal views!
Leaving and Arriving by Hawaiian Airlines into Kauai gives you jaw-dropping coastal views!

Being in Kauai has been great but it is a small island and we sometimes felt that the tourists here were a bit of a burden on the locals…they growth and population seemed to be growing faster than the poor little island could handle and most of the expansion was due to the tourism trade.

We dropped off the Silver Nitro at the Dollar Rental stall and boarded our Hawaiian Airlines inter-island flight. Taking off we could see the coastline disappearing behind us and both were smiling because we are having a great time we both couldn’t help but feel a little sad to be leaving but at the same time we are looking forward to feeling the Aloha of The Big Island!!

Both DD and myself wrote diaries on our Hawaiian vacation and took a lot of pictures so you can find all of our favorite places and sights described in more detail here on the website. You can also use the site search to find hotel reviews or specifics on towns and places we visited or any topics of interest including any pictures you may want to see.

DAMI WRITES:
Burlington Vermont – On The Road To Hawaii
Newark New Jersey – The Stepping Stone
Waikiki – A Day On Oahu
Honolulu Airport – Bound For Kauai
Kauai Arrival – From Heaven To Hell
Kauai Day 2 – Changing Hotels for Resort Quest and Seeking Poipu Beach
Kauai Adventures – Beyond the Na`Poli Coast

Unusual, odd and strange pictures from Hawaii
Strange and unusual pictures that need a special category. Fun stuff and the beauty of Hawai’i that is hard to define. The artsy side of our trip to Hawai’i!
Pictures of Kauai: Kauai, The Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Kapa’a. All our favorite hikes and sights on Hawai’is oldest island.

Pictures of Oahu and Waikiki: Honolulu, Waikiki & the sights we saw on our short trip to Oahu.

Pictures of Hawai’i The Big Island: Volcano, Mauna Kea, Waimea, Kona, Hilo & the incredible Big Island of Hawai’i.

 

Waimea Canyon: Dark Rum on The Lanai

Watch out for the Nene! These Hawaiian State Birds are somewhat of the Sacred Cows of the Islands!
Watch out for the Nene! These Hawaiian State Birds are somewhat of the Sacred Cows of the Islands!

Had a good night sleep after DD’s awesome seafood and sticky rice supper and the room is very quiet and I woke up early after having some Montreal Cinema Rialto dreams of the Marquis de Sade and his powdered poisons from the Cocoa roots and I hear lamentations and protests and old ghosts from my past and their smoky damned Du Maurier dragons. Crazy dreams even for a Tropical Island! Must have been the rum-induced atmosphere that increased the depth of my sleep that manifested such visions. Anyway the Kauai roosters were crowing this morning again and I switched on the Hula Girl bedside lamp and saw that the colorful feathered cretins had woken me up at the at the most Un-Aloha hour of 7:30!

Goodness gracious Pele! Well the sun was beaming and we could see the waves crashing on the beach from over top of the pool. Our lanai was awesome with sculpted railings and below us like our miniature Hawaiian kingdom the tourists strolled with their coffees or beach towels.

I made a stove top coffee….it’s so great to have the stove top…it’s one of those flat panel jobs with no burners just little circles as to where the pots should be placed. Had some coffee and took the photos off my disc so there wouldn’t be a disc full message today as we want to go to the Waimea Canyon and do some hiking although the sky is a bit cloudy and it looks like it could rain. Rain in Kauai in January isn’t as bad as say rain back in Vancouver at this time of year! The views from the trails of the Waimea canyon are supposed to be incredible and getting ready for the hike is already filling me with excitement! Come on DD wake up! Can’t you hear the roosters calling you!?

Sassy Cat! This little rascal cat on the Island of Kauai looks exactly like the Sassy Pants cat we have back home in Canada! What are the odds?
Sassy Cat! This little rascal cat on the Island of Kauai looks exactly like the Sassy Pants cat we have back home in Canada! What are the odds?

Last night we met little Sassy! Sassy the Cat! We couldn’t believe our eyes and ears when we saw this little white mottled kitty-cat lounging on the wood floors of the lush, open lobby of the Resort Quest Islander on the Beach, Kapaa and when we asked the desk-attendant if it was the hotel cat she said yes and said her name was Sassy! Now this may not seem like a big deal but for us it was incredible because in the house we live in back in Knowlton, Quebec we have a neighbor cat called Sassy and the resemblance is startling! We thought that this was proof of magic and that wasn’t the rum-induced slurry talking either! The Sassy here has a tiny little voice…it barely meows…nothing like the Knowlton Sassy Pants who can be heard over the sound of lawn mowers!!

We finished a leisurely breakfast on the Lanai watching the birds in the palm trees and the sparkles off the waters. I made some turkey sausages lightly fried in golden buttah and we had over easy eggs and some orange juice with pineapple slices…mmmmm the pineapples have a coconut flavor in them….sourdough English muffins capped off the morning and we talked about wanting to maybe look at some sort of employment opportunity that would allow us to travel more and not be working 50 weeks out of the years.

Traveling is so great; you’re always living in the moment and while it can often be overwhelming it was nice to sit back on the wicker backed chairs and dream about doing more traveling…but we have to get back to reality! Grab the boots and poles and knapsacks because the day is moving on now and we have to get ready for the hike in Waimea Canyon.

We drove from Kapaa to the main Koke’e Park and Museum where the trail maps are handed out. It was very busy as the tourists came to get maps and find out the best trails throughout the Canyon which is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific….well…I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon up close and personal so I’ll have to take Mark Twain’s word for it but the little 3D miniature map of the canyon made out of papier-maché was quite stunning. It was very cloudy and grey at this altitude so we weren’t sure what sort of view we would have from the overlooks and lookouts and as we looked at the large three dimensional map under the plexiglass which had the hiking trails marked with pins and stretched rubber we were quite excited. The trail maps were rather vague and compared to Florida or British Columbia. We asked the woman at the checkout, a rather thin and tall thin-lipped blonde woman who repeated my questions as if I had just asked the most stupid inquiry she had heard!

Ahhh The Views! Ummm...ok I DID take the lens cap off and still I got a picture that really doesn't bear resemblance to a picture that is looking into a 1600 foot gorge!
Ahhh The Views! Ummm…ok I DID take the lens cap off and still I got a picture that really doesn’t bear resemblance to a picture that is looking into a 1600 foot gorge!

We were directed to a trail near the NASA station and first we were recommended to continue a few miles up towards the lookouts at the end of the trail and we got there and put on our rain gear and hiking boots and promptly ran up to the lookout and it was like we were crawling up into a big cloud…there was the railing and the foreground and then just empty greyness where the view should have been.

But once we drove down to the trails in to the Waimea Canyon we were not disappointed! OMG! Wow! That is like some sort of red boiled descent into the deep slices of a sweet cake! We drove the winding highway 562 up and saw the lost island in the distance as we stopped at the beach and the huge waves crashed on the black rocks.

The view at the end of the trail into the Waimea canyon is utterly mind-blowing!
The view at the end of the trail into the Waimea canyon is utterly mind-blowing!

So we drove this incredibly winding road up towards the canyon and the red earth hugged her arms around us and we wound and slithered up higher and higher from sea level up to 3500 feet within a few miles. There were some roadside vistas that we’re simply breathtaking! Hundreds if not thousands of feet dropping off from the road edge into nothingness!

The first section of the hike was a descent down a 4 by 4 road, even though we had the Dodge Nitro and could have driven the first mile or two to the trail head we decided to just walk. Even though it was cloudy and misty up at the overlooks it was a great temperature for hiking; not too hot! It was a nice walk with some mossy covered sheer walls but it was a road. It was only when we got off the main road and started on to Canyon Trail that it got interesting.

DD as we entered the winding footpath to the canyon.
DD as we entered the winding footpath to the canyon.

The soil is very red, like a rusting iron dark blood and we found the clay somewhat more slippery than we would find back home. The trail was well marked and even though it was marked as strenuous I didn’t find it too difficult…of course!

As with all of our hiking adventures we passed some folks who were a bit out of shape and seemed unprepared for the trail but our weeks on the cross trainer in the Gym back home paid off as I found the walk easy.

When we got to the vistas it was freaking mind blowing! The deep gorges were deep and lined with green mossy trees and it was beautiful. The red earth and seemingly volcanic boulders that lined the trail were incredible and we stood on steep edges that really made you feel alive because that feeling that if you took three steps then death was awaiting with a golden Lei. The steep cliffs were wild and we came to one part where there was logs built into the red earth overlooking the canyon and it looked like something direct out of the Video Game “Myst”!

nto the Gorge! Wow! This was a real trip for a couple of kids from Canada...imagine if we had been born and raised in Saskatchewan!
nto the Gorge! Wow! This was a real trip for a couple of kids from Canada…imagine if we had been born and raised in Saskatchewan!

There were some sections down towards the waterfall where DD felt a bit uncomfortable but there was a couple packing up after a picnic, or a sweet love interlude by the small waterfall. I followed a trail down towards the big waterfall and came to a trail area where DD didn’t feel comfortable coming down even with the walking poles. I came to a small ledge where I could just see the waterfalls and certainly hear them but it was sheer drop into the gorge and that was heart pounding! I went on another little leg off the main trail and DD didn’t want to follow as the round red rocks were a bit too steep for her.

It was an eerie sight to be on that precipice and wanting to go further bu the element of danger was there beckoning…I crawled up to another point and DD started getting panicked and froze in one spot not wanting to move, calling my name and just looking uncomfortable even though I was standing in an area where there was a big rock with carved graffiti saying “Bon Jovi We Love You” so it couldn’t have been that dangerous if it had been accessible by a knife wielding Bon Jovi fan!!

We climbed back up to the main trail as it is only near the gorge that it is really exciting the rest is like a walk in the park but it was nice to get some exercise. We passed a few people who were just entering the trail and it was already after 3pm and I found it odd that anyone would start down a 2 mile trail at that hour…there was one man, not sure how old but was greying beard with a khaki hat and orange earplugs and rather thin with a young, maybe 8 year old Asian looking boy…they were sitting on the edge of some tree branches and as I approached I smiled and said “Oh are you waiting for the bus?” because they we’re sitting down right? Ya you get it! The youngster had a wooden walking stick and DD commented to him that it was a very nice walking stick and the young boy asked DD as she passed why she had two poles? Unfortunately DD didn’t hear the young guy and continued up the trail but I saw his face as he asked the question and he looked a little sad that he didn’t get an answer…for a young boy DD must have looked like a real adventure person with her big red boots and knapsack and poles…he probably thought she was a Hawaiian Goddess climbing up from the canyon!

We loved our Dollar Rent a Car Dodge Nitro and they gave great service on all our trip!
We loved our Dollar Rent a Car Dodge Nitro and they gave great service on all our trip!

We drove back down the hill on a wild winding road that headed back to the main road that circles the entire island anxious to see more of the Waimea canyon.
In the Nitro we drove the 520 route instead and stopped at the Kauai coffee plantation the largest or second largest coffee plantation in the USA. The wind was blowing hard and it was getting cool and it was almost closing time but they had these little eyepiece things that had different scenes of the islands…we sampled some coffee out of those large pump style coffee urns and checked out the gift shop…the price of the coffee we liked the best The Blue Mountain Bean was like 20 dollars for a pound so we passed.

We took some Maui sugar packs as a souvenir as this was about all we could afford, and just moved on down the road avoiding the little sideways sidecar drive that always gets me! Darn it all…then we got back and DD is doing some laundry I am having another beer, natch and typing on the laptop out on the Lanai listening to Chicago…it’s a lot of songs that DD had on her compilation albums and it’s so cool that they are playing it on the radio! It’s cool listening to the radio stations on Hawaii because they often seem to have a playlist that is from another planet!

The Resort Quest Islander on The Beach at Sunset. We loved this place and gave it our best rating!
The Resort Quest Islander on The Beach at Sunset. We loved this place and gave it our best rating!

Back on the Lanai having a Fire Rock pale ale listening to, you guessed it, the roosters crowing! Huh, doesn’t that rooster know that it is 6:15 in the evening? The torches are glowing over by the pool and The Sand Bar has a few patrons having some fruity girlie drinks…the wind must be from the North because it is blowing through the palm trees and it’s not exactly warm out…well that is relative. DD is having the last of the Kauai Kaboom…she is starting to talk funny so it must be working! There are people strolling up the walkway and the torch lights are starting to take prominence as the sunlight drops below and out of sight. Across the lawn I see the white shadowy furriness of Sassy The Cat, and we close the lanai door and head in for hotdogs and to watch a slide-show of the pictures we took at the canyon today!

Pictures of Kauai
Kauai, The Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Kapa’a. All our favorite hikes and sights on Hawai’is oldest island.

Pictures of Oahu and Waikiki
Honolulu, Waikiki & the sights we saw on our short trip to Oahu.

Pictures of Hawai’i The Big Island
Volcano, Mauna Kea, Waimea, Kona, Hilo & the incredible Big Island of Hawai’i.

Unusual, odd and strange pictures from Hawaii
Strange and unusual pictures that need a special category. Fun stuff and the beauty of Hawai’i that is hard to define. The artsy side of our trip to Hawai’i!