Kauai trip report 5/15 to 5/24/08
We left from Chicago at 10:30 am with a straight flight to Honolulu. Then on to Kauai and we finally arrived at about 7:45 pm Kauai time (12:45 pm our time). No problems on any of the flights and we were so happy to arrive. We stayed in a private place in Haena.
We were up very early and went down to Tunnels Beach, which was walking distance from where we were staying.
There was vog from the volcano on the big island, which made it a little hazy, but it was still very beautiful! We walked down to Ke’e beach and snorkeled there a little. It was a little rough, but we saw a lot of fish. We walked the beach some.
We went to Kalypso in Hanalei later for happy hour and I had my first Mai Tai, delicious! We ate there at Kalypso and it was pretty good. I had Mahi fish tacos, yum!
We shopped in Hanalei some, but didn’t buy.
We ended up at Tunnels for sunset and it wasn’t that great due to the vog, but it was still beautiful!
Up early and walked down to Tunnels. We snorkeled and saw a lot of fish. It was a little rough in the water. We walked down the beach for awhile.
After lunch we went to Haena State Park and walked the Kalalau Trail along the Napali Coast to Hanakapai beach. It was only 2 miles, but seemed much longer. It was a 4-mile hike and we could handle it, but we didn’t bring enough water! What gorgeous views on this hike. It was still a little hazy out.
We cooked out steaks at “home” this night but went to Tunnels for sunset again. Again, not a great sunset because it was too hazy.
Up really early and snorkeled Tunnels. Very good this morning. Fish we saw here: all types of butterfly fish, triggerfish, filefish, wrasse, puffer, convict and Achilles tang, surgeonfish, unicorn fish, trumpet fish. We saw a spiny lobster. Not many angelfish or parrotfish. I wanted to see a Moorish idol but never did.
Later that morning we left for a tour of the island in our convertible mustang. We ended up at Waimea canyon. It was so huge and spectacular! Great views! We had no idea just how big this canyon was. It is kind of like the Grand Canyon, but more green.
Next we checked out a few beaches on the South shore. We went to lunch there and I had another Mai Tai. We went to Poipu beach. It was crowded and way smaller than I had imagined, but nice.
Then we drove to the East side and stopped at a few beaches (I am not sure about the names of them). We watched some surfers.
Then we stopped in Hanalei again for a few cocktails where I proceeded to have a few more MaiTais.
Back to Tunnels for sunset. It is getting better every day as the vog is clearing up.
To Tunnels at 8 am for snorkeling. It was great! We saw a turtle and a lot of fish. We walked the beach. (My husband does not “sit” on the beach. We have to be walking or swimming).
To Hanalei again and this time shopped for souvenirs and actually bought some. We booked a sail/snorkel charter and a Luau. To Ke’e beach and walked to the South. We saw a monk seal! They are endangered and supposedly only about 35 on Kauai. It was so cool!
We snorkeled at Ke’e for a while and it wasn’t too great and it was crowded. The scenery of the mountains and water was beautiful though. I got my husband to sit for a while and we had a few beers on the beach.
Grilled out dinner. I tried to get in the hammock and it spun around and I fell crashing n my butt, but wasn’t hurt. Thank goodness. That would have been a good picture or better yet a video. LOL
Back to Tunnels for sunset and it was spectacular! I only took about 99 sunset pictures and I think maybe I did get a few good ones.
Today is the day I had been waiting for! The first day of my OW dives at Tunnels beach to become certified! We met the instructor there and there was another guy doing his cert. dives 3 and 4. The reason why they call it Tunnels is that it is a volcano flow that has formed tunnels and caves. It was so cool diving through those. We saw 2 white tipped reef sharks, a yellow-margin moray eel and a lot of fish. I did most of my skill on the 2nd dive so tomorrow will be just a few skills and the rest fun.
After lunch we came back down for a snorkel, walked the beach.
Grilled out, went to sunset and it was a good one again!
Met dive instructor, Pat at Tunnels at 8 am again for check out dives 3 and 4. Dove with 2 other women who were already certified. We dove through more caves and tunnels today. It was awesome!
We saw a turtle, and another moray eel and a lot more fish. I took some pictures today.
I passed so now I am certified!
We drove to Queen Emma’s Bath in the afternoon. We hiked over lava rocks and by waterfalls to the “bath” where we snorkeled and saw quite a bit actually. Then it started to pour and this girl that lives there scared everyone because she said that when the waves get high over the wall of the “bath” it can take people out to sea and actually a man was killed that way. So we hiked back in the rain and realized that maybe wearing flip-flops wasn’t such a great idea. Now we were muddy and wet and we had intended to stop in town on the way home for a celebratory dinner to celebrate my certification. We decided to go to the County Beach at Hanalei and change in the bathhouse and try to wash the mud off. There we saw some guys playing guitar under the pavilion at the beach. They were good! Went to dinner at Kalypso again where I had a you know what, a MaiTai and I had shrimp and Mahi-Mahi.
Of course we made the sunset again and it was another good one. 99 more pictures!
When we got back to the room, Jim made me a tropical drink in a pineapple to celebrate my certification. I had always wanted a drink in a pineapple or a coconut. We took some silly pictures.
Then Jim dropped my camera and it stopped working and I was very upset, but he managed to somehow fix it. It was still in the waterproof case which probably saved it.
To Tunnels again (can you tell we liked that beach?) Since we could walk to it in 3 minutes, we thought we’d take advantage of that. We snorkeled a lot and saw a lot on this very clear morning.
We walked down the beach and looked at the tide pools and saw a lot of little fish. After lunch we walked down the beach the other way and it was low tide. I walked out on the rocks and saw a lot of beached sea cucumbers. I cut my foot on something, but it wasn’t too bad. I decided that I am a lot more graceful under the water and I am a klutz on land! I should have been a fish!
We saw a cloud in the water that and a bunch of activity that appeared to be a school of fish in a feeding frenzy. I decided not to get into the water there.
Tonight we go to the Princeville Luau! We got ready and took a few pictures. We stopped by the Hanalei pier. The view is fantastic there but it was foggy. The Luau was great! The people that sat across from us were from a town that is about 8 miles from us! Great food and entertainment! Their MaiTais were pretty strong! We had Emu Kaloa pork, mahi mahi, some really good beef and lots of fruit, salads and coconut cream pie. Yes, I tired Poi! Yuk is all I am going to say. If you like eating purple glue, you will like it! No one else was trying it!
This was the day of our sail/snorkel/sunset boat trip in the afternoon. However, we had to go down to Tunnels for early snorkeling. What a gorgeous day! Took more pictures.
We had to drive about 2 hours to the South end of Kauai to Port Allen to leave on our charter.
We used Kauai Sea Tours and went on a 5-½ hour cruise up the West and to the North of Kauai and saw whole Napali coast. Words cannot describe the beauty and the pictures can’t capture just how breathtaking it is. It started out foggy, but ended up clearing when we hit the best part. The peaks go up 4,000 feet. Our captain was great as she described the history and facts of this coast. The snorkeling was OK. There weren’t a lot of fish and the reef was deep.
When we started to cruise again we saw a flying fish! It was so awesome.
Along the coast we saw a monk seal and her baby, some turtles and some goats. We saw people hiking along the coast and camping and that gave us a better perspective of just how big the mountains are here. We passed a very large cruise ship. We passed by caves and waterfalls. Fabulous!
On the way home we had rain and a rainbow. The sunset was OK.
What a wonderful day and a great way to end this vacation.
Departure day. We got up early and had one last walk down Tunnels beach. We snapped a few pictures. I had grown really fond of this place, but I didn’t cry.. I missed my kids.
Went back and packed up. Why is it so hard to fit everything on the way home? I was worried that the suitcase would be over 50# so I gave Jim a few things to put in his.
We still had time after packing so Jim says, lets go back down to the beach and take another last walk. OK!
We stopped by the Hanalei pier again to see if it was clearer today and it was so we took a few pictures.
Then on to the airport in Lihue. My bag weighed exactly 50.0 pounds! Then to Honolulu and then on to Chicago. The long plane ride was OK, but the jet lag was hard to take. We lost one night of sleep.
What a great vacation! .
Here is the link to some pictures if you have the time. Almost 200 pictures but I started with 900, so I did pretty well!
If this link doesn't work I will try to re-post it later at home.