Another thing that makes Hawaii so naturally magnificent is its abundance of colorful flowers. Walking around Kauai is like walking around the worlds largest garden.
When people think of Kauai, they often automatically think of the Na Pali Coast. It’s the most dramatic coastline in Kauai, and in my opinion, all of Hawaii, and perhaps the United States. The coastline is so beautifully rugged and majestic that it is a popular location for hollywood – Six Days & Seven Nights with Harrison Ford, King Kong (Both the new and classic), Jurassic Park, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark among others have all been filmed here.
Since this area is only accesible by air, sea, or overnight backpacking trips (which I’d really like to do someday), we book booked a tour with Na Pali Explorers. Our guide was a genuine Hawaiian Spicoli that was surprisingly knowledgeable had just enough new-aginess to pull the vibe off with charm.
The boat ride was a blast. Our group was really small with only nine others. We traveled the length of the coastline seeing waterfalls, dolphins, beaches, and explored sea caves along the way. Most of it all was located within the Na Pali Coast State Park. We stopped at the Nu`alolo park and archaeological site (warning loud music) for an informative nature walk, some lunch, and a bunch of snorkeling.
We had a chance to see Hawaiian state bird, the Nene (top photo), in the wild when we visited Waimea Canyon. But I’d have to cast my vote for the wild rooster (bottom photo) as the state bird. These loud crowing cock-a-doodle-doo-ers were everywhere on Kauai, running through parking lots, backyards, roads, jungles and golf courses. Me and G went to a waterfall that was a 15 minute kayak and a 30 minute hike through the woods and sitting at the edge of the waterfall was a rooster. According to Wikipedia:
Some say a chicken farm was destroyed, causing all of the chickens to roam free that one may see today. Others say that sugarcane plantation laborers in the late 1800s and early 1900s brought and raised chickens (for eating and cockfighting) and many got loose over the years and multiplied. Whatever their original source, Kauai is now home to thousands of wild roosters and hens, roaming the island with few natural predators.
I posted a Kauai Wild Chicken Recipe after the jump:
After a big breakfast and a quick dip in the ocean we piled in the car and headed up Waimea Canyon (wiki). Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The views are great and the rain/clouds are plentiful. Much of the canyon is located in Koke’e State Park so if you are into hiking, this area can provide tons of opportunities. This trip is defiantly worth the time and effort.
The drive up the canyon is windy and steep but very pretty. There are periodic lookouts and pull-offs along the road the entire way up. The Kalalau lookout and the hike up to Pu’u O Kila lookout near the top provided us with some of the prettiest views we had during the entire trip. This is considered one of the wettest spots on the planet, so bring a raincoat. I failed to take this peice of advice and ended up getting soaked to the bone by the end of our hike. The state park and the nature center make for some great spots to stop for a picnic, rest, or short hike.
After our trip to the canyon me and G spent the rest of the evening swimming in the ocean and cooking fresh salmon on the grill.
During our time in Kauai we stayed at Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club which was in incredible. Located in Poipu, the resort worked great as home base and was pretty close to most everything that we wanted to do.
The rooms were huge and had a full kitchenette, large beds, oversized bath tubs, and private lanai, and highspeed wireless internet (but I don’t bring my computer on vacation). We spent very little time in them however.
What made the place really great was the grounds, gardens and beach. The Poipu Beach Park was only a one minute walk from our room and was great for swimming and snorkeling. The gardens were immaculate and bursting full of flowers. There was a small creek that snaked through the grounds, waterfalls, hammocks, four swimming pools (g managed to swim in each one of them), at least three hot tubs and whirlpools, a bbq area, a great bar with an ocean view and delicious mai tais (mmmmmm), and the whole place is riddled with lounge chairs and tiki torches.
After the jump is the first and last picture you’ll ever see of me with my shirt off. Internet, brace yourself.
It’s hard to believe that I was in sunning it up on the beaches of Hawaii last week. It all seems like a dream at this point.
We arrived in Honolulu and then caught another flight to Kauai. The Honolulu airport has an outdoor garden that is inside of security and is a great place to sit around for an hour and work on your base tan while waiting for your next flight. Since go! airlines moved into the market a few years ago, inter-island flights have dropped to just $40 (from over $100) making island hopping actually feasible and not just a luxury. We flew Hawaiian Airlines and they were even more competitive, plus each flight comes with a free cup of guava juice. Bonus! But they put one of our bags on the wrong flight. Bonus negative.
After arriving in Kauai we dropped off our bag
s at our room and headed straight for the beech. When you live in landlocked Colorado, beach time becomes gold and you hoard all of it you can.
After a little bit of swimming and exploration of our resort and beaches we headed out to Roy’s for dinner. Roy’s is something that you only want to do when your in Hawaii. In Hawaii, where the restaurant actually started, they are the actually Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurants. On the mainland they are some sort of conglomeration put together with Outback Steakhouse Restaurants Inc. and are not the same thing. In fact, there used to be a Roy’s in Cherry Creek but it went out of business. Anyway, my meal was delicious and I’d suggest it to anyone who is in Hawaii and is willing to fork out the bucks.