Kauai Part 3

On Sunday we hiked our biggest hike yet to Hanakapiai Falls and Hanakapiai Beach. It was 2 miles to the beach, then 1.6 miles to the Falls. The first 2 miles wasn’t bad, we crossed a stream to the beach. Then the trek to the waterfalls was very very muddy! We passed a bamboo forest that was filmed on the TV show “Lost.” It took us about an 1 hour to make it to the beach and then about 1.5 hours to make it to the falls. The falls were beautiful! It was amazing see 300 ft of water cascading down into the pool below. We wanted to swim but it was super cold water! The views from the trail along the coast were breathtaking. We made it back to the parking lot after about 5.5 hours total. We stopped at Wailua Falls on the way home. The falls themselves have been featured in multiple films.

On Monday we headed back to Kokee State Park to view the Na Pali Cost from above since we were rained out the first time we checked it out.

We enjoyed an afternoon at the pool and then headed out on a sunset cruise of the Na Pali Coast. I’ve been a lot of places and this is definitely the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen in my life. It seems so unfathomable, I felt so small and just marveled at God’s amazing creation. If I could glimpse into Heaven I can’t even imagine that it will be more beautiful than this. But it will!

That was the end of our time on Kauai. We can’t wait to return. We don’t have a lot of restaurant recommendations for this island since we had a full kitchen, we cooked everyday except the Captain Andy’s Sailing Dinner Cruise. Feel free to post your favorite Kauai food spots below. We would love to check them out on our next trip.

Kauai Part 2

The plan for the day was to head to Waimea Canyon and Kokee Statepark. We had planned to hike a few trails but unfortunately the weather up in the mountains was not to our advantage. We saw the beautiful canyon but by the time we got to the lookout at the top of Kokee State Park (Pu’u o Kila) it was cloudy and started to storm. So we retreated to dry ground and spent the afternoon at the pool.

On Saturday we headed out early to try to beat the rain. We planned to hike Kailu trail through the rainforest but it was of course raining and super super muddy. We decided it was not the best idea and headed to a different trail. Instead we hiked the “Sleeping Giant” also know as Nonou Ridge. It was also muddy but the views of Wailua & Waipouli below were amazing. After the Sleeping Giant we rinsed off our muddy shoes on the beach at KAPA’A (where we had gone to the farmer’s market). Then we headed off to find Ho’opouli falls. The trail was not marked very well. Our directions were the trail starts at the yellow fence and that was about it, besides don’t trespass on private property nearby. After about 10 mosquito bites on me and Dustin getting super muddy slip slidding around we finally found the falls. We didn’t find the “other” unamed falls that were further up stream. A local boy told us we had to pick trees to remember for our way back and we decided against going further. After muddying up our shoes for the second time we headed to the North Shore to check out the beaches.

We hung out on Tunnels Beach for awhile and walked up and down. Then we went to Ke’e Lagoon to check out where our potential trail started for tomorrow. We passed the Hanali valley and got beautiful pictures. We even passed Lumahai Beach were South Pacific was filmed! On the way home we took a quick detour to see the Kilauea Lighthouse. And we also stopped in KAPA’A for another hawaiian shaved ice! Dustin’s favorite. Today we had gauva, Tutti-fruiti, and Tiger’s Blood flavor.

Kauai Part 1

Our trip to Hawaii in 2011 was prior to starting our blog. But I often get asked or I just want to share the amazing places in Hawaii, so I have decided to go back and blog about it. Thankfully Dustin suggested on this trip we should keep a journal of what we did. His parents always did that when they went on vacation. It’s funny to look back at our habits in 2011, our diet has drastically improved and we aren’t quite as cheap! Then we were in lots of student loan debt and were thankful for my parents giving us some timeshare weeks to make this trip a reality.

We arrived in Lihue, Hawaii on Island of Kauai at 4:30 PM HST (10:30PM EST) on May 31st. We got our rental car, checked in at the resort in Poipu, got a quesadilla from the bar, and went to bed! We were exhausted after 14 hours of traveling. Dustin awoke the next day at 3:00 AM HST (9:00 AM EST), thankfully I was able to sleep until 6 AM HST. We took a walk over to the Hyatt grounds and Shipwreck Beach for about an hour until the grocery store opened. We then got groceries at “Big Save” which by the Ohio dollar was not a big save, more of a big rip off.

We came back and ate roast beef wraps and spent the morning at the pool. After some time at the pool we headed out to find a beach. We took the road past the Hyatt to an unpaved road.There we followed it for a few miles and came to Mahaulepu Beach. We were able to hike back towards the Hyatt and our resort and we saw a cave. It was a beautiful beach and the cave was cool.

Then we headed off to a farmers market where we purchased fresh apple-bananas, organic broccoli, papaya, pineapple, and mangoes, yummy! Way better options than the Big Save! 🙂 On the way back we saw the signs for Opaekaa Falls and we drove up above the Wailua River Valley, boy was that beautiful! When it’s shrimp mating season these falls turn red.

We stumbled upon a Shaved Ice place called ONO ONO’s Shaved Ice in Kapaa. It was super yummy and Dustin’s tongue was blue afterwards. (I’m pretty sure in 2015 we wouldn’t consider a blue dye snow cone a viable snack option, ha!). We stopped at Walmart on the way home in Lihue for a few hiking supplies. Then we headed back to cook dinner.

The next day Dustin was able to sleep a bit longer, he slept until around 5 AM. We went on an open house/tour of the property AKA timeshare presentation. We said no a few times and got a great price for Captain Andy’s boating along the NaPali Coast for later in the week. After the presentation we headed off to check out some more sights, we drove West of Poipu where we are staying and saw the Spouting Horn. Then we headed to Waimea, we stopped at Salt Pond Beach & the Waimea visitors center.

Then we headed to one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately it was a 5 mile journey on dirt roads, that we weren’t supposed to take our rental car on. The risk was well worth it. Polihale beach was beautiful! We walked up and down the beach then tried to find what our book called “Queen’s Pond” thinking it was some sort of pond or water pool. We had to look for the monkey pod tree and turn left. We found what we thought was the only Monkey Pod Tree 3.5 miles in and turned. We climbed the sand dunes just like the book said and we didn’t see what we would call a pond but a beautiful almost private beach! Again amazing! After the bumpy ride back we went north to Walmart one more time to get hiking back packs with water pouches. We were gearing up to hike on Friday. The book I’ve been referencing was called “Hawaii Off the Beaten Path.” Highly recommend!