March 29 - Spouting Horn, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
March 30 - Opaekaa Falls, Sleeping Giant
March 31 - Helicopter ride over the entire island
March 31 - Hike to Waipoo Falls in the Waimea Canyon
April 3 - Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei
April 5 - Windsurfing
April 6 - Hiking the Na Pali coast
Koloa Landing Cottages - Our home during the first part of our vacation
Plantation House, Hanalei - Our home during the last part of our vacation
Our flight to Hawaii was amazingly easy. It was a 9 hour 40 minute non-stop from Detroit to Honolulu, where we arrived early enough to catch an earlier flight than we had planned to Kauai. We drove directly to Koloa Landing in the Poipu area on the southeastern part of the island. We had dinner at Brenneke's overlooking Poipu beach, a rugged black rocky beach with waves crashing ashore. Then early to bed.
Unfortunately, we seem to have arrived in the rainy season! We awoke to a torrential downpour which continued off and on all day. During the drier parts of the day, we picked up our snorkeling equipment at Snorkel Bob's, stopped at Spouting Horn (a hole where the nearby waves cause a 10' high water spout), visited the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and did some snorkeling. The flowers and trees at the botanical garden were lovely; there are lots of photos on the photo page.
Today dawned cloudy but then turned sunny for much of the day. We drove to Opeakaa Falls and then hiked part way up Sleeping Giant. Alan, Jan, and Rich played some tennis in the afternoon while I got caught up on our church web site and our Hawaii web site photos.
We attended an Easter sunrise service in the park in Old Koloa Town. It was pitch black when the service started, then gradually lightened as the sun rose and the birds began to sing. The local people were very welcoming and we enjoyed the service a great deal.
The weather toyed with us a bit today, but in the end it was our friend. The guys played tennis for a while after the service, but quit when it started to rain. The rain made us nervous about our planned helicopter ride, but the sky cleared up and the weather was gorgeous during the hour-long ride. On the photo page you'll get an idea of what we saw, but the colors in the photos don't begin to do justice to the intense colors - the green of the vegetation, the red of the soil, and the blue of the ocean and sky.
After lunch, we drove up a twisting road into the Waimea Canyon and then hiked to Waipoo Falls. The sun shone during most of the hike, and the rain didn't start until we were driving back out of the canyon on our way home.
This was a very relaxed day. We did some snorkeling at Lydgate State Park and then played tennis in the afternoon.
We spent most of the day kayaking up the Wailua River to Fern Grotto and hiking to a waterfall where the boys could swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls. We don't have any photos because we didn't want to risk having the camera get wet - which was wise because both of our 2-man kayaks did overturn along the way! Then the boys played tennis again later in the afternoon.
Today we drove from Koloa on the southeast shore of Kauai up to Hanalei on the north shore. Yes, this is the Hanalei of "Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea...". (It's actually pronounced Hah-nah-lay-ee, but of course that doesn't rhyme with "sea".) This is also where Mitzi Gaynor "washed that man right out of her hair" in "South Pacific". So many movies have been shot here that there is actually a tour you can take where they show you movie clips in the van and then you stop to see where the clip was shot!
This is a gorgeous place, as you will see from our photos. We stopped at the Kilauea lighthouse on the way to Hanalei; it is part of a wildlife sanctuary where we saw red-footed boobies and also another humpback whale. We had lunch on the beach at Hanalei Bay, then checked into our B&B which is right across the street with a terrific view of the bay and the cliffs of Na Pali right behind it. We drove along the rest of the north shore road to the end, where the 6-day hike into Na Pali begins. Then we rented boogie boards and Alan and Jan spent several hours playing with them in the bay.
This morning we snorkeled at what must be the most gorgeous beach in the world! It is the beach where the Bali Hai scenes in "South Pacific" were filmed - lovely sand beach with a reef protecting the snorkeling area, waves crashing over the beach, palms lining the beach, and emerald green cliffs behind the palms. We didn't take any photos today because we hesitate to take the camera to the beach, but we will try to get some photos the day we go hiking along the Na Pali cliffs. There were a fair number of fish here; we also saw a sea turtle, which was quite exciting.
In the afternoon the boys spent some time on their boogie boards. We also drove to Anini Beach to investigate the wind surfing opportunities there; we were too late to do it today but plan to tomorrow.
When we returned to Anini Beach this morning, we first did some snorkeling. This is another lovely beach, overlooked by the Kilauea Lighthouse we visited several days ago. We again saw a fair number of fish and also got to see an morey eel, which was very exciting (especially because I wasn't at all sure whether or not they are dangerous!).
By the time we were done snorkeling, the wind had picked up quite a bit. So the three guys did some windsurfing. Rich and Alan took a lesson and then spent several hours practicing, while Jan was already quite proficient because of what he had learned this summer at his Hungarian windsurfing camp.
This was the day for the big hike along the Na Pali coast. Rich, Alan, and Jan headed out on the first couple of miles of the trail which is a week-long trek into the Na Pali region. They hiked about a mile up the cliffs and then another mile down to the beach in the first of the Na Pali valleys. The hike was very challenging (and I was glad I had opted to take the day off and read instead of joining them), but the scenery was breathtaking.
Later in the afternoon Alan and Jan did some more boogie boarding. Then we headed back to our B&B to pack. Sigh ...
Perhaps appropriately, the weather was rainy today - reflecting our sadness to be leaving this beautiful place.