Hawaiian Paradise?–Day 2, Friday

Welcome to my account of our second day on the garden island of Kauai.  We had PLANNED to take a boat trip around the northwest Na Pali coast.  Note that it is the ONLY part of the island’s coast that is not accessible by land, so there’s a lot there that can’t be seen any other way.  With luck, we were also going to get some snorkeling in from the boat, as well.  Unfortunately, due to the high seas and rain the captain ended up cancelling the trip.  It was rescheduled to Sunday, hoping that the weather would end up better after a couple days.

Since we couldn’t take the trip we wanted by boat, we headed south to Wailua Falls (our hotel was in Kapa’a, along the east coast).  This was a pretty short trip, all things considered.  Of course, anyplace on the island was pretty close – it’s one of the smaller islands.  After the waterfall, we actually got a little nice weather, with some blue sky, so we put the top down on the car.

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We then headed to Spouting Horn Park, a bit south of the airport.  This park contains several blowholes and rock formations.  Blowholes are holes that are open to the waves and the water spouts up through a small channel as the waves hit the rock.

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Click here for video – BlowHole

This is also where we ran across the largest (so far) collection of native chickens.  These chickens were ALL OVER the island.  It turns out they have no natural predators on the island, so they’ve managed to take over everywhere.  You couldn’t drop a piece of bread anywhere on the island without one of the chickens running out of the bushes (or generally, a BUNCH of chickens).

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They pretty much “owned” the islands.  I asked one of the natives if they were ever used for food (there seemed to be a LOT of BBQ chicken places around, after all…)  I was told that they are protected on public land, but are fair game on private land.  However, they were NOT generally used for food as they were too wild and tough.  The way to cook them was explained like this…  Put the chicken in a pot of boiling water with a lava rock.  Boil until the lava rock is soft enough to chew.  Then the chicken MIGHT be ready…  Needless to say, we didn’t try it.

We experienced yet another downpour while at this park, so we huddled under some vendor tents located in the parking lot.  I bought Polly a flower necklace while we were waiting, purple of course.  There was also one of the trees whose leaves you could write on.  Neither Polly nor I could remember or find out what the name of the tree is, but they were all over the island.  After a bit of research here at home, it turns out it is commonly called simply the Autograph Tree…

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After the park, we continued west to Salt Pond Park.  Here we took another walk along the beach.  If the weather were nicer, this would have been a great place to swim.  It was a sand beach protected by lava rock reefs.  There were also a few surfers.

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A little further down the beach we ran across several sea turtles swimming in the waves.  None were brave enough to come out onto the beach, however, but we saw at least 6 of them frolicking in the water.  Trust me, that’s one of them in the wave Smile.

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On the way home, we decided to stop at a burger joint that seemed to be very well know around the area, Bubba Burgers.  Good burgers, with genuine Kauai beef.  A bit messy, but delicious.

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A few more sites along the way home…

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And that’s the end of Day two.  More to follow…

Hawaiian Paradise? – Day One

My wife decided that she was tired of the dreary weather in Washington (gray skies, rain, etc.)  So, like all good wives, she booked us a trip to the garden island of Kauai.  We left on a Thursday.  After a lengthy non-stop flight from the gray skies of Seattle we arrived in the sunny skies of Kauai (well, almost non-stop – there was a plane change in Honolulu).  So far, so good.

We went to get our rental car, and they were unable to find our reservation as the paperwork Polly had didn’t have a confirmation number on it.  They finally found us in the computer, however, so we were good to go.  It was such a nice day we decided to pop the extra cash for a convertible.  We hopped in our Mustang convertible and drove the 20 miles or so to our Hotel (with the top down, of course).  Note the 160 MPH SPEEDOMETER!!!!  Too bad the highest speed limit on the island was only 50 mph Sad smile.

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When we got to the hotel, we had another problem.  They ALSO had no record of our reservation.  Fortunately, Polly had the receipt from when she booked the package through Costco Travel, and it proved we had a reservation, and that it was pre-paid.  Since they didn’t have a regular room for us, they gave us an “upgrade” to a waterfront room.  We were about 100’ from the water.  Great for a quick dip in the ocean.

Well, we were a bit tired after all the travelling, so didn’t take the time to hit the water.  Besides, it looked a bit rough at the time.  So we just took a walk along the beach.

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It was a very tiring walk Smile.  All that sand, you know…

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There were also a lot of pretty flowers on the grounds of the hotel.

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Since it was getting late, we took a trip to the local Wal-Mart and Costco to pick up some supplies and supper.  We then headed back to our hotel and took a rest.  Little did we know, as far as the weather is concerned, this was to be pretty much the best day of the whole trip.  But that’s a story for another day.

A Brief Guide to our Hawaiian Vacation…

I intend to post details of our recent trip to the island of Kauai (May 5 – May 11), but I’m still waiting for my wife Polly to sort out the hundreds (if not thousands) of digital pictures we took.

However, to give you some idea of the flavor of the trip, here is a day by day guide:

  • Day 1 – Thursday – Flew all day (non-stop, fortunately) on Hawaiian Airlines.  The rental car company couldn’t initially find our reservation, although they eventually did, and we upgraded to a Mustang convertible.  The hotel never DID find our reservation (pre-paid through Costco travel).   We proved we had prepaid by having the confirmation email from Costco travel in-hand. so they gave us an upgraded room about 100 feet from the beach.
  • Day 2 – Friday – We planned to take a boat tour of the north coast (with the possibility of some snorkeling), but it was cancelled due to high seas and rain and rescheduled to Sunday.  We then spent the day driving around the island in our convertible (with the top up due to the rain).  The highway to the north coast was even closed due to the rain and flash flooding.
  • Day 3 – Saturday – We took an ATV tour on one of the ranches.  It rained all day but we had a good, muddy time.  We were the only couple on the tour, so we had the guide to ourselves.
  • Day 4 – Sunday – We showed up at the boat tour bus stop site at 7 AM to find no one else there.  We eventually called the tour company only to find out they lost our number and hadn’t been able to contact us to tell us it was cancelled again.  So again we drove around the island in rain with the top up.
  • Day 5 – Monday – Planned to rent a motorcycle and take a trip around the island.  The way the weather had been going, though, we cancelled it.  We took the route we planned to take, but in the car.  More driving around, but we actually got to put the top down for an hour or so.  Then it rained, so we were right in cancelling the motorcycle.
  • Day 6 – Tuesday – Drove to the north coast as the road was finally open.  We got to the beaches but hadn’t thought to bring suits.  Torrential rains begin shortly after noon.
  • Day 7 – Wednesday – Sunny and warm (of course) – left for airport at 10 AM with the convertible top down (had to get SOME use out of it Smile).

I’ll fill in all the little details once I get photos.  Needless to say, however, we could have had a better time.  All the natives said the rains were unusual, however, and blamed us for bringing them from Washington.

Oh well.

Have fun and ride safe,

BakaNeko

…Bring May Flowers

Well, okay.  I don’t really have any pictures of flowers on this post.  I’m just using that to indicate that May 1st was an excellent day for a ride, and it follows well from my previous post…  It was sunny and in the upper 60’s all weekend.  I had again been receiving subtle hints from my friend Bobbie about taking her for another ride (“It’s supposed to be sunny on Sunday – hint hint) so I made arrangements to pick her up after lunch and headed out.

As usual, I didn’t have anyplace in mind, so she suggested going up to the Point No Point lighthouse in Hansville (http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=110).  She had heard there were whale sightings off the point, and wanted to check it out.  Seeing as how I have a mind like half a steel trap, I said I hadn’t been there before and we headed out.  Of course when I got home and told my wife Polly that we went someplace new, she pointed out to me that we’d been there several times before.  Remember, I said HALF a steel trap.  Oh well, getting old is a bitch…

We tried to avoid highways as much as possible, choosing to go up on some less travelled roads.  The kind that have speed bumps.  Not fun when you don’t see them coming, but lots of fun if you do…  Winking smile  At least I didn’t lose Bobbie on any of them, although she says I came close on at least one occasion.  I kept telling her that’s why she’s supposed to grab on to me to keep from flying off, but that didn’t work on her any more than it does on Polly Sad smile.

When we got there, we took a little “butt break” and walked on the beach for a bit, looking for those whales.  Well, unless whales are about a foot long, white and grey, and have two legs and yellow beaks, we didn’t see any.  Oh well.  It was a clear day, and we could at least see a lot of mountains on the horizon.  Unfortunately, all I had with me was my phone, so I wasn’t able to get any really great pictures.  You could see pretty much all of the main mountains and ranges, including Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, and most of the Olympics and Cascades.

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The lighthouse itself was nothing to write home about, but it was “quaint and cozy” (realtor-speak for “small”).  There were actually several small buildings on the site, including a museum (with store, of course) and the office building, which included a vacation rental apartment in it, which I thought was kind of cool.

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Along the road on the way back we stopped to take a picture of a very odd looking house.  It turns out it was actually the cabin of a tug or tender that they landed and made into a house.  At least that’s what the sign in front of it said when Bobbie went over to read it.  The house looked very familiar to me, as though I had seen it before.  (And of course, according to my wife, I had Smile – at least that solves the mystery of why it looked so familiar…)

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We headed home from there, also taking back roads I don’t recall being on before.  Of course, I probably have, but only Polly knows for sure…  I, at least, got thoroughly lost, but Bobbie insisted she knew where w were.  We ended up at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino near Poulsbo.  At least we weren’t “lost” any more.  Short on cash, we passed on by the casino and headed home.

Bobbie says that next time we need to take more stops.  As comfortable as my bike is, it’s still no LazyBoy, so the rears got a bit sore (of course, that could have been those speed bumps Winking smile).  And besides, I’m sure that butt pain tolerance will improve with time, now that the summer is upon us.

Here’s the route.  I’m trying a different mapping application so ignore the little red flags all over the place.  I haven’t figured out how to turn them off yet Smile

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Well that’s about it for this ride, so til next time…

Have Fun and Ride Safe,

BakaNeko