We’re nearing the end of our 5th month on Kauai and I’m finally just getting this blog up and running. As a result, I’ll be using the a few posts to revisit our first weeks and months here.
As much as I wish we could hike, drive, and explore every day and then hang out at the beaches in the afternoon – that’s simply not possible. We have work to do and after getting little done in the weeks leading up to our move, it was time to buckle down and get back to reality. The hikes, scenery, beaches would have to wait.
Thankfully we decided to wait until we actually were living here to find a year rental. While we love the Kapaa area after much exploration there are other areas that appealed to us more. We ended up settling down in Lihue but for a good while, Princeville was a serious contender.
After a number of days of solid working, we managed to take a few days out to do some exploring. Since we’d already driven to the end of the road on the north side of the island, we decided it was time to go the opposite direction so one day we took an all-day drive to Waimea Canyon and Polihale State Park out past Kekaha. It is literally the end of the road that dead-ends at a magnificent beach with a thundering surf. Awe inspiring and amazing.
But Waimea Canyon was the real winner there. Wow. Of course we knew about the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” but until you’ve actually been there — just reading about it and seeing pictures do not do it justice. Just like my poor, pathetic photos can in no way express to you the majesty of the canyon.
From Waimea Canyon we decided to drive up into the mountains a bit further. Along the way we passed the Koke’e Natural History Museum in the Koke’e State Park. Once I saw how many chickens and roosters littered the grounds, we HAD to stop. Obviously. There is always time to stop for a rooster photo op!
This drive also gave us an opportunity to do a smidgen of hiking at the Kalalau Lookout. At least the hubby got some hiking in. This was a skinny ridge at a pretty high elevation which made my acrophobia came screaming to the surface. I ended up running back for less scary ground. (And by running, I mean crawling, of course. There is zero humiliation to be found when that fear of heights kicks in. I’ve crawled into elevators, across tall walkways in libraries and museums, and across the viewing area at the top of the St Louis Arch. When acrophobia shouts, I drop. Always.) From the safety of the parking lot area, I did a bit of exploring and found quite a few different flowers and other beauties to shoot so it wasn’t a total loss to me. And my darling hubby is quite used to walking 30 feet and then turning around to find that I’m a speck in the distance as I get up from my crawl and run at Olympic sprinter speeds to the safety of somewhere else. Ha.
After the drive back down from Waimea, we sat for a moment at a beach just outside of Kekaha. Looking straight out, you’re basically looking straight out to Papua New Guinea. If you could see that far. There is something awe-inspiring and yet frightening when you realize that you are on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I’m so used to being landlocked that the thought of this tiny piece of Paradise sitting alone in the midst of a vast expanse of water is somewhat overwhelming. That water at my feet stretches across the ocean to Australia with hardly a speck of an island in between. Amazing.
What day would be complete without a visit to one of the local coffee plantations? Exactly. The Kauai Coffee Plantation was right off the road on the way back so we made a quick stop and looked at the coffee bushes and spent some time in the store.
We’ve now gone from one end of the island to the other. But there is so much to see at each of those points as well as in-between, we won’t run out of sights (and roosters!) for a long, long time.