Saturday, September 15, 2007

Waimea Canyon, Hanalei, and everything in between

After some shopping in the morning, we set out from Lihue and headed west to the incredible Waimea Canyon! Coined as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific", it really is spectacular. Not nearly as large as the Grand Canyon of course, but still holds its own. We wanted to really experience the canyon, so we hiked the 4km Kukui Trail which descends the entire height of the canyon to the Waimea River at the bottom. 4km of down, followed by 4km of back up. Quite tiring, but amazing views the whole way. The river at the bottom had some nice views back up to each side of the canyon, but we didn't stay long due to pesky mosquitoes. It was a tough climb back up, but we made it.

We got back to the town of Waimea as quick as possible to replenish ourselves with more water. Then parked at Lucy Wright Beach Park to camp for the night. The problem with these county parks is that there are too many locals around drinking and talking. A little sketchy... But we ate a quick make-shift dinner, set up tent, and went to bed. The stars were quite nice at least. And we still had a decent sleep.

So yesterday morning, we drove back up through the Waimea Canyon area and stopped at all of the tourist lookouts. Lots of great views. Past the Waimea Canyon State Park is the Koke'e State Park. This park had a visitors centre and museum which we stopped at. And goes far enough north to have views of the northwestern Na Pali Coast! We took the road right to the end, and then hiked another mile along a ridge that overlooked the Kalalau Valley. Beautiful! The only other way to see that coast is by hiking along the coast from the north (ending at the Kalalau Valley) or from the water.

Then we drove all the way back around the island to the north side to a land called Hanalei! It's the main surfing town of Kauai. We drove around a while looking for laundry facilities but couldn't find any. We parked at the Black Pot Beach Park shortly after dark and set up camp. This park is only open for camping on weekends, despite a whole section of it obviously having pretty permanent tents of locals. Whatever.

So it rained overnight, we got up and packed up our wet tent before dawn, got the Na Pali Kayaks at 6am, only to for them to tell us that swells on the coast had become to large overnight and that the trip for the day was cancelled!! Grrr! And unfortunately, the next day that had availability was Monday, which is when we leave. So no Na Pali coast from the water for us. :(

So back around to Kapa'a on the east coast we drove to find a laundromat. Found one okay, and decided that since our trip was cancelled, we'd put the money towards a couple of nights in a hotel in Kapa'a. We went out for breakfast, then drove down to the Po'ipu area. Visited the Spouting Horn (a blow hole where the surf enters the rock shore and blows up through a hole in the rock), then took a look at some flowers and plants at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.

Checked into our hotel in the early afternoon, relaxed, cleaned up, and started drying out our tent. So we're pretty disappointed about the kayak trip... But hopefully our hike on the coast will work out okay tomorrow. Over and out.

Waimea Canyon to Hanalei Pics


At September 19, 2007 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Ummmm, like, wow. If the pictures even tell half the story it looks like you guys are just having an amazing time (I can't see how anything else would be possible!). Camping on the beach in Hawaii definitely looked fabulous. I'm so glad you put up the website!

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