Monday, September 28, 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 5

Ahh... last day in Kauai. Even though the island is pretty small, there is still so much more we could have done. We did one last glance through our trusty "Ultimate Guidebook: Kauai" and planned the "must see's" for our last day.

Naturally, we woke up at sunrise...

getting sick of the sunrise pictures yet?? we aren't.

and we headed to Kipu Falls. Kipu Falls is in the South Side of the island, about 15 minutes from where we were staying. The problem is, it lies on private property. Clarification... the stream, waterfall, and freshwater pool below are public property.. but the "trail" (I'll explain that in min) is private and therefore trespassing. After deciding that the guidebook we've been using is the most popular for the Hawaiian Islands, we figured we wouldn't be alone when we got to the waterfall and it was worth the risk of trying to find.

We drove down a deserted road and right before the bridge over the creek we found the entrance into a ton of sugar bushes (Kipu Falls is hidden in a old sugar plantation). This was DEFINITELY NOT a public trail. It was so overgrown we had to walk for 5 min or so with our hands in front of our faces to clear all the bushes out of the way... but as we walked we could hear the waterfall getting closer.

Finally out of the brush... and there's the creek

And yes, we had to cross the thigh deep water to get to the other side...

Kipu Falls, slightly underwhelming... but the falls isn't the attraction here, its the rope swing :)


Once on the other side we could get close to the coveted rope swing....

Watch Pete go!


After Kipu Falls, I became a demanding wife and said I needed a few hours to soak up what I could of the Kauai sun. I knew we'd be staying at the Volcano in a rainforest in 24 hours and my beach/tanning time would drastically drop. Pete, like a good husband, obliged and stayed at the condo to read and watch Sportscenter.

I headed to Shipwreck Beach and stumbled across a roped off section. I wasn't sure why, but as I got closer I realized what I thought was a rock, wasn't a rock at all, but a Monk Seal. He had a little Penny-like dog face and was BIG. He was at least 5' long and definitely outweighed myself. I set up my towel and soaked in the sun just a mere 30' from my new friend.
sooo soo cute

On the way to the main hwy of the island we always passed "Tunnels of Trees", just wanted to share with everyone :)

We decided the last "Must See" was the Waimea Canyon. As I said on Day 2 (when we flew over via helicopter), its the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". There is a hwy that extends 20miles through the canyon with lots of Look Out points and ends with a view of the Na Pali Coastline.



Two-tier Waipo'o Falls dropping some 800ft into the canyon

Further up the hwy we reached the Na Pali Kona Forest Reserve

After our touristy day of driving through the canyon and taking lots of pictures of dirt (to be fair, very cool looking dirt... and cliffs.. can't miss those cliffs) We decided we'd have a nice dinner out at Keoki's Paradise (http://www.keokisparadise.com/).


pre-gaming our last dinner
This place was nearby and known for the lush tropical setting - even though its completely fake since it's in the middle of a strip mall.

Starting dinner with some trusty Californian Pinot Noir...


Again, for the other foodies out there - our dinner selections :)

Appetizers: Panko Crusted Scallops
wasabi butter sauce

Entree 1: Parmesan and Herb Crusted Ono (wahoo)
sauteed with panko and macadamia nuts, served with lemon caper butter sauce and rice

Entree 2: "Keoki's Style" Moonfish
baked in garlic, lemon, and sweet basil glaze, served with rice


Don't think we skipped out on dessert... that's sacrilege

Dessert: Hula Pie
MacNut Ice Cream cake with cookie crust bottom, hot fudge, whipped cream, and macnuts

not much evidence remaining...
ladies and gentlemen, this is my husband...

Perfect end to the first leg of the trip....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 4

Another early morning and we got in the car and headed as far north as we could. There is one "highway" (read: two lane road with some lights) that goes around almost the whole island. It only stops when the Na Pali Coast gets in the way.

We drove to the end of the highway and parked at Ke'e Beach Park. On the way to the beach, and to the hiking trail entrance, we saw this awesome cave.

In true scale...
We then started on our 4mi round trip hike of the Kalalau Trail. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Our destination was Hanakapia Beach which was 2mi out from the start of our trip.

Almost there!.. just climb down some slippery muddy rocks -nbd.
Very cool beach with very angry currents.
pfff... I laugh in the face of danger.... (not really, 83 people have been killed- count the tallys)

Finally at the beach :)


Lots of hippies too... camping out, doing hippie things and the like.



It's too bad we underestimated the climb of this hike. While it wasn't difficult, it definitely wasn't a stroll. Decent amount of climbing and we definitely worked up an appetite. I should have packed sandwiches, but I thought we'd be done in time for lunch - which we were, but man we were hungry... and grumpy. Both of us... hungry and grumpy, its like two children at bath time - something no one should put up with.
We stopped in Princeville and had some lunch followed by Bali Hai flavored Shave Ice over Mac Nut Ice Cream (mmm... macadamia nuts, a very underestimated nut). Sorta similar to a Rita's gelati, but def better. The ice is literally shaved with a super sharp blade, but that ice cream. We've been dreaming up ways to make it at home.

On the ride back to the South side of the island we took a pit stop. We found Queen's Bath, which is natural pool created by lava rock formation.


After getting back, we basically inhaled a box of spaghetti and died on the couch... We had to rest up for our last official day on Kauai.