Monday, June 23, 2008

Hawaii - Day 6

This morning I wanted to head to Waimea canyon and try to get some pictures of the canyon with the sunrise. We didn’t exactly make it there at sunrise but I got some good pictures. I think the canyon walls are illuminated more at sunset but there tends to be clouds around then. We drove up Waimea Canyon Road (550) from 50. Take this road up. Don’t follow the signs that take you down 50 farther and then up 552. This road ultimately intersects with 550 and 550 has much better scenery from what I hear.

We stopped at some road side view points and then at the Kokee Lodge. This lodge is part of the state park and serves breakfast and lunch. This is also one of the best souvenir spots on the island. We also had a light lunch here on the way back down. More on that below.

We took 550 all the way until it ends. There is a lookout here that looks over a spectacular valley that leads into the sea with spire cliffs on each side. There is a hiking trail (Pihea Trail) from the lookout that basically offers different views of the same valley. Be warned though, this trail gets tougher after the half mile mark. I hiked a mile down the trail but Beth stopped about three quarters of the way to wait for me. There is a lot of great scenery but it does get muddy and there are some steep, slippery climbs. We saw some people much older than us along the way so it’s doable by most anyone but be prepared. This hike and the helicopter tour are the highlights of this trip so far.

We headed back down to the lodge for lunch and to clean the red mud off of our shoes. There are public restrooms and washing stations near the lodge. Also be aware that going up 550 past the lodge the road gets a little rough.

We made our way back to the B&B and decided to just hang out at their pool for a while. No sand to clean off and it was close. We then had dinner at Poipu Beach Brolier. This place was excellent for me. A nice casual open air restaurant with great food (fish and steak fare) and right size portions for me. One thing we noticed with most of the restaurants is they are open air (roof with open sides) but yet there are no bugs. No mosquitos and very very few flies if any. There were more birds in the eating areas on Maui than Kauai but even they weren’t bothersome. Kauai has a lot of chickens roaming around but obviously not in the restaurants.

After dinner we went to see Spouting Horn. This is a lava shelf next to the water with a hole in it allowing water to shoot up into the air when the waves come in. There is also a second hole where only air is forced through making a sound like you hear when yo blow across the top of a soda bottle. There was another hole that would spout water much higher than the current one but back in the early 1900’s a land owner blew it up because the salt spray was hurting his crops. Today it is just a big hole where water goes in and out of from the sea. This is a neat thing to see if you are on the south shore of Kauai. It’s better during high tide which is when we were there.

Tomorrow we begin the trip home .

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