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Oct 30 was our move day. Later morning check out in Maui and off to the airport for the puddle jumper to Lihue, Kauai. We picked up another rental Jeep (black this time instead of dark gray) and headed into Poipu. True to Kauai’s reputation as the garden isle it was pouring rain. Gotta keep things green right? Must say grocery shopping in the rain is just as much fun in Hawaii as at home. But once we’d unloaded the luggage and groceries the sun was back out and it was pool time.

Our condo is in Poipu just outside the main hotel zone so it’s quiet (even for Kauai) but still close to walk to dinners. We believe we are bringing down the average age here by quite a few years…..

Our home for the next couple weeks. (Yay).

Dolphins and turtles hang out on the reef right off our property. We’ve seen the turtles feeding on the rocks pretty much every day and on the first day at breakfast we saw a pod of dolphins swim by.

This is the view from our balcony. We are having breakfast with the sounds of the surf and the wind in the palms. Good way to start the day indeed.

It rains a lot on Kauai. Usually the mornings are lovely and cloudless with a bit of a rain shower in later afternoon. So far the rain has not lasted long. And how do you get a rainbow without a little bit of rain?

Our first full day, we set out along the coast on the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail. Beautiful ocean views with some crazy lava rock.

The trail was right long the shoreline.
Kris out on the point.
Oh that red dirt! And Some Nene (Hawaiian Geese)

At the end of the trail is the Makauwai Cave, Hawaii’s largest limestone cave. It looks more like a giant sinkhole now that the ceiling of the cave has collapsed.

Squishy entrance to the cave

Waimea Canyon in the west of Kauai has been called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and 3600 feet deep.

We have tried to hike into the Ala’kai swamp at the ‘top’ of the canyon twice before. Once we were wearing the wrong footwear for the rough trail, another time the trail was totally fogged in. Amanda/Laura/Karen/Mike – this is what it was supposed to look like the day we drove up!

We were determined to do this once and for all. The total distance starting from the Pihea Trail is just less than 11km. And the weather was clear and agreeable. So far so good.

Selfie at the start.
The swamp view from the top. This area is known as the ‘wettest place on earth’
Trail starts well. Sun’s out.
trail gets a bit rougher

Then it got worse. Mud, slick clay, steep rutted sections. Then it got really bad.

Muddy sections
Kris doesn’t look too sure about this…
Slippery and mushy. Not a great combo.
This is fun right? Sadly, this is where we decided to turn around, a good kilometer from the actual Alakai Swamp turn-off. Stymied once again!
Kris’ bruise from a close encounter with some nasty, slippery tree roots (ouch!)

After our (third) fail to get to the Alakai Swamp, we had a nice lunch at the Kauai Brewing Co – the westernmost brewery in the world. Dragonfruit seltzer for Dave and Lilikoi Ale for Kris. A crowler is a 32 ounce can. We bought 2 seltzers and one ale. We may have to go back for more…..

When we were last here in 2014 with friends we went to a rum tasting at Koloa Rum Company. Kris forgot to bring her ID and they wouldn’t let her participate (even though she was 42!) She made it into the inner sanctum of the tasting room this time. And we enjoyed a nice fresh cane juice Mai Tai and tasty lunch at Gaylord’s afterwards.

Sampling the new cacao (chocolate) rum!

The food has been really good here so far, better than our experience on Maui. Walking distance, fresh and tasty. Almost better than a mai tai was the Cane Stiggins at the Holoholo Grill.

Loco Moco. Tastes way better than it looks.

We have settled in nicely. The pool is great to soak in after a good day of hiking and the sunset views are awesome. Hawaii does those so well.

One comment on “Kauai Part 1

  1. Janet Reid says:

    We stayed in Poipu as well when we went with Doug’s parents. It was a golfing thing for the guys, I took care of the kids. We walked along that coastline and would see all the turtles and dolphins. If you have time to take a catamaran out for some snorkeling and lunch it’s wonderful! The spinner dolphins usually join you for the journey! If you drive to the other side of the island there are some great restaurants around the coconut plantation but I hear it got hit really hard by a typhoon so not sure what is left. Enjoy!

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