27 Feb Kaua’i 5-0
Kaua’i is a study in contradictions: verdant, wet, sun-baked, and red-rocked. We discovered beautiful (nearly) empty beaches at Polihale National Park and Maha’ulepu. We kayaked up the meandering Wailua River to find the not very secret but still pretty Secret waterfall. We hiked the mildly grueling Kalalau Trail along the northern edge of the Na Pali coast, up into a muddy jungle valley, and got engaged at Hanakāpīʻai Falls (surprise!). We experienced a different flavour of mud (slippery, treacherous) in the gorgeous Waimea Canyon. We were impressed by just how thoroughly the mud stained our shoes, clothes, everything.
Our home base was in sunny sleepy Waimea, at a great AirBnB right in town. Our little cabin was a block from the beach, but it was a 15 minute drive to get to Salt Pond Park where the ocean was calm enough to swim without fearing for your life. Repeat after me: If In Doubt, Don’t Go Out. Of course, we still took a sea bath every day.
Since it was, after all, a vacation, we did make time for reading in the hammock, drinking beer on the lanai, and enjoying being on island time. We ate more poke then we should have, tried shave ice (just once), and fell in love with pomelos.
On other days, we drove as far north as the road would go, and as far west, listening to strangely entertaining community radio. At Polihale, where the road ends in the west, it felt like we’d reached the edge of world. Miles of white sand, turquoise water, and soaring red cliffs. Just us, and those two other cars packed with touristing families.
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