Kaua'i 5-0 -
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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.

Click on the images below to open a photo gallery + captions.

56 photos
Blue skies and sunshine
Looking up
Shiny happy people
Beachin it
Na Pali Coast hike
Kalalau Trail views
Looking south along the Na Pali coast
Na Pali coast view
A long line of fluffy clouds
Hawaiian welcome
River meets ocean
Balacing act
Bamboo along the trail
Hanakāpīʻai Falls
Hanakāpīʻai Falls
Bottom of the falls
Happy faces
Steve swimming in the falls
Falls pose
Wailua River
Wailua Falls at full volumn
Mist at Wailua Falls
A motley crew
Drive out to Polihale State Park
Waves at Polihale
Day is done
Beautiful Polihale
Magic hour self-portrait
The artist in his natural habitat
The Secret Falls
Our mobile alarm clock
Wild ginger
Paddling down the Wailua
Breadfruit trees at Allerton Garden
Statue of Diana
Reflections in the room of Diana
Fountain at Allerton
The Jurrasic Park trees
Brugmansia gone wild
Morning at Waimea Canyon
Canyon Trail to Waipo'o Falls
View from the trail
Steve at the edge of the world
Mystery Arch
The top of Waipo'o Falls
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific
Back at the trail head
View near Waimea
Canyon view
The pier at Waimea
This is what a stomach ache looks like
Just another rainbow

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