We were excited to take advantage of John's 3-day weekend to return to Kauai and do some more exploring of the Garden Isle. It's such a pretty place, the first place we landed when we visited Hawaii in 2008, and the scenery blew us away back then.
There are pieces of Maui that remind me of Kauai. The whole island is just gorgeous. We started with a drive up the mountain and some overlooks into Waimea canyon:
A bit redder than your normal waterfall:
Big scenery (that's John on the lower right):
Spectacular waterfall, I can see why the helicopter stopped by for a look:
We had a fun hike down the Awa'awapuhi trail, mostly in the clouds until we got just below the cloud canopy right at the end - awesome! The topography is hard to believe, really.
John checking out the goats on the opposite ridge. We could hear them so we figured they must be around somewhere. Hard to fathom where those mountain goats are able to roam. There's probably one in this photo but it's way far away and tiny:
Some pretty shots from John's phone:
Hello up there! Oh, that's me:
Clouds settled on the upper part of the mountain, and "I can't get enough of this scenery":
All different colors on the same flower:
The swinging bridge of Hanapepe, oh and we realized that we don't see rivers on Maui so it was interesting to find so many on Kauai:
Samples at the Kauai Island Brewery and John's version of "beer goggles":
At the "glass beach" where much of the sand is made of small smooth pieces of actual glass:
Nice sunset after a spell of rain (a normal Kauai afternoon, it seems):
We present - our tent!
Our first AirBnB tent experience, and it was a good one. Gotta love the occasional interesting options with AirBnB.
Not so easy to see, but there's a pair of swim fins dangling from the top rail of the bridge (like sneakers on a telephone wire?) - made me laugh:
A patch of taro farming near the entrance to the Kalalau Trail:
Interesting looking cave:
Such greenery on Kauai:
View back to the beach cove from the Kalalau Trail:
Despite the vegetation in this picture, the trail was actually in great shape. I remember it being narrower and harder to traverse back in 2008:
Looking up the valley from our turn-around spot:
And the beautiful beach just below. John loves a good beach.
View from inside a small cave:
The beautiful Na Pali Coast:
We decided to explore the Hanalei River so we rented a kayak and paddled for a couple hours. We went upstream looking for a waterfall, but eventually found a series of small rapids that diminished our "upstream" enthusiasm. Time to head back.
View of the river from an overlook - there's a kayak barely visible, which could have been us a couple hours prior:
I thought there were a lot of chickens on Maui, but no, Kauai might just be the "roaming chicken capital of the world":
Wonderful whale mural in Kapa'a:
Amid the requisite afternoon rain, here's a look at the Menehune Fish Pond and wildlife refuge:
My brother's school:
The pretty Shipwreck Beach by the southern resorts:
Also a nice trail along limestone cliffs to see the ocean waves. We haven't seen a lot of limestone on the islands, so this was an interesting geological topic of discussion.
How I might have looked during my surfing lesson a couple weeks ago (minus the giant wave, of course):
John imagining how he will look once he starts learning how to surf:
One last adventure, a hike up Okolehao Trail. It was a bit muddy and slippery, wouldn't expect anything less from this jungle-like island:
Lovely morning overlooking Hanalei Bay:
Misty morning lighting:
We packed a lot in, what a fun weekend! Thank you Kauai!