Hawaii, a résumé. part III (fin)

2013-07-07 Aus Von christiankohl

Last stop: Kauai. Took me a while to wrap this up since, funny enough, I can no longer use blogger in chrome. Embarassing that google is unable to make their own browser run their own blogging platform. Time to move to a different service I guess. Google has started to suck anyway, after enduring a captcha request everytime I was using the browser search bar I have switched all searches away from Google to Bing. At least they don’t bother me with supid captchas. Fuck you google. But I’m digressing. Big time.

I actually wanted to write about the part of Hawai’i I liked best: Kauai. Big time. First of all, the Reisebegleitung got to drive a big-ass car which made her very happy. 🙂

Although we were travelling in the low season, it was impossible to find any accommodation outside of hotels, which I found really strange, but what can you do? On the other hand, the Sheraton hotel in Poipu was giving rooms away on hotwire and so we ended up there. Money well spent, it’s a decent place, still a resort, but not too fancy and no golf course. But the place would still be better off it went up in flames tomorrow, of course. Staff was really nice, good service, clean rooms, very quiet as well. I had hoped to find accommodation closer to Koke’e state park, but Poipu was still within an acceptable range.

We got up really early and drove up to Koke’e or the Waimea Canyon, stopping for breakfast at Kalaheo Café, which I hereby recommend wholeheartedly. Early because the clouds start rolling in between 9-10am and you’ll miss most of the sights if you’re too late. And that would be a pity because there are jaw-dropping sights everywhere in this area. We did a couple of trails here:

  1. A round-trip by walking Nualolo Trail – Cliff Trail – ‚Awa’awapuhi Trail (I strongly recommend doing it in this order). Don’t let the guidebooks fool you, it’s not dangerous. And it’s not too strenous either, since you are high enough to escape the heat a little bit but not high enough for altitude sickness. You’ll see beautiful forest, flowers, and great views of the Na’Pali Coast. Absolutely worth the effort.
  2. From Pu’u O Kila the Pihea Trail – Alaka’i Trail. Again, not really that challenging, since a good part of the trail is on boardwalks (which could be better maintained). Hiking poles help since it rains often and the trail is very muddy in some parts. Again, beautiful views of the coast and the cliffs and then later, the strange world of the high-altitude swamp. Truly fascinating.
  3. In Waimea Canyon (early start is really important), we did the Cliff Trail – Canyon Trail and were rewarded with a sunny early morning sky, great views of the huge canyon and even better views when the clouds started to drift in slowly after 9am.

We stopped for dinner every day at „Island Tacos“ and the „Shrimp Station“ in Waimea. Well, obviously, I went for the Tacos only, but the Reisebegleitung was very pleased with the Shrimps. The Taco place rocks, this is great value for money and a very relaxed atmosphere, friendly service as well. Better than the places we looked at in Poipu for sure.

On our last day, we drove to the North of the island, had a very disappointing lunch at an overrated burger place on the highway (Duane’s Ono-Char Burger) which I cannot recommend at all. We made another stop at Hanalei, discovering the Kauai Nut Roasters and feasted on various deliciously flavoured mac-nuts. Damn good smoothies to be had from the roadside stand there as well, can’t recall the name though.

We drove all the way to the road’s end and enjoyed the views of the Na’Pali coast from the other side. Since we had to make our flight to HNL in the evening and were wary of traffic jams, we decided against hiking the first part of the Kalalau trail and headed back. I picked up some nice late lunch/early dinner at the Mermaid’s Cafe in Kapa’a (and they apparently haven’t paid their domain name fees …) and then we flew back to HNL.