I knew we would have an excellent day and we did. We started off doing a power hike on the Okolehao Trail in Hanalei, we did this last year (http://wp.me/sOIAv-okolehao). As were driving to the trail head, I noticed on a hunter’s trail a dead boar. I believe in signs and took this as a sign we were to have a grand day.
As we entered the Hanlaei Wildlife Refuge we were greeted by Nene’s, the Hawaiian Goose which is an endangered water fowl.
Another sign that exciting things were in-store for us on this trail.
We did this trail last year in dry conditions, as with all our hikes so far this trip, it was anything but dry. I have come to embrace Kauai Mud on trails. The trail is a puffer going up 900 feet in about a 1 mile.
I’m glad that I forget trails easily, I just remember the reward of the views. I forgot totally what an uphill hike this is. This year it was much easier for both of us to do.
As I rounded the corner, I knew one of my favorite views was almost in front of me.
We looked out at Hanalei Valley and over at Princeville, as we watched the rain cloud approach. We secretly hoped that the rain shower would grace us with a rainbow over the valley.
We quickly scurried from the Aloha bench to an area where we could take shelter. Luckily for us there were strawberry guavas to be picked and eaten.
The rain stopped and we continued on the trail, as we looked out…mother nature delivered us a rainbow over the valley. We hurried back to the aloha bench to capture its beauty.
After the giddiness wore off, we powered hiked down the muddy trail. Sometimes we had to treat the mud like slippery, compacted snow and just let ourselves slide.
As we neared one of the final switchbacks, the bank was littered with orchids.
This is a trail we will continue to do for a great cardio workout and for well….for the amazing views.
When we returned home it was time for breakfast number two. Leftover crustless quiche with salsa, fresh Kauai pineapple and Kauai coffee.
Time for some beach action. Could it get any better than a rainbow over the valley? Ummmm…yup our first Hawaiian Monk Seal up close, another of Hawaii’s endangered critters.
He didn’t stay long, but for all the time we sat at Tunnels last year, we didn’t see one. What a treat.
Once he cleared out, we sunned, read and then went for our afternoon swim/float down Tunnels Beach. We emerged from the water to see a couple plop themselves three feet from our mats and chairs. Really? Our end of the beach was pretty deserted. After we spent time drying off and listening to how annoying they were, we packed up…that’s ok, it was good for me to get out of the sun.
After a snack and shower, we headed into Hanalei. I needed to pick up a few things and we stopped in to Shave Ice Paradise. We had surprisingly passionfruit with mac nut ice-cream on the bottom. Not so good this year…
Of course we sat on a bench close to Java Kai, as I’ve heard Pierce B. is a fan of it. No sightings today…After some Nenes, a rainbow and monk seal, seeing Pierce is pushing my luck.
We completed our shopping mission in Hanalei and headed home to cook dinner. I used these beautiful golden beets in our dinner tonight. Just loved the pattern.
After dinner time to head out for our nightly viewing of the sunset. Thought we might give Cannons Beach a try. We usually go to this beach early but decided it was time to try it for sunset.
On the way out the driveway, we noticed in the farmland, across the road, the farmer had brought the cows down. I spied a nice steer that would feed us for a few months.
After chatting it up with creatures, Mike finally got me in the car to head out. The setting sun was a huge orange orb tonight. We wandered the beach taking artsy photos, sat for a bit and goofed off in the setting sun.
It was an exceptional day today. Tomorrow we are off to the south side of the island for the Allerton Sunset Estate Tour. Allerton Estate is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Group (http://www.ntbg.org/). It is claimed to be a stunning botanical experience, one that won’t disappoint.
Can’t wait to see the beauty of the day tomorrow.