We found our rhythm of the pace we wish to proceed at today, slow and accepting, but with a jammin’ jive. Morning wake up call by the birds occurred at 5:30 a.m. No problem, that just gave us a the best excuse to enjoy long sips of Kauai Coffee and enjoy a hearty breakfast of Kauai goods. Local eggs, Portuguese sweet bread smeared with lilikoi jam and yogurt topped with local bananas and Anahola granola was the breakfast menu at our cottage this morning.
A semi plan of heading to the Makauwahi Cave Reserve was devised, with a stop in Old Koloa Town for a few items on our way back after the visit. Little did we know what fun awaited us at the cave.
We had a 45 minute drive to get to the caves, the last part of the drive on a bumpy, dirt road. We actually figured out the only way we have any musical rhythm is by driving on a bumpy road, jamming to island reggae music.
We passed through a gate, where men were working on fixing an irrigation pump to some taro fields. As Mike parked the car, I jumped out because I spotted sign that said Giant Tortoises. I frantically ran down the fence line looking for the tortoises.
Little did I know then, but after visiting the cave, I would be going IN to see them!
We followed the trail and went around the cave. When we first arrived it was to early for the tours, so we walked around the area. The scenery was stunning, part of our hike was on the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail.
One of the caretakers of the area was sitting on a rocky outcropping, overlooking the land. He has such an aloha spirit radiating off of him, I wanted to capture the moment, but was hesitant to snap a photo, but I did from far away. It was one of those moments I felt blessed to witness.
After our trek, the cave was open and a man was leading a small tour. We jumped in and the 15 minutes we spent with the man was so informative. Small world, he is from Connecticut. He had a gift of talking story. While here in this spot, a friend texted me she needed some aloha spirit in her life to help heal a family member. Her story isn’t mine to tell, but at that moment of her text, the tour leader told the story of the man who held council in this cave, many ages ago. He was a seer, people would come to him to ask how to solve problems, he would blow some smoke and read the answers in the smoke. I offered up to the seer’s spirit, my friend’s problem, hoping she finds answers. I realized this is part of our rhythm too, helping friends in any way we can.
The story talker also informed us of this special rock that Hawaiians would come pray to, to help with conceiving. I made an offering here for another friend, hoping she will soon be blessed with another child. It can’t hurt, I figure.
While talking with the man he informed us we could actually go in to see the giant tortoises. My rhythm picked up and I hightailed it out of there to get up close with these creatures. Mike and I both became enamoured of “Squirt” and he even let me pet him. I didn’t see a do not pet sign, so I gently touched his shell and held back my squeals of delight.
After this longer than anticipated adventure, we were both starving. Luckily we are finding our rhythm of how to travel on an island, remembering to pack a snack pack to enjoy on a beach. We followed a little trail and ended up on Gillin’s beach. We enjoyed the views, while snacking on cheese, tomatoes, raspberries, macadamia nuts and pretzels. I discovered that stuffing a nut into a raspberry is very delightful.
After re energizing we rode to Old Koloa Town. Our first stop, which was not planned was Aloha Roastery. What a treasure of delicious coffee. Mike enjoyed a pour over, while I imbibed in a cappuccino, both were outstanding.
While in town we needed to pick up some soaps and lotions at Island Soap and Candle Works. Had to pick up a few items for someone’s gift box that will be shipped out later in the week. Hmmm wondering who it be this week?
As we left the store, a young man was selling bags of lychees. Our friend, Eric, that we met here seven years ago, introduced us to this little beauty of a fruit. Of course we had to have a bag, Eric would want that for us. Sadly he has left the island to return to live on the mainland.
Time to head back to the cottage via Kauai Island Brewery in Port Allen. We needed a little lunch and a refreshment. We split a salad and each enjoyed a beer. Lucky for us the two craft breweries on this island are better than some breweries we have in New England. Three of our local Hartford area breweries have developed our palate to the point of us being very picky! The bartender was great and we had the chance to talk some story with him and with a local big wave surfer, who is deathly afraid of spiders, yup that is a story for another day.
Our last stop of the day was a little local meat market for local pork, Medeiros Farms. This was an accidental find yesterday after driving by the farmer’s market, figuring out where to turn into at. After doing some research on it yesterday, we knew we had to stop. We picked up some pork chops for tonight’s dinner and Portuguese sausage for tomorrow’s breakfast.
Once we arrived back at cottage, our pace of afternoon down time of researching, relaxing or napping in my case, was called for.
While I was napping, Mike created a dessert of frozen yogurt, lychee and bananas with a toasted macadamia nuts topping. He was also productive and figured out tonight’s view spot for sunset, Salt Pond.
After a rest, we put dinner together, grilling the pork chops. These were the sweetest chops we have ever tasted, must be the flavorful Kauai grass the piggies enjoyed.
A mere 15 minute drive away was our after dinner destination for sunset, Salt Pond Beach, but over at the end of the runway for optimal viewing. This was our first toes in the sand sunset view of the trip, felt so good to have our toes in the sand.
We fell into the rhythm of the island and ourselves. Sometimes the rhythms are upbeat, other times mellow and soulful; on the best of days they are a mix of both, today was one of those best days.