Day 22 – All in All a Good Day

Rainbows to start, a Kalalau hike to follow, late breakfast, a bit of downtime to read and nap, a trip into Hanalei, a delicious dinner and a sunset.  Yup, not a bad day at all.

We hit the Kalalau trail at 7 a.m., had permits to go beyond the beach, so that was the plan.  The trail was dry, the trail was muddy, the trail was busy but we kept our legs moving along.


Returning from the hike, we jumped in the water at Kee to cool off, then headed back to the house for a late breakfast, early lunch.  Afterwards, I read and napped, while Mike looked for new things for us to do tomorrow, that won’t require much effort. He was distracted by the dragonfly weathervane he noticed on the palm tree.

Late afternoon we drove into Hanalei to do some touristy shopping.

Dinner was the last of the fresh ono, encrusted in mac nuts served on a bed of taro slaw with pineapple, mango salsa. Followed by dessert of frozen yogurt, dragonfruit,  pineapple, banana and papaya topped with lilikoi and mac nuts.



As we laid our towel out for sunset on Tunnels Beach, we noticed a rainbow arch in the sky.


The sun hit a cloud bank as it set.  Seems to be the trend for the last week or so. However the after sunset cloud viewing was lovely.

I would say today counted as a pretty good day!

Day 12 – Celebrating!

Today we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. Where is the best place for us to start the celebration? O the Kalalau Trail, of course.


We hit the trail at 6:40 a.m. and parking today, as opposed to July 4th,  was available.

After the .25 mile marker the rains started and stopped for the remainder of the hike.

But rain means rainbows and at our turn around spot, a rainbow appeared, making it for the perfect photo op for our 27th wedding anniversary!

We didn’t make it to the beach today, our nephew is new to hiking and the slippery rocks were causing some concern for his feet.  Always better to be safe on the trail, so we turned around and headed back.  Not to worry, Mike and I still have time left on the island, so we will return!

Once home it was time for a proper breakfast of papaya boats, toast and coffee.


Our next adventure out was to the Kilauea Wildlife Refuge to check out the birds.

Following this we had a little gift shopping to do and grocery shopping.  We did make a quick stop at Hanalei Dolphin to pick up some Opa for dinner. After all of this we were famished and it was time for a celebratory anniversary lunch from SushiGirl Kauai. I had their special and Mike ordered the Spicy T Maki Roll and we shared a side of  Seaweed Salad.  I hate seaweed back home, but here, I devoured it.

All this hiking, shopping and eating zapped my energy, so off to napland I headed. After a nap, some writing, and reading, dinner was created. Simple fish with rice and a side of asparagus.


As per the routine, after dinner it was time for the night-time show of the sunset.  Tonight our celebration of our anniversary ended with a green flash! Sadly we didn’t capture it on film, but it was there!


Day 22 – Hanakapi’ai Falls

We hit the trail around 7:15 a.m. from Ke’e Beach.  The parking lot wasn’t as crowded as it has been in the past. It was a nice sunny morning and the trail was fairly dry, not the mudfest it had been previously.

The view down the Napali Coast still takes my breath away, every time I look down it.

from the Kalalau trail

This was the first time we noticed this sign:

Hanakapi'ai Valley

and of course my favorite sign on the trail:

death sign

We made it to the river crossing in an hour and 12 minutes.  Pretty good time.  Then we turned away from the beach and headed into the Hanakapi’ai Valley to the falls.


A little ways up the trail, you had the a good view of the interior of the valley.

first view into valley

As we hiked along, we noticed stone walls and terraces built by the ancient Hawaiians.  This valley used to be used for farming taro.

Hawaiian stone wall

Of course what would a hike be in Kauai without mud?

mud, lovely, lovely mud

What was fun about this trail were the pockets of bamboo that would spring up.

bamboo thicket

We were able to pick our own fruit on the trail, mountain apples and strawberry guavas.

mike eats mountain apples

The trickiest part was crossing the river at Duke’s Pool.

Duke's sign

We lost the trail marker and thought you had to cross higher up, where the current was strong.  Mike crossed here, but I had minor freakout and then we located the right place to cross without a strong current.

duke's pool, cross before the pool, not after

We started to catch glimpses of the falls.

a glimpse

We only had a mere .25 miles to the falls.  Once we arrived at the falls, only three other people were there, so we could jump in the water and be by ourselves.

Hanakapi'ai falls, yes you can swim in that pool

Now that was scary jumping in the water  because the water was so cold, it literally stopped me breathing.

in the water
mike's swims around for a closer look
close by the falls

While Mike was swimming around, I sat on a rock and admired the falls.

staring at the falls

We ate a brief snack and headed back down the trail.  As we were leaving many people were just arriving at the falls.  Good time for us to leave dodge.

one last couple photo

With one last look at the falls, we hiked out of the valley.

one last look

On the way out, I grabbed some awapuhi to put in my hair.


I grabbed the head and just squeezed the goodness out of it and fingered it through my hair.  We picked a few to take back with us.  I did use it to wash my hair and the natural awapuhi is amazing.

Once we hit the Hanakapi’ai Beach the crowds were growing.


The groups coming in on the trail, slowed us going out.  The only redeeming quality of going slower was turning back to look down the Napali coast.

afternoon sun on the coast

The colors were stunning.

colors of the coast

Our gps recorded the hike at 7.6 miles (though trail books say 8 miles) and a total of 5.5 hours (including stop time).

trail profile

After we landed at Ke’e we ran into the water to cool off, then hit the outdoor showers.  Once at home, we cleaned up more, ate lunch and I napped.

After dinner tonight, we slowly walked to the beach for sunset.  Our bodies were feeling the effects of the hike. We sat with friends and watched the sunset.


Day 2

Our day started with a hike on the first two miles of the famous Kalalau Trail (four miles round trip).  It was a glorious sunny morning, perfect day to hit the trail.  I attempted this trail last year, but for some reason I lost all self confidence and turned around at the 1 mile marker, refusing to continue.  Today that didn’t happen.

The trail starts with a nice uphill.  Thankful for hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mtns. this was easy.

see I made it past the one mile marker
Stunning views down the Napali Coast

We had a fun water crossing. It was easier to just go in, wade through it, shoes and socks still on.

Mike wades over

Once on the beach, I kept singing “I made it, I made it.”

I made it to Hanakapi'ai Beach

The trail was muddy, but not the typical mud you expect, it was like walking on ice.  For us it was fun, but for other trail trekkers, they were not enjoying it.

What most of the trail was like MUD

Once we were off the trail it was time to wash off all the mud at Ke’e Beach.

My muddy leg
Time to get clean

After a brief swim, we headed back, showered and had lunch.  During lunch I discovered that I love to eat Poke.  I’ve been avoiding it for the last year, silly me.  We headed out to fill up the propane tank and stop at Hanalei Dolphin to pick up more poke, because Mike has to share now and some Ono for dinner.

Ann eats Poke now

We returned back to the house, dropped things off and then made our Tuesday pilgrimage  to Waipa Farmer’s market in Hanalei.  We love this little market because of what it represents, teaching the Hawaiian children about their culture and supporting the Hawaiian people.

We love the spectacle of people waiting for the 2 o’clock opening. They rush in once the imaginary rope is dropped.

2 p.m. opening at Waipa

I was happy to see the Right Slice Pie lady there. I’ve been reading about her wonderful pies, so I went to her first, while Mike was on a fruit buying spree (papaya, lilikoi, mountain apples, pineapple and bananas).  So I picked up two slices, mango papaya and a mac nut one. More on this later….

After the market, we decided beach time was in order so we set off for Tunnels.  It was a bit choppy with flag warnings out, so I wasn’t going in to do a float swim, but Mike,  being a swimmer easily swam in the ocean.  Our view while laying out was beautiful.

View from my mat at Tunnels

Then we packed up and went back to make dinner with the ono fish.  We had the best salad ever of fresh fish and fresh greens.

Ono fish on a bed of greens

Dessert was a slice of mango lilikoi pie.  I’m not a pie eater, but this was out of this world.  The flavors were plentiful and the crust fluffy and not tough.

The best pie

And then we ended our evening with a sunset view from Haena Point, or I renamed it Sarah’s shelling beach for my niece.

Sunset at Haena Point

The past two days have been busy, tomorrow just a morning workout and a lazy day on the beach.  But having an island mindset it could change….

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