Monday, September 30, 2013

September 17th

 Day 4 Hiking in Waimea

We are up at 5:00am and in the car by 5:45 to drive west and meet our guide for the morning. While there are many nice trails in the canyon I wanted something different and Eric has some trails he has cut himself so you are almost certain that you won't encounter another living soul on his trails.

We were on the trail by 6:45 and enjoying the cooler morning temperatures and the way the light reflects off the different colors of the canyon as the sun rises higher and higher into the sky.

  We spied some goats along the hillside on the opposite canyon wall but my zoom wasn't capable of making them look like anything other than Q-tips. This is such a pretty place and Eric is super knowledgeable about the history of the area. We walked along an irrigation canal dug by Philippine workers for sugar cane crops years ago. While we saw, and had to avoid stepping in same, evidence of horses using the same trail we didn't actually see them on this trip. Eric informed us that there is a family of horses that uses the trail most days.
the white patches are the buildings of a Taro farm on the opposite side of the river

After our time with Eric we continued up the canyon to the higher lookouts. We were going in and out of rain squalls but they were short and we were rewarded with some faint rainbows over the Kalalau valley lookout

there's a rainbow here, honest!!

same rainbow

We continued along the ridge line trail but due to some rain I had to put my camera under cover.We still enjoyed walking in the rain and we were treated to some great views from time to time.

There is so much to see here. Amazing views all around. Even some darn good looking Roosters!

it's a long way down, we are staying up here

waterfall way off in the distance
We had a quick lunch of turkey wraps I had made before we left and we bought some fresh fruit from a vendor at the lookout that was very tasty.
We decided to head down the mountain before the major traffic hit our sanctuary
We came down the far west side of the mountain and headed east towards Poipu.

We locked em up and turned into Kauai Cookie, went a little nuts buying treats. I love their Guava Macadamia nut cookies. But we bought so much more since they were liberal with the samples. Anyhow, stocked up with treats we headed home to get cleaned up as we were wet and muddy.

We got cleaned up and went down to the stream to watch the turtles some more.
There were more in this evening sleeping than we had seen the day before.

For dinner tonight we decided on keoki's. I know it's a little campy but I actually kind of like that about the place.
For Kauai we went for a late dinner at 8:30 so the place was not very busy and the band was still playing but only until 9:00pm. We ordered the mac nut crusted fish which was Ono and also an order of the Keoki's style fish. Both were good. W usually order two dishes and switch at the halfway point. In this case we both agreed that the mac nut crusted fish was a bit better, but both were very good.
We shared the big slice of hula pie to end our night and start the dream sequence.

Tomorrow is a doors off helicopter tour and dinner at Kauai Ono 560 so it will be our first venture north.

September 16th

Day 3

This morning began with the "homemade" version of Apple-Banana Macadamia nut pancakes. I do like to flex my cooking muscle and I had planned for this by making a pancake mix at home using sprouting grain flour and brought it with me for the trip portioned out into servings that should make six pancakes each, also brought real maple syrup because life is too short to eat corn syrup! I did find buttermilk at Big Save but was prepared to make my own in a pinch. The pancakes were very good and we decided it was better to have breakfast in whenever we could manage to.  It was such a pretty morning so we went down to visit with the turtles.

Lots of turtle activity this morning and we could have watched them all day but we had to get going for our photo tour.
I was expecting significant traffic through Kapaa but we got very little so we arrived early and decided to walk on the bike trail for a bit. This is a great trail, too bad it is so short. Excellent views of the coastline but we were only able to walk about 1.5 miles before we had to head back for the tour. We told ourselves we would come back and rent some bikes to do cruising later in the trip

We decided to try the Kauai Photo Tour hike/drive tour. We are not serious photo buffs or anything. We both just have point and shoot cameras but we were hoping that this tour would take us to places we would not find on our own. Our guide, Matt had a wealth of photo knowledge but was a bit too heavy on the self promotion for my taste. He was very helpful with consulting about how to get better results and the advise on getting a polarizing filter to help enhance color is spot on.
We went to Hoopii falls first

Then we continued on to Moloaa Beach which was a truly beautiful location. We didn't have polarizing filter but tried to use sunglasses in front of our lenes from time to time in attempt to improve the contrast.

This is a nice beach and a great place for photos

This dog was trying to capture something but he only got wet!

We then stopped at Anahola Beach park. This is more of a local hang-out

no polarizer

with polarizer

Next we stopped for lunch in Hanalei at the Hanalei Taro & Juice company food truck.
They serve pretty good local style food. We went with a seafood Lau-Lau and one Kalua Pork lunch plate. Both were tasty and certainly cured any hunger we might have been feeling. The we went off to Lumahi beach. This is a pretty beach but had the most humans in residence so I think the photo opportunities were actually fewer here but still numerous.

 We then headed back south and stopped at some of the Taro fields by Hanalei.What is curious is that we did not stop at the Hanalei lookout? This is a great spot for photos and I am not sure why our guide decided to pass it up. I found this interesting because we had been to many populated locations prior to this. No big deal just a curiosity, Matt surely would have stopped here had I asked.

We then headed back to their shop in Kapaa. Even if you are not taking a photo tour with these folks it is worth a stop in their shop as they do have some great professional nature photos at very reasonable prices. This was a good tour but not what I had expected. I was hoping to go places that I might not find on my own. Everywhere we went was a location in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook so I didn't learn any new cool spots. You don't do very much hiking so there is not much a physical component unless you have knee problems.

We drove towards home and stopped to pick up dinner at Mark's Place. WE both opted for the combo plate which consists of Teriyaki beef, Chicken Katsu, Beef stew, rice, plus noodle and macaroni salad. This is a lot of food for not a lot of money.
The beef stew was actually the standout followed by the Teriyaki beef. The chicken was a bit dry because it was pounded a little too thin. We had left overs that went into the fridge.
After dinner we had another visit with the turtles.
We make sure we stay far enough away to not disturb them. Some folks get too close and this makes the turtle move off the rocks. We talked about snorkeling in the stream outlet but it was getting too dark so that would need to wait for another day.
We took a walk over to the Kukui'ula shops and did some browsing. There are wonderful Kauai photos available here but they are rather pricey.

Tomorrow we have a hike scheduled in Waimea canyon area and need to wake up early so we head back to the house and get to bed.

This was a good day..