Saturday, January 14, 2012

more kauai goodness

I’ve never been to a beach before where it’s not a good idea to so much as step foot in the water.



We’re on the north shore of Kauai, which at this time of year, is the time of heavy seas. The waves above are just wee little things, but they’re still bigger than anything I’ve ever seen on the east coast. That’s Hanalei Bay, above – home of superstar surfer Laird Hamilton. He gets more done before breakfast than I’m apt to accomplish in any given lifetime.

Hanalei Bay is also home to Puff, the Magic Dragon.


No, really. That’s Puff’s head, above. As for the rest of Puff’s body, off to the left – I’ve never seen a landscape shaped like this, either.


Insane. This spot, to the west of Hanalei Bay, marks the northern end of the famous Na Pali coast, accessible by foot or water only. The other day, we hiked a little ways to get a feel for it.


We watched whales spouting just beyond the breaking waves. This time of year, humpback whales use the waters north of Kauai as breeding/nursery grounds.

Yesterday, we went around to the southern part of the island to visit Waimea Canyon.





At the head of the canyon, we found a hiking trail we hadn’t noticed in the guidebook, so we had no idea where it headed.


We enjoyed the trail itself – kind of otherworldly.

I took pictures of other tourists with their cameras, and one of them reciprocated:


Gradually we realized what this trail was doing: skirting the headwall of the Kalalau Canyon on the northeast side of the island, the southern-most end of the Na Pali coast. That bluff over my left shoulder is the northern wall of the canyon.


A quarter mile or so later, we arrived the head of the canyon.


The southern wall.

On our way back, we took a peek into Waimea Canyon from a different lookout.


See the incredible drop off to the right? OK, see the goat?

From here, we headed to the Polihale Beach.


One of those bluffs is the spot where spirits launch themselves into the next world. It is said that those who are not greeted on the other side stay right here, attaching themselves to rocks. Tis a bad idea to take a rock home as a souvenir. Fair enough.

We headed back to the town of Waimea to watch the sunset from a bluff.


I got my requisite plant shot.



That’s Niihau, The Forbidden Island. Privately owned.

I could get used to this.


  1. I'll have to keep an eye out for 'em. Lotta birds and spiders. No snakes. No mammals (aside from the ones humans brought) except for maybe a bat or something. Crazy.