Monday, October 25, 2010

A week in Kauai

Last Sunday we left Juneau at 7am to spend some time in the Hawaiian sun.  First, we had to go to Anchorage, spend 5 hours at the airport ... actually we lived the high life at the airport in the Alaska Airlines Boardroom with free drinks and food while hanging out with a TV star (I don't pay attention to these people but you can ask Hillary who it was) and our Senator Lisa Murkowski "The Write-In Candidate".  All of this courtesy of my alaska airlines credit card.  So then 6 hours in the plane from Anchorage to Honolulu with complimentary Mai Tai's just before landing.  From Ohahu we took a 25 minute flight up to Lihue, Kauai and finally arrived at 8pm.  Rental car pick-up, check-in at the Garden Island Inn for the first night, and some dinner and drinks by the tiki torches at Duke's Bar and Grill on Kalapaki Beach.


Morning stroll on the beach
After grabbing camping permits for the week at various beaches, stocking up on food and drinks, and buying some beach towels (since we couldn't find any in Juneau ...) we headed to the north end of the island to go to a beach "in a place called Hanalei".

Hanalei Beach Park
Calm day, few people, bright sun
After swimming around a bit we went over to Anini Beach Park, also on the north shore, to snorkel and set up camp for the night.  We saw our first of many sea turtles on the coral reef and then enjoyed our first Hawaiian sunset.

Sunset on Anini Beach

In case you don't know there are a lot of roosters running around the island, so you wake up just before sunrise everyday.  Being the coolest part of the day with no one around and really nice sun rises we didn't complain about waking up early.

Sunrise at Anini
Campsites at Anini
Early in the morning we headed to the end of the road to the north to Ke'e Beach and the trailhead for the Kalalau Trail.  There was trail construction ongoing, so we were only allowed to hike the first 2 miles to Hanakapiai beach and then another 2 miles up to the 300 foot waterfall.

On the Kalalau Trail looking on Ke'e Beach and the reef
On the trail looking at the Napali Coast
Trekking down to Hanakapiai beach
A cave on the beach

Approaching the falls
The Falls

Pineapples and guava along the trail
After the hike we snorkeled at Ke'e beach and saw a ton a fish and sea turtles on the outside of the reef.  We bought a disposable underwater camera and will hopefully have those pictures soon.  We camped out down the street at Haena Beach.

Sunset at Haena Beach

We headed over to the Wailua River to kayak, swim, cliff jump, and do a small hike up to a waterfall from the river.  All of the pictures from this excursion are on the disposable camera.  Afterwards we started making our way to the south end of the island and camped out at Salt Pond Park.

Salt Pond Park

A day in Waimea Canyon.

At the end of the canyon road we checked out some more lookouts and hiked the 8 mile round trip Alakai Swamp Trail.

Kalalau Valley

Swamp Trail

Lookout at end of Swamp Trail (~4000 ft)

After hiking we headed to the end of the road on the south end at Polihale State Park to camp out and eat some dinner.

Polihale and the start of the Napali Coast

Burgers at sunset

Followed by a full moon at our tent site


Hang out at Poipu Beach and body surfed for pretty much the entire day.  We spent another night at Salt Park Pond.

After a nice breakfast we went down to Shipwrecks beach for a short 4 mile shoreline hike to another secluded beach.  Again pics are on the disposable, but we did walk around the Hyatt for awhile and acted like we were staying there.  In the afternoon we checked into the Islander on the Beach for a night indoors.

Living the high life
We had dinner at a really nice place where we sat outside next to a garden with tiki torches and a bright moon.  Sipping wine, eating Mahi and prime rib ...

Breakfast, beach, snorkeling, hot tub, shopping (Hillary at Macy's!) and the beach again until we had to leave in the evening.

Waimea Falls - Roadside