Kauai Travel Blog› entry 5 of 15 › view all entries
July 10th, 2010 – by: HeatherHop
On the way out we stopped in the town of Waimea and got shave ice from a little shop run by the most adorable little old Hawaiian lady I have ever seen in my life. I chose a combination of strawberry and watermelon flavors, and they did not disappoint. After enjoying my frozen treat, we continued on our way to Waimea Canyon.
What I found to be interesting about the west side was that after driving for a little while you feel as though you are in a completely different place.
From what I understand, there is an awesome hike to the bottom of Waimea Canyon, but we didn't do that one today, because we had our sights set on the Pu'u o Kila lookout at the end of Waimea Canyon Road.
When I was finally able to pull myself away from the lookout point, Norwood and I decided to brave the Pihea trail, which is a one mile trail that winds along the cliffs, which awarded us more spectacular views of both the jungle interior of the island, as well as the Kalalau Valley. One mile (2, if you count coming back) may not seem like much to you. It surely didn't seem like a big challenge to me at first, but I quickly changed my tune when I realized that the entire trail was covered in deep, thick, slippery mud. Did I mention it was steep and treacherous on top of that? Well, it was. We had a great time navigating the trail and trying to figure out how to continue without killing ourselves. There were times when I wasn't so sure, but the views were spectacular, and it was an amazing adventure.
Actually we did encounter a lady on her way back to the parking area when we were heading out on the trail who had her arm in a temporary sling made out of a t-shirt. Her wrist looked horrible and bent in a strange way. Her husband asked jokingly if we had any vicodin on us. I didn't, of course, but I did offer them some of the ibuprophin I was carrying on me, which they were happy to accept.
When we got back to the car we were exhausted and covered in mud, but quite happy and proud of ourselves for conquering the trail. One thing is for sure: I am very happy I bought those trail running shoes before this trip. I don't think my regular running shoes would have had as much traction.
After the trail, we were exhausted, so we headed back down to the coast for a relaxing hour at a nice sandy beach on the Southwest side of the island. The beach had great sand and calm, gentle waves. It also boasted a spectacular view of Niihau on the horizon, and some beautiful skies. There were several groups of locals having BBQ's in the picnic area, and the crowd was mellow and relaxed.
We decided that we would stop and check out the town of Hanapepe on our way back to Kalaheo (home), so we took the detour down "Historic Hanapepe Main Street". We were quite glad we did, because it turns out they were having their weekly art walk. Lucky us! We parked and walked around and peeked in the windows of all the galleries, and crossed the awesome, yet slightly scary and rickety Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. We walked across it and wondered if we would be soon plummeting into the river below. We didn't, of course, but the slight danger of it made it fun and exciting.
There were several food trucks and tents around as well, and we decided on the pie tent, which had amazing pie flavors such as Mango, Banana, Chocolate Coconut, Macadamea Nut, and many other amazing sounding pies.
When we got back to our apartment, we looked up to see an incredible night sky with more stars than I've seen in a very long time, possibly ever. After all, you can't get much more isolated from the big city light pollution than out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
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