Our 3rd Full Day on Kaua’i Our morning coffee on the lanai was served up with this sunny blue sky.
We watched the honu, sea turtles, surfing in the waves along the rocky lava shoreline. I kept thinking they would get bashed against the rocks. They must know what they’re doing, and enjoy it, since they seem to congregate here. And the whales – no matter how many we see, always amaze me!
The gorgeous blue skies promised a day of wonderful weather. Brian checked the forecast, and found rain and clouds predicted.
Should we drive west to Waimea Canyon? When skies are clear, the views are stunning. The earlier in the morning, the better chance of clear skies. Well, it wasn’t that early anymore, but we decided to take a chance. We hit the road and planned to drive all the way to the final lookout without stopping. We hoped we could beat the clouds that would surely move in later in the morning. That last lookout, Pu’u O Kila, has dramatic views of the Kalala’u Valley on the Napali coast. If it’s not fogged over.
This overlook was a nice sneak preview of the canyon and a good photo op. We hadn’t planned to stop, but right around the time we passed here, Brian noticed the brake light on. Hmm, not a good plan to visit a canyon with brake problems in your rental car. Thank goodness, it turned out that the parking brake had been engaged just a little. Fixed that, no problem! We were on our way with a few clear sky photos of Waimea Canyon. It was possible this might be all we would be able to get. Clear blue sky made me hopeful that we had time for a clear shot at the top lookout. I shot some video as we drove along. Google+ surprised me by taking some of that video and setting it to music with some of my still shots interspersed. I don’t know if these things are made completly by computer, or if a person has some creative input. Who, or whatever, chose the still shots, did not choose the ones I would have! Nevertheless, it’s kinda cool. I get nervous on mountain roads. I had worried that this drive might be scary. For me, It wasn’t at all. There are really no shear dropoffs or one lane sections with blind curves, like the Hana Highway on Maui, or Haleakala. If you’re wondering what the drive is like take a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ-rpfLcnok Google+ didn’t include any of the video I shot during the last 10 minutes or so as we got closer to the top. The clouds started to form all around us. Wind blew and rain sprinkled. The temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees F.
With every minute the clouds and fog around us grew thicker. We parked and noticed that even the chickens that were hanging out up here were foggy colored! We started up the path to the lookout to see if there was a chance at a view. No chance! The sign says Mt. Wai’ale’ale is “ONE OF THE WETTEST SPOTS ON EARTH”. On this day we were in one of the FOGGIEST. We could barely see our feet when we looked down! No Mt. Wai’ale’ale or Kalalau views for us today. The walk back down to the parking lot was a little bit sad. And a lot cold… brrrrrr. I wonder, if we had left Poipu a half an hour earlier, would it have been clear? It seemed as if the clouds were gathering even as we got to the top, just in time for us.
At the next few lookouts down we did get some lovely, if hazy views.
Driving down, we returned to blue sky and red dirt. Even the chickens were more colorful down here. My guys, finding their Zen. I am a geek and will spend hours in a museum given the chance. My family didn’t give me the chance that day! I was out-voted in stopping at the Koke’e Natural History Museum. They just gave me another reason to plan our next trip to Kaua’i. Besides, was I going to vote against a picnic at Salt Pond Beach Park? Not a chance! We stopped at Ishihara Market in Waimea. It’s another little long-time grocery market with a great prepared local foods section. We picked up a couple kinds of poke, of course, and some Filipino pancit – stirfried noodles with pork and vegetables. We got a package of coconut mochi too. In the parking lot at Koke’e Park, we had bought some homemade coconut candies and pinapple cookies, and a nice bunch of rambutan. So we were set for salty and sweet! https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1.0-9/248573_132612703482464_7464206_n.jpg This photo of Ishihara is from Facebook.
When you share poke with Conor, you need to steak a claim on your own before it all dissapears! Salt Pond Beach had beautiful, calm, clear water, and a peaceful kind of happy, that matched our day perfectly. On our way back to the condo we talked about picking up something to grill for dinner. After all, I had named this our “Cheap Eats Trip”. Staying in a condo, it just makes sense to cook some meals, right? Ha! We laughed! We are on vacation, and with the best of intentions to grill at our condo, we have yet to do so in 8 Hawai’i trips. We decided not to break the streak. We had driven enough that day, though. So after cleaning up and hanging out on the lanai for a while, we decided to walk to Brennecke’s Beach Broiler. It seemed to be within easier walking distance than anywhere else., probably 15 – 20 minutes, but without sidewalks much of the way. Wow! Brennecke’s was crowded. We should have called ahead. It’s a very casual, beachy kind of place. With the crowds, we completely missed any beach view. The host looked at us like we were a little uncouth to walk in without reservations! We decided that our options were limited, and since we were already there we’d wait the 45+ minutes they quoted us. In our hometown that is par for the course at any popular restaurant on the weekend. So we squashed shoulder to shoulder in the bar to wait. We got a drink and mingled with others who were waiting as well. We noticed several Iowa State Cyclones shirts and talked about cheering on our team in the NCAA b-ball tournament. The Kama’aina Pupu Platter that we shared was probably our favorite that night. We each ordered an entree and a drink or two, that were fine but forgettable. With tip we certainly spent over $150. While I don’t feel that’s unreasonable, we really enjoyed our $25-30 takeout picnic lunches on Kaua’i even more. The quality of the food was as good or better. I’m comparing some of our favorite mid-priced restaurants on Maui, with those on Kaua’i, and finding that we prefer places like Star Noodle or MonkeyPod Kitchen on Maui to Brennecke’s or Hanalei Dolphin on Kaua’i. However, we really did like Kaua’i’s less expensive, take-out places. This judgement could certainly change on our next trip. I look forward to the research!
We left just before the live music began at 8:00, too tired to stay and listen. We were glad to have my little flashlight for the dark walk on the road back to the condo. The night time ocean breezes were chilly but delicious. We were wishing we had much more time to experience Kaua’i. At the same time, we were happily anticipating our return to Maui in 2 days! Up next, hiking gorgeous Mahaulepu. Aloha, A Hui Hou