Hawaii

Honolulu

Hanging out at the Honolulu airport. Hot and sunny. Here you have the choice of walking outside in the sunshine or inside in air conditioning.

We left Haena at 6:40 AM, made good time driving to Lihue. We were there by 7:50 AM then spent half an hour looking for a gas station so we could fill up our jeep before depositing it at Thrifty.

Looking forward to a “short” nine hour flight. Brian is happy. He was able to secure “extra leg room” seats for this flight and our return flights.

Aloha!

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Beached

Riding the waves

Riding the waves

This was by far the best weather day this week…our last day in Hawaii. Blue skies with some clouds, warm sun, hardly any wind.

We spent the day on or near the beach: in shade, in sun, plying in the waves, snorkelling, walking the beach. we watched the green sea turtles negotiating the waves close to shore. No whale sightings.

A perfect beach day.

We have now packed ready for our early morning departure to catch the plane from Lihue to Honolulu then on to Auckland. We will lose a day in the process as we cross the international dateline.

View from the shade

View from the shade

Reading audiobooks...great way to relax.

Reading audiobooks…great way to relax.

 

Kalalau Trail

Margaret, this one is for you.

We hiked two miles in and two miles back on the Kalalau Trail. The rocky, sometimes very muddy red earth trail is as challenging, and at times more so, than anything the Bruce Trail has to offer. It is an eleven mile trail and it is highly recommended thatit be done in two days as a minimum with a camp-0ver on the beach. I would certainly be ready for a sleep at the end of eleven miles. The difficulty would be getting up the next day and hiking out. I guess that is why some stay on the beach for two or three days or more.

Some people run the trail.  Some people are crazy. The views are fabulous. Runners would miss so much awesomeness. As well as tall waterfalls and stunning cliff side views of the turquoise and navy Pacific, there were miniature wild orchids, streams to walk through, whales breaching and our house plants magnified to jungle size.

We also swam on our beach this morning and this afternoon. I collected shells and walked the beach while Brian caught and released fish.

It did not rain. Yeah! An awesome sunset!

Na Pali Coast...as seen from the Kalalau Trail

Na Pali Coast…as seen from the Kalalau Trail

Up, up, up means there will be down, down, down. Walking stick, please.

Up, up, up means there will be down, down, down. Walking stick, please.

The fisherman caught a wrasse.

The fisherman caught a wrasse.

Sunset devant chez nous

Sunset devant chez nous

 

Water Warmer than the Air

Admiring rocks and coral in the rain

Admiring rocks and coral in the rain

I am sitting outside under shelter from the rain, wrapped in a blanket. I know it isn’t as cold as Ontario, but it is not as warm as Hawaii should be. It has been raining for 24 hours and the wind blowing from the water is chilling. The sky is a uniform grey. It is difficult to see the horizon line. Sky and ocean meet in grey. The waves are huge and mesmerizing. Our hostess who is probably in her late thirties cannot remember a winter this cold.

Nevertheless we have enjoyed our day. We walked for more than an hour on the beach this morning wearing a long sleeved top and rain jacket. We drove into Hanalei ( home of Puff the Magic Dragon) to pick up food for tonight’s barbecue…shrimp and marlin, and to check out the tourist shops. This afternoon we walked the beach in our bathing suits because our destination was snorkelling. We were shivering by the time we were back to our room. The hot water outdoor shower was most appreciated.

Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow.

Snorkelling at Haena...water warmer than the air

Snorkelling at Haena…water warmer than the air

Paradise Enow

There is something extra special about having a place right on the ocean, and even more so when it is the warm part of the Pacific, the sand is golden, the water is a delicious blue. The waves roll in like small mountains but crash on the coral reef leaving a protected area for swimming and snorkelling. Today the sun came out with clouds scudding here and there and the occasional light shower.

After a drive 3500 feet up Waimea Canyon, and a walk on the beach at Kekaha, we drove around to the northeast side of Kauai en route we traded in our red mustang for a silver jeep. Brian said it was because of the clunking noise in the rear end, but I suspect he just wanted to impress Brilynn.

We are now on the beach at Haena. We don’t have as much space nor is our lodging as well equipped as at Waimea, but our hostess is very accommodating and our needs are met.Image
The beach at Haena in front of our new digs. Sunset…and yes, rain clouds moving in.

Rainy Day

 

Sunset on Waimea pier on Tuesday

Sunset on Waimea pier on Tuesday

We won’t see a sunset tonight. It is raining.

While Alex was building a snow fort in Connecticut, we were not able to build a rain fort here although it poured last night and again most of today. Rain is not good construction material. Fortunately it was warm and we got out and about. Sadly hiking the canyon was not possible.

Kauai coffee plantation tour

Kauai coffee plantation tour

Lots of samples to taste: regular, flavoured and decaf.

Snorkelling at Poipu Beach

Snorkelling at Poipu Beach

Since we were already wet we decided to get wetter. Lots more interesting fish to discover plus a monk seal resting on the beach and whales frolicking offshore.

Lush vegetation

The falls seen in Jurassic Park

The falls seen in Jurassic Park

Swimming hole on the Napali Coast...if you can get there.

Swimming hole on the Napali Coast…if you can get there.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

The middle of Kauai is one of the rainiest places on earth. Lush vegetation in abundance, Margaret.

Flamboyant?

Flamboyant?

A beautiful tree in our back yard…possibly a Flamboyant?

It is  an African Tulip Tree. It reminded me of a tree I knew in Banfora.

Kauai

The value of a good sleep in a comfortable bed cannot be overestimated. We awoke refreshed to birdsong and roosters crowing. We are happy with our Waimea cabin across the street from the ocean which we procured through airbnb. Our host left wine and beer for us in the fridge, put fresh flowers…hibiscus and lilies in vases in the bathroom, livingroom and lanai. Neil left lights on for us so that we were able to find our way in the dark. This morning he visited to ensure we had what we needed and highly recommended Interislander Helicopter tour of Kauai. He even called them to see when we could book a flight and as there was a cancellation he led us to the helipad and waved us off.

What an amazing flight. Much of Kauai is only accessible by air. The canyon of the Paciifc, Waimea certainly is deserving of the title. We took lots of photos from our ‘no door’ 4 seater helicopter. Our pilot gave a great running commentary which we were able to hear with our headsets. We careened in and out of forested canyons, got up close and personal with many extremely high waterfalls, the tallest of which was about 3000 feet! None of our photos do justice to the experience.

After a sushi lunch on the beach we went snorkelling at Salt Pond Beach where we saw many colourful fish that we never saw in the Carribbean. Then we drove back to our cabin for sunscreen, towels, hats and a hairbrush. We will be more ready for our next excursion.

What a beautiful life!Image

Hawaii is a long way!

We were two hours and ten minutes late leaving JFK. In the first hour the plane was de-iced four times. sadly we were seated on the plane. The rest of the time we circled the runways waiting for our turn to take off. We heard later that we were among the last of the flights to leave. The rest were cancelled. Is Grey-Bruce snow following us?

There was a strong headwind;so, we didn’t make up any time on the flight. Thirteen hours later we arrived in Honolulu. That was a REALLY long flight with no extra leg room. I listened to a book, “and the Mountains Echoed”. Brian dozed more than I did.

Sadly we watched our plane to Lihue, Kauai leave without us. We were put on standby for the 7:12 PM flight (2 hours later) even though we were told the plane was full. Hooray, we made that flight…and we were given the exit seats…leg room! Only a 35 minute flight. 

We picked up our rental car, drove forty minutes to Waimea, bought some groceries and found our rental cottage. Now 24 hours after we got up in Buffalo, we are more than ready for bed.

 

Early morning

I don’t know whether to call 3:30 AM early morning or late night but we did sleep reasonably well after watching Downton Abbey. We are now waiting at Gate 8 in the Buffalo Airport for our 5:45 AM flight to New York. It was a quick shuttle from Best Western where we were the only ones on the move. A freshly made coffee, a sausage egg cheese muffin, juice, apple and granola bar to go will sustain us.

We enjoyed our evening with Margaret and John: seafood dinner at Carrabba’s then a rubber of bridge. I am sure it was a mistake that the men won. We resisted the urge to knock on M and J’s door as we rolled by at 3:45 AM. Thanks for the ride to Buffalo. Enjoy your week in sunshine in Florida!