Sunday, June 28, 2015

Living Dinosaurs (A Real Gem)

Sam's guidebook includes a little entry for nearly every bit of Kaua'i, and for the exceptionally nice trips and beaches there is a parenthetical (A Real Gem) added to the title to indicate that such and such beach should not be missed.

The plan for today was a run along the Nā Pali coast (A Real Gem), a trip which is one of the most popular because of the great views. We got an early start, knowing that parking would be tight, and we arrived in the lot at 7:15 and found a place though the remaining spots filled up really quickly. The trail along the coast is rather rugged and although we were only going about 13 miles round trip, we planned to take 4-5 hours for the adventure. We made sure to stop and take many photos of lush jungle, sharp cliffs and staggeringly blue ocean. The turn around point for our run was Hanakoa falls, where we sat eating granola bars and watching some circling birds that looked like pterodactyls. Everything on this part of the island looks like Jurassic Park.

Cairns stacked along the beach. We beat the crowds here

Still early in the run, because my shirt isn't soaked yet

Every turn on the trail gives a nicer view

A tree, or a hammock?
Location, location, location
It's nice when there is a breeze

The parking for our run along the coast was directly adjacent to Ke'e beach (A Real Gem) and despite being a bit tired from the morning, we gamely plunged in and paddled around over the reef looking at fish. The conditions were such that we were in very shallow water most of the time and therefore the fish were all very close. The beach was very pretty and after snorkeling we just lay in the shade feeling drowsy.

On the way back to our place, we stopped in Hanalei to grab some things to make dinner and to try a Puka Dog. A Puka Dog is a polish sausage which is inserted into a hole drilled into a hot dog bun. The sausage is coated in hot sauce and fruit relish, and was pretty good recovery food after a long day in the sun.

In truth, we found the sun to be pretty overwhelming and so decided to wait until later in the evening before venturing out again. So at 6pm, we packed our picnic dinner and our mask and fins and walked over to Sealodge Beach (A Real Gem) to see some fish and watch the sunset. The beach was almost deserted and saw a lot of fish, although we did not venture outside the reef into the rougher water where there apparently are often turtles.

Dinner was lovely, and we had a couple of very cute and curious beagles come over to investigate whether we were interested in sharing our teriyaki chicken thighs with eggplant, green onions and hoisin sauce flavored udon. The sunset was worth the wait, and moon was bright enough that we almost didn't need our headlamp to make it back to the house.

Doesn't get any better than this
Tomorrow we head to the airport and fly over to continue our honeymoon adventures on the Big Island.

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