Kauai Day 5 – A change of plans

Surprisingly I didn’t wake up until 7am so no sunrise pics this morning. However, I was in quite a bit of fibromyalgia pain. I took my normal pain meds and hoped (but was not confident) that they’d kick in before we had to leave at 8.30am.

Sadly I was still in a lot of pain an hour later so Kevin made the call to cancel our planned outing for this morning. Luckily they were able to rebook us in for tomorrow – which was a planned rest day. I was still hoping to be well enough to do “something” later in the day but for now I just worked on my many photos from yesterdays Na Pali trip.

By 12pm I was feeling SO much better so we decided to go out for lunch and have another little look around Target.

You probably won’t be too surprised to find we went to Verde again, having enjoyed it so much on our arrival day. We had planned to order the same but sadly they had no vegan crumbles left. No to worry the vegetable filled vegan tacos were almost as good (just a little more spicy and messy – for me anyway).

I was wearing the dress I knew I had to buy for this Hawaii trip and even had a lady come up to me and say how much she loved it !!

After enjoying lunch we drove over to Target and had a shop around there. It was nice to be a bit more relaxed today and definitely not so tired. We picked up a few things, a few more food items and of course, another Starbucks. I got a lovely glass starbucks cup (to keep) for my Dragon Drink today (which actually came with coconut milk today).

Back at the apartment we got changed into our swimmers and stopped by the laundry to put on our washing, before heading around to the pool.

The pool temp is lovely and it was nice to be in the water again.

We swam around for a bit and then enjoyed a little lie in the sun. And I changed over the washing (just a 1 min walk to the laundry) to the dryer (well what I wasn’t going to air dry on the lanai).

I took some more flower photos on the way back to our apartment.

Kevin flew the drone so you can see the beautiful area around the resort. I really love it here because it’s nice and quiet and definitely not too busy. There isn’t a lot to do, which suits us just fine. We have the pool, a very comfy apartment and a view of the ocean.

We settled in for the evening, with me still working on a blog post (yesterdays one took quite a long time with all the photos), Kevin collecting the laundry and me refilling our meds for the week, then having dinner and watching some YouTube.

Kauai Day 4 – The magical Na Pali coast

This morning we were able to take it easy. I was still awake at 5am but we didn’t need to leave until 11am. I definitely don’t do well with punctual starts this day so it good having more time.

At 11am we headed off in the car for a 50min drive to Waimea. We will be headed back here again to dosome touristy things so we just drove straight to the selected lunch spot – Coconut Corner.

This was definitely not the type of place I would stop at if I hadn’t known it had vegan food options and had a good rating.

We ordered our lunch and then drove to the small boat harbour where our Na Pali experience boat trip would leave from. Kevin had already devoured his Fried Apple Banana Lumpia while I enjoyed my vegan pineapple fried rice with tofu while sitting in the car. It was really good and I was sad I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the leftovers but I happy I’d be able to feed it to the chickens (later when we returned).

At 12.30pm we headed to the picnic table and got checked in for our tour. They provide everyone with a dry bag in which to store our things. We had to wait until our boat and Captain Nate arrived. I had chosen a tour company that only takes a maximum of 6 passengers on each boat so we were with one other family with 2 girls, 11 & 14. They were wearing Aulani t-shirts so we knew we were in good company. Once onboard we had a quick safety briefing and then set off. It’s about 40min trip to reach the start of the Na Pali coastline. But once there it did not disapoint. Unfortunately some of the photos aren’t the clearest since they were taken through a waterproof phone cover.

Nate told us some stories about the Native Hawaiians who once lived here and about the different movies that were filmed on the beaches. He also took us into some caves which was pretty cool.

There was one that no longer had a ceiling.

One with some sea birds, and Nate even reversed about 20 meters into one very long dark tunnel. No idea how he managed that (but has been doing these tour for 11 years).

I know the photos just don’t do this place justice. It’s just somewhere that has to be seen in real life to be fully appreciated.

Sorry for so many photos but I haven’t even shared half of them with you !! It was just impossible to stop taking them. And we so lucky that the clouds blew away and the blue sky appeared when we were out there. After taking in all this beauty it was time to head to our snorkel spot. Kevin and I got to have the front seats this time (everyone had a turn).

No sooner had we arrived at the reef, and Nate dived overboard to find the sunken mooring (it’s hidden underwater so other boats don’t use it), then a friendly and inquisitive young monk seal appeared to check us out.

Then it was time to snorkel. I was so glad to have the prescription mask from Snorkel Bob’s as the water was so clear and there were plenty of fish to see.

Of course, it was extra exciting to hang out two turtles. It’s always such a special experience.

Back on board we had a drink and some fresh Hawaiian pineapple – which was delicious. Then sadly it was time to start the journey back.

Lucky for us Kevin has really good eyes and spotted something jumping out of the water in the distance. Nate quickly headed in that direction and we soon found ourselves in amongst a whole pod of Spinner dolphins doing lots of spinning. It was quite the sight to see. How lucky were we?

It was then a bit of bouncy/ rough ride home. Kevin and I got quite a bit of spray (which was fine) but I ended up with a pretty sore backside ie sit bones !! Finally around 6pm we made it back to the calm of the harbour. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the car. But before we could leave I had to feed the chickens my lunch leftovers. They seemed very happy with the situation.

It was a 50 min drive back to our apartment. We discussed having dinner out but since we were both so salty and it was getting on we decided to have dinner at home. We got back just as it was getting dark. Kevin was good enough to cook dinner while I was having my shower. I had a Gardein skillet meal and Kevin had some cheese stuffed mushrooms.

It was after 9pm when we finally headed to bed, tired but very happy.

Kauai Day 3 – The North Shore

I was awake again at 5.30am and this time got to see a pretty nice sunrise as I worked on my blog. I do miss the old days of being able to go for a sunrise walk but at least I can enjoy it from the comfort of our apartment while I wait for my pain med (thanks fibro) to take effect.

We Kevin awoke we enjoyed breakfast out on the lanai and then got ourselves somewhat organised for todays adventures.

First stop was at Snorkel Bob’s where Bob (I assume) met us at the door to request that we are facemasks. I don’t blame him and had actually been trying to decide wheather to fetch ours from the car when he’d opened the door. It was such an easy and streamlined process to get our gear and I was able to get prescription goggles, which means I’ll actually be able to see the fish clearly for a change.

Next stop, before starting our official guided tour, was the Kauai Juice Company in Kapaa (though I do believe these are all around the island). I decided on the Akala juice while Kevin went with a matcha. We drank them during the car journey and really enjoyed them. Pretty pricey (though everything seems to be here on Kauai) but it was a holiday must do (at least once).

Finally as we left Kapaa it was time to start our Shaka guided tour of the stunning North Shore. We find these guided tours to be awesome as they take you to and point out places you wouldn’t normally see – like the Kalalea Mountains where the “fin” resembles King Kongs profile when you get closer to it.

We then drove to Moloa’a Beach where Gilligan’s Island filmed it’s first season. Boy did I love that show as a kid.

Next up was Kahili Beach – remote and down a dirt road, we’d never have found this patch of paradise without Bobby (who we’ve named as our Shaka Guide). Here you have the beach on one side and a kind of lagoon on the other. Apparently at low tide you can wade across the water to the other side of the beach. We did see people doing this but didn’t attempt it ourselves.

There was then a brief stop at Kilauea Lighthouse – though it is closed on Sundays so we only viewed it from a distance. We did enjoy seeing some of the sea birds flying around, though I was probably more enamored with this little red headed bird – actually known as a Red Chested Cardinal (though in fact they are not cardinals). We’ve seen them all over and they are just stunning. I believe the white bird in the tree is a Red Footed Booby.

We did follow the guide out to Secret Beach but since it’s a hike down & up, and we had a bus to catch at 12pm, we didn’t visit. We also missed Anini Beach were we had planned to snorkel, but realized we would not have enough time.

The stop at the Hanalei Lookout overlooking Hanalei Valley was incredible. Seeing the patchwork of taro fields with the mountain behind them was such a picture perfect scene.

Bobby (the Shaka guide) then took us down into the valley, over the single lane Hanalei bridge and on a drive out alongside the taro fields. It’s definitely not what you expect on a Hawaiian Island but was beautiful.

We then drove into very quaint little town on Hanalei. This was our planned stop to pick up some lunch to eat later. The foodtruck I had wanted to eat from was closed but luckily the Thai Elephant had some vegan options.

We also had to get some Holey Grail donuts since they are vegan. I didn’t know they made them fresh so they were hot when we got them. Don’t think I’ve ever had hot iced donuts before. While waiting for our lunch we tried two of them. They are made from taro and I really like the flavour and they definitely aren’t as sweet as normal donuts. We tried the bottom two in the photograph and much to my surprise I like the Lilikoi (passsionfruit) the best.

Once our lunch was ready we had a short drive to the shuttle parking area. One the way we passed by this incredible little church which was completed in 1912.

We arrived just as a shuttle was leaving but we were booked on the 12pm one anyway. It was a 15 min ride up to Ha’ena Beach where we got off. Sadly it was pretty rough out in the water so snokeling at Tunnels Beach was out.

Instead we decided to have our lunch and then have a swim at Ha’ena Beach. Lunch was okay but nothing amazing. We were visited by a hen and her 3 chicks which were oh so cute.

Then it was time for our swim. The beach drops off super quickly and there is a flat rocky bottom (which was really strange) but once out deeper it was wonderful. As you can see the water is such an amazing turquoise colour and it was a comfortable temperature (after that initial shock).

Best of all was the amazing view back to the beach. I could have stayed out here for hours just taking it in. But all good things must come to an end – and a pretty disasterous one at that. I already mentioned the suddenly drop when you enter the water which made exiting even harder than entering. I felt pretty confident – having spent much of my youth in the surf but I hadn’t realized how much slower I was now at 50. I wasn’t able to exit switfly once I got in close to the shore so I got bowled over. Not normally a problem but this shore break (due to the steepness) was FULL of sand – which I meant I then ended up with sand EVERYWHERE !!!!. I think another wave got me before I was able to get to my feet and make it to “dry” land, taking what seemed like half the beach with me.

We ventured back up to the park area to collect ourselves and luckily Kevin spotted some showers off in the distance. I was then able to get most of the sand out of my hair and some out of my cozzie (the showers weren’t private so I couldn’t remove it). Now I have been dumped a time or two in my younger years and played in the sand for hours but I have NEVER had so much sand in my swimsuit.

The next step was to dry off a bit and then get changed back into normal clothes – wiping the remaining sand off as best I could. At least I felt sand free enough that we could continue on with tour of the North Shore.

Just across the road from the beach is Maniniholo Cave, which is actually an old lava tube. It’s not especially exciting but definitely worth a visit if you stop at the beach. We had the place to ourselves so that was cool. We then walked back over to where the bus dropped us off and were about to sit down to wait when one turned up. Talk about good timing. Kinda glad someone else was driving since the roads are pretty narrow and there are quite a few one way bridges.

Once off the shuttle and back in our car we drove back into Hanalei to Wishing Well Shave Ice. I’d read good things about this food truck and there was a line when we arrived. They also have some natural toppings (made in house) and offer coconut cream as a topping.

Both Kevin and myself went with this option and while it might not look as stunning as the photos you see with the artifical coloured toppings, this tasted AMAZING.

We decided to drive the few minutes down to Hanalei Pier where we sat at a picnic table and enjoyed the remainder of our shaved ice while taking in the view, though as you can the clouds were starting to roll in.

Shaved Ice thoroughly enjoyed (esp. after not drinking very much today) we wandering out along with pier stopping, of course, for a little photo session. My hair was totally crazy ,thanks to the sand, surf and ocean breeze.

With our guided tour complete we headed home, stopping at Safeway (which was unfortunately busy) to pick up a few more grocery items.

Back home we enjoyed a snack on the lanai and later had dinner and watched The Adam Project – which was a good light movie to watch.

Kauai Day 2 – Exploring Kapaa

I woke up about 5.30am to the crowing of the local roosters, feeling much more refreshed after a very good nights sleep. There were still lots of grey clouds around so not the nicest sunrise to enjoy. I spent quite a few hours writing up yesterdays blog post. Kevin appeared about 8.30am after 12 hours of sleep – which he believes is something he’s never done before.

After a very leisurely morning we had breakfast outside on the lanai (balcony) at 10am – mini bagels with vegan cream cheese for me and ginger cookies for Kevin (since his oatmeal overflowed in the microwave). We then showered and got ready to head out.

Our destination today was Kapaa – which is the nearest town to us. We went for a little detour to see Lydgate Park Beach – which is our closest swimming beach – as we headed North.

Not sure why but I don’t have many photos – lets blame it on taking video instead. We visited Kela’s Glass Gallery which had some amazing pieces (but too expensive for us). We bought some vegan chocolate and bread at the Fish Bar Deli of all places.

We wandered through some other shops and I bought myself a hat (that was from an Australian company :-)). We checked out the markets outside the cute church and went into our first ABC store of the trip.

I’m sure we missed quite a few places here because many were tucked into little alcoves and laneways or behind other stores. Luckily it’s close enough that we can come back another day.

Leaving here we headed South getting caught up in a bit of traffic. Didn’t worry us though as we weren’t in a hurry and got to see things like a palm grove, lots of chickens and even baby chooks beside the road and The Sleeping Giant.

Lunch today was at a cute little plant based cafe called Russells (named after the owners Golden Retriever).

The seating is outdoors in a lovely covered area surrounded by plants. I had the tempeh bacon BTL – somethings I’ve never had before but really enjoyed. And Kevin had the Monkey Milk (banana & peanut smoothie) and samosas, which he also really enjoyed.

In addition to the great food it feels good to be able support local businesses, especially vegan ones. I hope we get the chance to eat here again or get some takeaway.

We briefly stopped in at the Island Country Markets (basically an ABC store with some extras) so Kevin could something to add to his bread/bagels for breakfast, then we headed back to our resort.

Though it was still windy at least we had some pockets of blue sky. We relaxed for a bit before Kevin headed off a nap. I should have gone for a swim or read my book but I was keen to get started on editing holiday vlogs so I did that instead.

At 6pm we tried to facetime with Athena and Christy but Athena had forgotten all about it & was not at home, and Christy was nextdoor having lunch with Nan & Pop, since it was Mothers Day there in Australia. We did catch up with Christy shortly afterwards and it was nice to see all the puppies.

Just before 7pm we finally made it out for our “morning” walk. Not the best day for taking photos but was nice to check out the resort. It’s actually a lot bigger than I realized but I definitely think we have one of the best apartments looking over the pool.

We walked down to the windy beach to get a few photos before heading back to our room.

Stopping to take photos of some of the beautiful flowers (again, I will have to do a more thorough job on a sunny day).

Back in our apartment Kevin cooked some Gardein Mandarin “chickn” (one of our favs) with some microwave rice, which we enjoyed while catching up on some vlogs. At 8.30pm we headed to bed for some reading before lights out.