Hawaii Travelogue 5 – Northern Kauai

We headed out on Hwy 50 to 56N to explore the eastern and northern sides of Kauai.  Miss Becky was leading the way with her magical book of all things Kauai.  Our first stop was at Opaekaa Falls in the Nonou Forest.  You view the falls from an overlook on Hwy 560 (Kuamoo Rd).  As you can see from the picture, the weather still wasn’t the greatest.

Opeakaa Falls

Opaekaa Falls

As it turned out, our little stop here set the tone for the entire day.  We crossed the street to look down on the Kamokiia Hawaiian Village on the Wailua River.  Off in the distance I saw what looked like a wall of rain approaching.  I pointed to it and asked, “is that rain?”, to which my brother-in-law Tom replied, “no, that’s just mist”.  Boom.  About 30 seconds later we were running for the car in a soaking downpour.  From thence on, soaking rain was referred to as “mist”.  Completely soaked we piled in the car and headed to our next stop, the Kilauea Lighthouse.  A little bit wiser, we kept our umbrellas with us as we did get a bit of rain here too.

Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Our next stop was for a little refreshment at a combination roadside produce stand/smoothie shack.  I highly recommend the smoothies at Banana Joes!

Banana Joes - def try the smootihes!

Banana Joes – def try the smootihes!

Properly refreshed we pressed on through some beautiful countryside on our way to the end of the road at  Haena State Park.  Kauai roads are twisty and narrow, and you must frequently stop to wait your turn at the many one lane bridges over Kauai’s numerous rivers and streams.  It takes a looooong time to get anywhere on Kauai.

One of many one-lane bridges on Kauai.

One of many one-lane bridges on Kauai.

The valleys are filled with beautiful tarro farms

The valleys are filled with beautiful tarro farms

We tried to stop for some beach time at Hanalei Bay, but rain quickly chased us away.  I wasn’t too bummed about that, because I’m not much for hanging at a beach full of people.

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay

We got back on the road and stopped at another beach which was perfectly deserted.  We didn’t even get to put our toesies in the water before the fiercest rain of the day hit.  It really was astonishing how it could go from warm and sunny to gale-force winds and pelting rain in the blink of an eye.

Here comes a wall of weather

Here comes a wall of weather – this was as close as we got to the water here!

We finally ended up at Haena Beach Park.  There were plenty of people here too, but a short walk up the beach and over some rocks got us a lovely stretch of beach all to ourselves.  Across the street from the beach was the totally cool Maniniholo Dry Cave.

Haena Beach

Haena Beach

The Dry Cave

The Maniniholo Dry Cave – of course it was raining by now, so I did not venture into the cave.

After some good beach time, we were ready for chow.  And here is where Yelp and TripAdvisor failed us.  Both sites were chock-a-block with glowing reviews for a place called Ono Burger.  Supposedly the best burgers on the island.  Wow.  So not ono (Hawaiian for “delicious”).   And the chickens!  I forgot to mention the chickens.  I told you they were set loose on the islands during a 1992 hurricane.  On Kauai, they are rampant.  Every single morning, at 5:00 am sharp, we were awakened by a troop of crowing roosters.  Those jerks woke all the other loud-mouthed birds up, and then there was no hope of sleep.  Every.  Single.  Morning.  This night-owl was not loving it.  Anyway, at Ono (Oh NO!) Burger we had to eat with a whole flock of roosters, hens and chicks swarming around our feet.  I was waiting for them to realize they outnumbered us 5 to 1 and attack.

Okay, after that awful meal our next stop was a welcome treat.  Our first and best shave ice of the trip was had at a great little spot in Hanalei – Wishing Well Shave Ice.  It took me forever to order because there were just so many, many options.  We all got something different and they were all soft, fluffy and delicious!  I never tried a shave ice/ice cream combo, but my other brother-in-law, Bob, swears that is the way to go.

Tom and Becky about to get their shave ice on at Rainbow Shave Ice

Tom and Becky about to get their shave ice on at Wishing Well

We got back to our resort in time for a gorgeous sunset…

Sunset at Poipu Beach

Sunset at Poipu Beach

Sunset at Poipu Beach

Sunset at Poipu Beach

…and then headed off to Keoki’s Paradise for our first Mai Tais of the trip.  Yes, we had Mai Tais and h’ors d’oeuvres for dinner.  I definitely recommend their hummus trio, but you can skip the sketchy calamari strips.  Nast!  Their Mai Tai’s were delicious, but I was particularly smitten by the tiki glasses in which they were served.  I think every bar in Kauai and Oahu uses these tiki glasses, and I just had to have a set.  The ones used in the bars are plastic, but the ones I found at Awesome Drinks.com are glass.  They finally arrived today, and I can’t wait to put them to use!

My fabulous new tiki glasses

My fabulous new tiki glasses – what wouldn’t taste better in these?

Tomorrow the weather screws us out of our flightseeing tour, but we all make a fun stop at a coffee plantation, and then it’s luau time.  Aloha!

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