Hawaii Travelogue 7 – Waimea Canyon

It was still cool and rainy,  and we’d been awakened three nites in a row by torrential downpours with fierce winds (usually around 2 am) and roosters (promptly by 5 am).  However, every morning there was a beautiful rainbow right outside our door, which I guess is Kauai’s way of encouraging you to shrug off the sleep deprivation and get out and enjoy a beautiful day.

Kiahuna Plantation

Our daily “good morning” rainbow

After breakfast we headed to nearby Lawai Beach, where the guys snorkeled and Becky and I chose to stay warm on the beach.  My John wears some serious glasses, so snorkeling has never been much fun for him – just a bunch of colorful blobs.  Right before our trip we learned that you can rent “prescription” snorkel masks that help correct your vision underwater.  The saleslady asked John to rate his vision (or lack thereof) on a scale of 1-7 and gave him the appropriate pair.  Not very scientific, but he said they worked great!  The guys saw more fish than I would have imagined on that tiny beach and even got up close and personal with a huge Green Turtle.  While the guys snorkeled, the most beautiful double rainbow came out.  I know it’s almost impossible to see the second rainbow in this pic (starts in the bottom left corner), but what was truly amazing was how “thick” the main rainbow was – I’ve never seen one that wide.

this pic doesn't do it justice, but it's a happy memory

this pic doesn’t do it justice, but it’s a happy memory

The guys got cleaned up, we picked up a delicious picnic lunch at the very swank deli/store Living Foods Market, (think tiny, upscale Whole Foods) and headed out to Waimea Canyon.   Everything we’d seen on the eastern half of Kauai was so lush I was very surprised by the Waimea Canyon area.  It was like being teleported to Arizona!  There’s a very good reason they call it “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”.

Entering the Waimea Canyon area

Entering the Waimea Canyon area

closeup of a beautiful farm at the edge of the river

a beautiful farm at the edge of the river – that is some seriously remote living

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon – can’t imagine how beautiful the colors would be on a clear day.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

It was really cold and windy up on the canyon rim (and I’m sure you noticed the rain in the pix), so we ended up picnicking in our car.  There was a man up there selling produce (I know, weird) and Becky bought us some sugar cane to try.  You don’t really eat it – you delicately chew on it to release the faintly sweet juices.  If you’d like to try some yourself, just soak a piece of bamboo in sugar water and go to town on it.  Seriously, it was like chewing on sweetened wood, slivers and all.  On our way back down we stopped to explore the coolest stream ever.  It was like hiking on Mars.  All homemaker me kept thinking was “don’t fall down – you’ll never get this stuff out of your clothes!”

Hiking on Mars

Hiking on Mars

the downstream view

the downstream view

We followed the stream across the road until it ran off into the canyon.  Only Tom was brave enough to walk out to the rim.  I would have gone too, but seriously, that wind could have pushed you right off!

Across the street - and the end of the line!

Across the street – and the end of the line!

After an “eh” dinner at Savage Shrimp in Koloa, I spent the evening trying to smash all our stuff back in our luggage for the trip back to Oahu.  That was no easy feat, because I had 12 days of clothes and toiletries stuffed into two carry-ons and a backpack.  There was no room at all to add the coffees and t-shirts we got at Kauai Coffee Co., nor the kukui necklace I was obsessed with getting, and let’s not even discuss the latest addition to my beloved coffee cup collection.  Are you sensing that coffee is VERY important to me?  This is supposed to be a “health” tiki, but it must also be a “deliciousness tiki” because I swear coffee tastes better in this mug.

I wish I'd bought all 4 varieties they had - I can't find this brand online anywhere.

I wish I’d bought all 4 tiki mugs they had – I can’t find this brand online anywhere.

Tomorrow it’s back to Oahu where among other things we eat many more malasadas, visit the Arizona Memorial, finish my quest to photograph Five-O filming sites and spend a very special day with two new friends.

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