Grand Canyon of the Pacific
I’ve been dreaming a lot of pleasure travel lately. My husband and I, both recently retired, had several trips planned for 2020. We were able to get one in during early February before the shut down in mid-March of last year. This was a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and we loved it! Trips to Italy, National Parks, and a Viking River Cruise in Europe – our travel plans for 2020, never got off the ground.
Now, to keep our desire to travel alive and well, we are talking about future trips. Among other places, my husband and I would like to return to Hawaii. We’ve been to Maui twice and Kauai once. When you think of the Hawaiian Islands, one conjures up visions of pristine beaches, black sands, lava rocks, and volcanos.
One might also think of pineapple plantations, sugar cane, waterfalls, and luaus. But, does one think of deeply carved canyons? Probably not. When we visited Kauai in 2013, one of our island day trips was to Waimea Canyon, otherwise known the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! At the canyon, we hiked, saw a lot of red rocks and “dirt”, as well as a few requisite waterfalls. We encountered fog at Waimea lookout, unfortunately, so our view from the Kalalau Lookout, obscured the Na Pali Coast and azure ocean waters.
Still, the visit to Waimea Canyon stays with me. I’d like to return. The vegetation was lush and the hike undemanding. Was the canyon the highlight of our trip to Kauai? I’d say it was one of them. There are many things about this Hawaiian island that begs another visit.
The Famous North Coast of West Kauai
The Na Pali coast is stunning. The verdant cliffs rise high over a clear turquoise sea bordered by sand. We went to Ke’e Beach and snorkeled, there were locals as well as plenty of tourists. From Ke’e Beach, known as the beach at the end of road, we hiked to Hanakapiai Beach, along a short (2mile one way) segment of the Kalalau Trailhead. This was our most difficult hike, as the very narrow trail sits in the lush Kauai jungle, high above the water. It was also one of our most beautiful experiences during the trip.
We stayed on South side of the island near Poipu Beach, where there is a wide expanse of sand and calmer waters for children. One morning, we saw a sea lion sunning himself on the sand. Incredible!
The nice thing about Kauai is that the island is small enough that you can make it to from one side of the island to the other without much trouble. With little traffic, the trip is under two hours. But, traffic can be very heavy at times, so one needs to plan accordingly.
One adventure we added to our trip to Kauai was tubing down the sugar cane irrigation ditches! This was a fun way to spend a hot July day on the island. The water’s current takes you on a trip through the hand dug ditches and tunnels that were used to shuttle water to the sugar cane fields as long ago as the 1870’s.
So maybe you can see why we are anxious to travel again. A trip back to Kauai is not in the near future, but maybe in the not so distant future. We’ll have to see. All I know is that I miss travel. For now, I’ll just have to keep on dreaming.
Today is day 10 of 31 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.org. Thank you for allowing us to share in this supportive community of writers.