Kauai, Day 4

Today we head out early for the Ne Pali coast. The plan is to hike part of the trail, then snorkel at Ke’e beach. Our first stop is at the Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse. We stop at the scenic overlook, and as we step out of the car, a rainstorm hits. We wait it out, then try again. We then drive to the lighthouse. By then, most of the clouds are gone and it’s sunny and gorgeous. We linger at the lighthouse for awhile. They have a special place in our hearts since we were married at a lighthouse.

 

Kilauea Point Lighthouse.
View from Kilauea Point.
Dawn & Marc, Kilauea Point lighthouse.
Count how many shades of blue you see in the water!

Here’s a video of the area:

We decide to stop at the Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza restaurant for lunch. I have a bagel and cream cheese, and husband has a wrap. For dessert, we have lemon bars. Everything is delicious. Lunch is a bargain at $14.

We continue north, stopping at the Hanalei Valley scenic outlook and Ha’ena beach park.

An iconic photo of Kauai.
Close-up of rice fields, Hanalei Valley lookout
Hanalei Valley lookout.

When we finally get to Ke’e beach and the start of the Ne Pali trail, we’re extremely disappointed to find signs that both the trail and beach are closed. We soon discover that although the trail is officially closed, people still venture upwards. We make it about a mile to the part where the water overruns the trail, and husband persuades me to turn back. As we make our way back down, it begins to pour and I almost slip in a few problematic spots.

 

As much of the Ne Pili coast as we would see, from the ground at least.
Thinking this might not be a good place for a swim...

I’m pretty disappointed about not seeing Ne Pali. At Ke’e beach, we see some people holding snorkeling gear. They’re from Seattle, they tell us that the snorkeling here is no good today, that it’s too sandy. They say they’ve been here before, in February, and it was much better. We decide not to snorkel. We go to the Limahuli National Botanical Garden instead ($15 per person). The garden isn’t fabulous, but the layout of it is spectacular, and it makes up for some of the disappointment of driving so far and not seeing Ne Pali. There is an interesting legend about one of the plants that we see, the Napauka.

Gorgeous grounds at Limahuli gardens.
Taro plantings at Limahuli Gardens
'Tis the season... for poinsettias to be in bloom!
Hala tree and a sudden bout of fierce rain.
The Naupaka, half-flower. There's a myth about how it got its shape.
So green!
Marc, Limahuli gardens.

On the way back, I see a small turtle enter the roadway from a grassy bank. I swerve to avoid it. There’s a car behind me, and I consider pulling over to move the turtle out of the way. Then the car behind me runs right over the turtle. The driver is either blind, or a total asshole. I spend the next couple of hours quite upset about the death of the turtle.

Along the way home, we hit a farmer’s market that is just about to close. The vendors offer lots of samples. We try rambutans, which I’ve never had before. They’re delicious. We try a piece of the biggest avocado I’ve ever seen. It’s the size of a mini nerf football, and only $2. We get a smaller avocado, a bagful of rambutans, and a pineapple, all for $10.

 

A rambutan! Rather tasty interior, ugly exterior.

We decided the previous night to get Thai food for dinner. We got to The King and I in Kapa’a, close to the Safeway. We order the special of the house, mango flounder ($14.95), and phad see ew with shrimp ($12.95). It’s good, not as good as our favorite Thai restaurant back home, but WAY better than my horrible attempts at cooking.

We head back home. I call to see how much the Ne Pali coast snorkel tour is, and it’s $135 per person. We decide that an airplane tour of the island will be our “spurge” excursion. We call Wings Over Kauai and make a reservation for the next day at 2 pm. It’s $100 per person, half the cost of a helicopter tour, and safer.

Go on the next part of the journey!

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