Kauai, Day 5

Husband and I are awake at 7:30 again. At 8:30, I call to check if the botanical gardens are open–they’re still closed. We decide to go to the Moir Botanical Gardens, listed in the Lonely Planet guide as only worth doing if you’re in the area, which we are. There’s no sign for the gardens from the main road, only for the restaurant, which is on the same property as the gardens. First we come across an oasis of orchids. There are orchids everywhere–I am in orchid heaven. The cacti and succulent garden is also worth seeing. These gardens are worth the drive for any garden lover but especially for orchid and succulent lovers.

Next we decide to do a suggested walk in the Lonely Planet guide, to Maha’ulepu beach. The 1.5 mile, unpaved road to the beach is filled with potholes. The beach is well worth the effort; as we’re walking along, I see red fence in the distance. It surrounds a monk seal. We do a bit of beach-combing, then head to Puka dog in the Poipu shopping center for lunch.


Seal on Maha'ulepu beach.
Maha'ulepu beach.

The Puka dogs are excellent. The dogs are wrapped in a “bun” of Hawaiian sweet bread. I get the hot sauce and mango relish, and husband gets pineapple. The freshly squeezed lemonade has too much sugar and not enough lemon. It’s about $18 for 2 dogs and 2 lemonades.

After lunch, we head to Borders in Kukui Grove. We are tired of the lack of variety on the radio stations, and find ourselves missing Seattle’s KEXP. We buy the new Band of Horses CD, then head to Lihue airport for our airplane tour with Wings Over Kauai.

It’ll only be husband, me and the pilot on our tour. The pilot, Bruce, introduces himself. He presents me with a lei of kukui nut shells and a flower for my hair. He goes over our itinerary with us, then does a brief safety lesson and offers suggestions on how to avoid motion sickness (which I tend to get). I decide to let husband sit in the front since his “dream job” is to be a pilot. Sitting in front, husband gets to read off the checklist of things check prior to take-off. Bruce provides us with Bose headsets which really cut out the noise from the Cessna, and allows the three of us to communicate easily with each other. Soon, we’re taking off. The hour speeds by; the scenery is amazing. We see the Waimea canyon, the Ne Pali coast, and Wailua falls. Bruce provides interesting commentary on what we’re seeing. Our flight around Kauai will be one of the highlights of our trip. I would highly recommend this tour over a helicopter tour; it’s half the price, and is a much more personal experience than a helicopter tour would be. And Bruce is very courteous and knowledgeable.

Marc, Dawn and Bruce, pilot at Wings Over Kauai.


Click on a thumbnail to see a full-size picture.


After our tour, we head to Lydgate to do some snorkeling. There’s a lot of wind at the beach, and it’s overcast. There are a lot of snorkelers in the recessed pool; we’re hopeful that we’ll see a lot of neat stuff. The experience turns out to be a disappointment; the fish are scarce, visibility is low and there’s no reef here. Husband and I do some swimming; neither of us want to get out of the water. We finally venture out of the warm water and into the wind. We head to Kukui Grove to get some groceries.

Along the way, I feel horribly dizzy. We haven’t eaten in six hours, and with the swimming and the flying, I have a bad case of motion sickness. We go by Starbucks, and I have a piece of gingerbread and husband gets an eggnog latte ($7). Then we head to Safeway. We’ve still got our giant avocado to eat, so I decide to make shrimp quesadillas–something not even I can mess up. We get home around 6:30, eat our quesadillas and have some pineapple and rambutans for dessert. Living in Hawaii has one stellar advantage over living on the mainland–Project Runway comes on 2 hours earlier, at 8pm. We end up staying up later than we have been.


Go on the next part of the journey!

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