Kauai – Day 1
We arrived in Kauai right on schedule and we were off the ship and at Thrifty to get our car in no time flat. Our first stop was going to be Waimea Canyon – we headed there and instead of taking the turn off that the road signs suggest we took the Waimea Canyon Road – which at first you think that you have taken a wrong turn and have ended up in a residential area…just give it a few and you will find yourself seeing some gorgeous scenery. We soon came along the red rocks with waterfalls – these to us were just gorgeous…they just kind of mesmerized me….not really sure why but it may have been the white rushing water falling over the deep red rocks.
We then headed up to the first look-out….quite fascinating..we live in the “Grand Canyon State” and have visited it quite often and Waimea was so gorgeous..it definitely is worth the visit. The greens mixed with the reds and then the blue skies…such a magnificent place. We stopped at several of the areas on the way up to the top and went all the way to Pu’u o Kila Look-out – it is a pretty steep incline to the top but it is a ramp not stairs that lead the way. Views are beyond awesome….the clouds were pretty good to us while we were there…it wasn’t completely clear but enough to be able to see the ocean down below. I completely forgot about the Koke’e Museum as we left…so can’t comment on that. We left via the Koke’e Road so we had completely different views on the way down – that didn’t disappoint either.
We then headed North from here to Polihale State Park – which we had to drive on I believe it was 5 miles of dirt road – not all that rough but you definitely knew that you weren’t on pavement any longer….it was a beautiful beach and the sand dunes of average height here…the water was very nice…didn’t go all the way in but standing at the edge the surf came up and hit me about mid thigh….refreshing to say the least. You could see the start of the Na’Pali coast line from here…again a gorgeous view.
We decided that we were hungry and we headed towards Island Tacos but once we got there we veered off and ate at Shrimp Station – ordered the garlic shrimp since at the time we didn’t know that they are known for their coconut shrimp….the plate was good but didn’t come close to measuring up to the garlic shrimp that we had at Giovanni’s on Oahu. We decided then that since we had heard good things about Island Tacos that we needed to try one of those as well…we shared a taco…very good and very friendly people here.
We have red dirt shirts here in AZ from our Sedona dirt so we definitely needed to have red dirt shirts from Hawaii….so we made a stop at the Red Dirt Shirt Warehouse – had a hard time choosing just one shirt so we ended up with two – one red dirt a piece and I had to get a purple one with all the islands on it and DH got a black one that says “Bite Me” on it with a big lizard.
We still had about 4 hours before we needed to be back at Thrifty to catch the last shuttle to the ship so we headed to Wailua Falls….the falls were raging since there had been quite a bit of rain in the last week and it was pretty red as well. We left here and decided to hit another waterfall – Opaeka’a Falls….this was just as beautiful but not flowing quite as much as Wailua.
At this point we had a decision to make….we were trying to decide to drive the rest of the way to Princeville or turn around and head to Duke’s to get a Hula Pie….we decided to head to Duke’s…this became an issue since we knew it was in the Marriott but didn’t know exactly where…we drove through the entire Marriott area – which is very pretty and was a really nice drive…we got to the end – turned around and headed towards Anchor Cove and that is when we spotted Duke’s – we parked in a handicap spot to walk over to Duke’s and we were told that we had to leave because it was parking for another restaurant (didn’t know that they could do this with handicap spots). We decided at this point to just take the car back and head back to the ship – it was about 6:30 or so at this point.