Sunday, June 1st
We had a busy and interesting day on Sunday.
We had breakfast at Kountry Kitchen here in Kapa`a [population about 10,500]. Noah, it will not surprise you to learn, had bacon. We all had a good meal.
Our apartment is on the est side of Kauai and the afternoon’s last stop was going to be at Port Allen, on the south side of the island, so we headed south. Our first stop was in Old Koloa Town. Koloa is the location of Hawaii’s first successful sugar mill. It was a plantation and now it has been restored and commercialized as a history center and shops. It is a pleasant drive from Kapaa [I’ll skip the inverted comma from now on; it indicates a short stop between vowels.] Or, it would have been a pleasant drive except for the miles-long traffic backup along highway 56. I don’t know if it was because it was Sunday, or there were accidents, or what but we crept along in the heat for about 40 minutes before traffic speed picked up.
Once we got past Lihue [2nd largest city, pop. 6,500] driving was easy. We went through the famous tunnel of trees just before we got to Koloa. There were many tourists there. For research purposes we found a shave ice place so we could compare with the shave ice we had on the Big Island. Noah and I agree that the shave ice on Hawaii was better. [It is, in fact, “shave” ice and not “shaved” ice.]
On previous visits Patricia and I had visited Poipu Beach several times and we thought Noah would like it. It, too, was crowded. The roads, which used to be small and crowded, are now modern, wide, and crowded. There are even more resorts–and tourists–than when we were here last. The beach was crowded and very nice. I used to snorkel here and it still looks like a good place to do that. Noah went into the water but not to snorkel. He liked it.
We changed here for our boat tour because we thought that swimming suits and cargo pants might be too casual but people on the boat tour were dressed in all styles.
On the way to the port we took a detour to Spouting Horn. This is a place right on the shore where the waves force water through small tunnels and up into the air with a roar of noise and a spray of mist. It makes for great picture taking and we always enjoy it.
Then we rushed over to Port Allen and Holo Holo Charters. We had scheduled a “Sunset Tour” of the Na Pali coast (on the west side of Kauai) and it left shortly after 3:00 in the afternoon. Who knew the sun set so early in Hawaii?
The boat we were on was called the Holo Holo. She is a twin hull (a catamaran, I think) about 70 feet long and on this trip carried 49 passengers. We got lots of instructions which mostly boiled down to a) hang on to something all the time, b) we mean it: hang on to something, and c) if you get seasick, we know what to do. The trip up to the end of the Na Pali coast took about 2 hours and parts of it were rough. But the bar was open and there were appetizers so most everyone was happy.
The scenery was truly awesome. Once we turned north and could see the cliffs the ride got rougher but it was well worth it. At the south end, the cliffs are “only” about 400 feet high. When we stopped, they were 4,000 feet high. Once we turned around, the seas were calmer for a while and we slowly went along the cliff faces for quite a while. The pictures are going to have to speak for us because Na Pali is difficult to describe in words. Dinner was served (and the bar was still open) while the water was relatively calm.
When the tour began, I was concerned that the ride might be too rough for Noah. Once again he surprised me by doing really well with the wind, the spray, and the rough ride. I only wish you could have seen the pure joy on his face. We even went to the front, where it was really wet and windy and bouncy and he enjoyed that too. We both got pretty wet.
As we neared Port Allen on the way back, we stopped just before sunset and had a sunset toast as we watched the sun sink into the Pacific (7:17 pm). By this time, the rough ride had caught up to Noah and Patricia so we finished the tour in the cabin. We all enjoyed the tour immensely. It was fully dark by the time we disembarked and it seemed to take a long time to get back to Kapaa, but it was a great day.
Map of the tour to follow