I keep trying to keep most of this in perspective of things you can relate to off a cruise ship. We got to Kaui early Sunday morning. Too early to check into the Sheraton in Poipu. I looked up at the mountains and saw something rare. You could see the top of everyone, there wasn't a cloud anywhere. Off we went immediately to Waimea Canyon. We drove west out of Lihu and up to the top of Waimea Canyon with only a brief photo op stop and a pretty lookout. Waimea was breathtaking. You could see for miles down into the canyon and all the way across. A rare day on Kauai (home to the wettest place on earth).
We ate a late lunch at Waimea Brewing (a micro brewery/restaurant, there is also an Inn on the grounds). Checked in at the Sheraton. Our initial disappointment faded as we got to know what was what a bit better here.
They serve free Mai Tai's for an hour at sunset out by the Point, one of their signature bars. After a few, we decided to eat a few pupu's and call that dinner , since I was clearly not driving anywhere. The sunset view here was killer.
Monday we drove the island as far as one can go around the north side. We stopped two dozen times for beach photos from Lydegate Beach in Wailou to Kee Beach at the end of the road. Drove through Hanalei and even stopped at the Princeville Resort. Gram's comment was that "this road was like a civilized road to Hana". I agree. We ate a great fish dinner at Brennecke's directly on Poipu Beach.
Tueday was our one excursion. Up at 5am for a 6am check in at HoloHolo Charters in Port Allen. We did a 7 hour boat trip to Niihau and the Na Pali coastline. A few minuts out of Poet Allen and we were among a large pod of Pilot Whales. We sat and manuevered for 10 or 15 minutes while everone got a good look. The crossing to Niihau was quite rough. Sea sick
factor was 50% at one time or another on this trip. Once to Niihau we crossed to an even smaller islet just at the tip. Here we were treated to a display of spinner dolphins. We snorkelled and visibility was easily 100 feet but seas were rolling at 4 to 6 feet even in the protected cove. Highlight here was two Hawaiian monk seals a very endangered species.
From here we checked out the backside o the islet (great cliffs and caves)
and the coastline of Niihau. Here we were treated to a buch of Manta Rays feeding at the surface , The crossing from here to Napali coast on Kaui was tough. We went cross current most of the way, at speed 21 knots) in 6-8 foot swells. This is where most of the folks getting sick simply lost it.
NaPali coast (think Jurasic Park) was breathtaking. Captain huuried from here to home port to get the group , many still reeling, back to shore.
Great boat, great trip great wildlife , great crew, great scenery. Similar trips (perhaps without Niihau ) can be booked if you cruise . tip- we saved $87.00 by using a 25% off coupon in the Hawaii version of the Entertainment Guide on this one trip alone.
Dinner in Poipu Shopping Center at Keoke's Paradise. One of the best meals of the trip. Great food, better atmosphere than Roy's which was adjacent. Wednesday we did the beach infront of our hotel which is technically part of Poipu Beach. It was a great beach day. We alternated beach and pool. Dinner was at alittle plate lunch place on the Coconut Mall in Kapaa (just past Wailou on the East shore). Total tab for two fish dinners and fresh squeezed lemonade (unlimited) was $22. We had started out for someplace else and were glad we stopped here.
Thursday again was beach and pool with dinner at Pizetta's in Old Koloa Town. Friday was our getaway day. We hung out at the hotel till check out, drove back to Hanelei to do the town in more detail, stopped at Kilueea Lighthouse for the view. 18 hours travel to home but Madelyn was waiting for Papa at the other end.
Hope you folks can use some of this on your next cruise to Hawaii.