Tuesday 13 May 2014

Discover Kauai with Charter Travel

We arrive in Kauai, the Discovery island, its dark and warm, the smell of Hawaii greets me!

Picked up the rental car and headed to the sumptuous Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, we are greeted even at this late hour with a smile and a lei greeting, shown to our room and we get to bed very quickly

Waking early is something I always do on the islands, I am not the only one awake, I can see guys fishing from the beach and I sit on the Lanai watching the sun come up listening to the birds sing

This fabulous resort is surrounded by some fantastic grounds with beautiful gardens and wildlife, situated in the the sunny area of Poipu with an abundance of water things to do in Kauai, choosing from zip lining, surfing, kayaking or scuba diving among rare sea turtles and luminous fish
We opt for the dry option and head on to Kilauea Lighthouse, the views from here are outstanding, lunchtime approaches we head off to the Olympic café in Kapaa for some coconut shrimp and a piece of hula pie! Just has to be done, before heading back we pop into my favourite shop in Kauai Hula girl, this store sells great authentic Hawaiian clothing and Vintage Hawaiian Shirts, all made in Hawaii, they even have a replica of world famous Elvis Presley 'Blue Hawaii' shirt

Today we take our boat trip around the Napali coast, the coastline is stunning, here films like Jurassic Park and pirates of the Caribbean were filmed, within the mountains the areas are like jungles with lots of waterfalls, not accessible by road, the highlights were the dolphins, as well as the usual spinners, we were also lucky to see bottle nosed dolphins and a whale! Just amazing

We have decided to have a more relaxing day today and head off to the North Shore, we stop en route at Na ‘Aina Kai, it’s around 240 acres of diverse gardens and amazing bronze sculptors along with 13 amazing gardens it has a truly amazing wild forest garden. There are nutmeg and cinnamon trees, cardamom, ginger and vanilla vines and even chocolate trees! Something for everyone

Travelling north we arrive in Hanalei bay just in time for lunch! Stopping by Postcards Cafe , after we head off to wet and dry caves. The three main Kauai caves to look for are all located along the beautiful North Shore. Maniniholo Dry Cave, Waikanaloa Wet Cave, and Waikapalae Wet Cave are all within a short distance of each other making a cave tour easy, the walking is easy the parking is not! Maniniholo Dry Cave is right opposite Haena Beach Park this is a popular location and all the parking is taken really early, still it’s worth the effort. The eerie caverns of the wet caves in Kauai are quite a sight to see. Both the Waikanaloa Wet Cave and the Waikapalae Wet Cave are legendary meeting spots for ancient Hawaiian chiefs. A better way to explore this is by boat…..probably more relaxing too!

On the way back to Poipu we take a detour to Spouting horn! A famous blowhole that was important in Hawaiian legend Ancient Hawaiians believed this coastline was once guarded by a giant moo (lizard) named Kaikapu. Everyone was afraid of the moo because it would eat anyone who tried to fish or swim in the area. One day, a young boy named Liko entered the ocean to outwit the lizard. Kaikapu attacked him, but Liko thrust a sharp stick into her mouth, swam under the lava shelf, and escaped through a small hole to the surface. The moo followed Liko and got stuck in the lava tube. To this day, you can hear the lizard’s roar and see her breath spraying from the blowhole

We arrive back at Grand Hyatt and have a wonderful dinner at Tidepools before we head for our bed!

Our last day in Kauai and we have passed this place several times on the road and never stopped, today we will! We are off to the Kilohana Plantation.

Sugar was important on the islands, it was big business!, Captain Cook introduced this on his arrival to the islands in 1778, this generated huge growth so much so that approx. 337,000 emigrated to the islands for the work that this industry provided The first sugar plantation, known as the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa, was established in 1835 the sugar produced was primarily shipped to the mainland USA. Today Kilohana runs a sugar train experience along with a few others, your trip is not complete until you have taken the Kola rum company , rum tasting is every 30 minutes, not to be missed

As this is our last day before heading off to Maui, we are going to drive the Waimea Canyon

Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon Lookout provides panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles. The main road leads you to a lower lookout point and the main Waimea Canyon Overlook, offering views of Kauai's dramatic interior. This is spectacular stuff! Nicknamed the ‘ Grand Canyon of the Pacific" it certainly is big!

On the way back we stop off at Island Taco, we had some delicious Ahi, mahi mahi and shrimp, very fresh very tasty and very reasonable! We have taken the opportunity whilst here to check out the statue of Captain Cook which is in the centre of the town a replica of the original statue found in Whitby England