Today was going to be very special because neither Randy nor I had ever been to Kauai. We had heard so much about the island’s beauty that we were anxious to get on the road and head to Waimea Canyon.
Waimea is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific on the western side of Kauai. A quick stop to have a picture taken outside the ship, we were off to pick up our rental car and, what we hoped, would be a lovely morning ride up to the canyon.
It was cloudy when we arrived, and it got even cloudier as we climbed up to see the canyon. We worried that we would not be able to see the canyon. As it turned out, the canyon was buried beneath a deep cloud cover and we really could not see much.
Not to be deterred, we kept driving up to Koke’e State Park. As we drove along the sun started to peak through the clouds. We stopped at both the Waimea Canyon Lookout and the Kalalau Lookout where you can see the Napali coastline.
The view of the Napali coastline was breathtaking. We were up about 4,000 feet above sea level. The water below was so blue; the mountainsides were so green, even the clouds looked bright white.
We were encouraged that the cloud cover was lessening and decided to stop at the canyon lookouts on our way down. What a sight! The canyon is beautiful with reds, greens, browns and blacks. We spotted several mountain goats relaxing on a ridge at one lookout.
While visiting the canyon and stopping at the various lookouts, we notice there were many roosters and hens around. Someone told us that they were feral chickens that had been brought to the islands by the early Polynesian settlers.
As we worked our way back down, we spotted several cars pulled off the road, so we did too. What everyone was looking at was a beautiful waterfall on the other side of the canyon. We spotted a helicopter flying around the waterfall giving their passengers a bird’s eye view. I can only imagine how they felt.
We took a different road down so we could stop at a restaurant recommended to us by a friend of Randy’s called the Wrangler’s Steakhouse in Waimea along the coast highway. We had a business card with the distinctive Paniolo (cowboy) feel to it.
Randy was intrigued by the Kau Kau Tin lunch. The lunch came in a 3-tiered tin lunch pail. When he took it apart one tier had Beef Teriyaki, Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura and Rice and Kimchee. What a meal. Randy loved every bite. I had a little of the beef and it was tender and delicious. I ordered a Paniolo burger. It too was delicious. We had a sinful dessert and vowed that we would not much for dinner.
We had to make one last stop before getting on the ship, Hilo Hatties. Hilo Hatties is the store to buy any and all Hawaiian souvenirs and clothing. I promised Kristine that I would bring back refrigerator magnets from every island; and I did.
As we left the harbor and just past the breakwater a whale was playing. We watched with amusement as the whale flicked its fluke over and over again. Then we spotted a whale gliding along, not too far from the ship, as we passed through the channel. We only caught a glimpse of his dorsal fin.
We met our friends at dinner and had a wonderful evening full of conversations about what everyone had done on the island. A sad note was that Jane had lost her camera while on a zip-lining trip. We all hope that it would be found.
The rest of the evening, Randy and I just wandered around looking in the shops, stopping at the Piazza to people watch and turned in early.
Tomorrow we are back at sea and heading to Ensenada.