Neil (nt) wrote,

The second week of our vacation was spent on the island of Kauai. We hadn't been there before, so we did a lot of exploring. Our hotel was in Kapa'a, a small town on the east coast. We had a rental car and drove as far as we could around the island in either direction (there is a section on the north coast where there are no roads).

This is Nukoli'i Beach, on the west side of Kauai. I had wanted to visit Polihale Beach, further north and the westernmost part of the island, but when we reached the dirt road which leads to it, it was gated with a sign saying "Park Closed." No explanation; no indication when it might be open again. I didn't feel like hiking two or three miles in, so that was that.

I managed to get in a little geocaching. Actually, I found 41 caches and 15 benchmarks on the two islands. This one was on the road up Waimea Canyon.

Lorna at the cache site.

It was a long, steep drive up Waimea Canyon. When we reached a lookout at 3,500 feet, we were rewarded with some impressive views.

After driving a few miles further, we reached the Kalalau Lookout, 4,000 feet above sea level. This is my favourite photo from the trip (it's a panorama constructed from 18 shots using Autostitch).

Kilauea Lighthouse on the northern coast.

The beach near our hotel. As many of these photos show, it was overcast for much of the time we were there, with scattered showers. We got soaked three or four times. I would have liked more sunshine, but it was warm and the sun did come out at times.

A little further down the beach from our hotel, there was a sacred site constructed from lava blocks. There wasn't much information about it, just signs saying not to climb on the stones. This pool was off to the side of the main site.

Everywhere on the island there are wild chickens and roosters. They outnumber the human population.

On the last day, I decided to hike to the top of Sleeping Giant, a mountain visible from our hotel with a peak about 1,000 feet above sea level. It proved to be a tougher climb than I had anticipated. Lorna gave up about 1/3rd of the way there, but I carried on up the steep, winding and often muddy trail, finally reaching the summit after some rock scrambling. There was a geocache and a benchmark at the top, which motivated me. This pic is looking north-east from the summit. I slipped in the mud coming down, bruising both hands and pulling a muscle in my chest. Then on the last quarter mile back to the car, the skies opened up and we both got soaked. By the time we reached the car, I was wet, muddy, sore and exhausted. We were both laughing at the situation.

The two of us in front of our hotel on the last afternoon of our vacation.
Tags: hawaii 2008

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