This post is part of a series where I’m incorporating old travel journal entries into this blog. This part of the series is from my 2010 trip to Kauai. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for more tales of our adventures! Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!
Today was our last full day in Kauai, and as predicted, I have shed a few tears at having to leave this place.
Our day started out with a nice drive up to Kapaa, where we stopped at an open air market to look around, and then continued on our way up to the North Shore. We both agree that Hanalei is our favorite town/area on the island, so we wanted to see it one more time before leaving the island.
There is something about Hanalei. It is a quaint, quirky little town. On one side you have the beautiful Hanalei Bay, and on the other side you have these gorgeous mountains mysteriously shrouded in mist with numerous waterfalls cascading down them. The town is laid back. There are organic food eateries and yoga studios alongside burger joints and fresh fruit stands. We stopped and had a smoothie while admiring the view of the mysterious mountains before continuing on the road a bit to a beach we had been to earlier in our trip. I couldn’t tell you the name of the beach, but it is just past Hanalei Bay. There are trees and a wide, beautiful, warm sandy area. The waves crash dramatically on the shore, and a mountain stream collides with the ocean. To the left there is a black lava formation which the waves crash upon. Small sand crabs bob in and out of their holes. It’s beautiful. We spent a bit of time there, just admiring the beauty of the place and watching the sand crabs before we headed up the coast a bit further to Tunnels Beach, by far my favorite beach on the island.
Tunnels will always hold a special place in my heart because it is the place where I had my amazing sea turtle encounter, where Norwood and I swam with 5 sea turtles. I brought the lei that they gave me at the luau (I’ve been keeping it alive by watering it and refrigerating it) to leave at Tunnels, because they say the lei absorbs a part of your spirit. If that is at all true, I wanted to leave a bit of myself at Tunnels. Dramatic eroded mountains covered in green plant life provide an awesome backdrop for this beautiful beach. The water is so blue and clear that it will amaze you, and all the trees that line the beach have dramatic roots, which is a result from the pounding they take from the winter swells on the North Shore. There is a huge reef that makes for some wonderful snorkeling, but the most amazing thing about tunnels is the sea turtles. They are always there. After relaxing in the sun for a while as Norwood went out for snorkeling, I walked down the beach to the area where the sea turtles hang out and swam with them one last time. It was incredible! I loved that I got to have that experience again on my last day, as it really felt like leaving on a high note.
As we walked away from the turtles to head back to the car, I did shed a few tears. It’s not easy to leave a place like this.
We decided to stop in Hanalei one more time on our way home to have some sushi. I had some really good veggie and salmon rolls and Norwood had some fresh local nigiri sushi that he said was the best he had ever had (which is really saying something when you grew up in L.A.). He said it was “like butter”.
The drive home was mostly in silence. We just looked at the beauty around us and tried to soak as much of it in as possible before it got too dark.
It seems like it will be a clear night tonight. I will have to go out and see the amazing stars one last time.
Aloha Oe…Until We Meet Again.
Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!