Kaua’i Day 12

8/13/2010 Friday 2:22 am

What a remarkable day Kaua’i served up for us today.  After all the bluster of yesterday, today was still, and beautiful, and sunny almost all day long!  And that’s a great thing, because we had a lot planned!

Here was a quick shot I took from the "Garden View" side of our condo as we were rushing off this morning!

Our first goal of the day was to head south on 56, along the east side of the island, toward Po’ipu.  We haven’t really been to Po’ipu, though we’ve been near, and we’ve been by, and we wanted to check it out.  If there’s a “resort central” of Kaua’i its Po’ipu.  The Hyatt Resort is there, as is a particularly swanky restaurant called Josselyn’s.  We wanted to see what all the hubbub was about!

Oooo. So if you look carefully you can see that in the middle of this beach there is a peninsula that juts out to a sand and lava sand bar - with water on each side. This gives the unusual character to the Po'ipu beach. We set up camp off to the right...

So we're now in "our camp" looking back left at the peninsula and sand bar.

And here's a look to the right from the same place. The whole beach has this round, curvy sort of feel.

So the main thing we did at Po’ipu was snorkel.  We’d heard stories of both seals and turtles!  Unfortunately for us we saw zero turtles and seals today.  Plus, this snorkel spot has very little in the way of reef and coral activity – it was like swimming around in a fish bowl!  But even with all of that this was our:

Best. Snorkel. Ever.

Why, you ask?  It was comfy, gentle water and filled with lots of super-duper fish.  We saw types of fish we’ve seen elsewhere, but the specimens here were much bigger.  And then there was the “fish-nado” incident…  At one point Glenda and I were snorkeling and a particularly large fish, with an attitude, swam by lookin’ at me.  So I thought at him “I’ll show you, fish” and I decided to look back!  Look I did.  As he swam by I slowly turned around, making my body vertical to do so.  So as I turned around, he actually began swimming around me in a circle – like we were in a stare-off (which, of course, we were).  So I thought “I’ll out-stare you, fish” and I kept turning around, and he kept swimming around me… for a long time.  The even crazier part is, that after several revolutions, all these other fish, like tons of other fish, started revolving around me too.  It was nuts.  And for a long time – like a minute – I had tons and tons of all kinds of fish swimming around me in a giant fish-nado.

Don’t believe me?  Glenda was right there witnessing the whole thing.

After fish-nado, we were hungry, and we decided – thanks to Glenda’s amazing research abilities – that we needed to visit Puka Dogs.

Here is the Puka Dogs surf board menu. You choose "Polish Sausage" or "Veggie" then mild, medium, or hot garlic sauce, then one of 6 sweet fruity relishes and/or traditional condiments.

Glenda about to order a Puka Dog... So once you order they take a giant hoagie-sized bun, and stick it - vertically - on an inside-out bun toasting hot metal poker. This creates a hot, toasted hole, lengthwise in your bun which they fill with goodness.

Wow, nice Puka Dogs! I had a veggie, medium spice, pineapple relish and yellow mustard. Glenda had a Polish Sausage, mild garlic sauce, Mango Relish, and Lilikoi-dijon mustard. Oh my gosh, these are so good, I think I absolutely have to go back for another tomorrow, I don't care if it's an hour away!

OK, so with Puka Dogs sadly fading into memory behind us, we decided to check out “Shipwreck” beach in front of the Hyatt.  It was hot, hot, hot – like must’ve been upper 80s!

Here's a big lava outcropping at "Shipwreck" Beach. The crazy local kids jump off of that thing into the water!

We decided to leave Po’ipu, head back north to the condo and regroup.  It didn’t take us long!  Soon we headed back south – just a few miles – to a new place for us called “Secret Beach”.  A left off the highway, first right on a dirt road, park and look for the steep trail down!

Glenda in her lovely wrap from Anthropologie with some wily, crazy surf slamming the rocks behind her at "Secret Beach".

Secret Beach is actually wide and sandy, but there are some rocky outcroppings which are great for spotting one of my favorite ocean critters... Crabs! On the black lava rocks we usually just see the black "Bat man" crabs, so this little guy was a surprise.

Here he is from behind, I got really close for this shot!

Here's a shot with Glenda doing her "Captain Cook" pose. Behind you can see the lighthouse at Kilauea, and out to the left a good shot of the little island which is a bird sanctuary.

Our steps in the sand! Can you tell whose are whose?

We returned from “Secret Beach”.  It had actually been raining a bit there, and the weather was dubious, but we wanted to go to the St. Regis Resort nearby where we heard the bar has a fabtastic view of the sunset…

Here's Matt, all prepped to go to the St. Regis. I even put on a shirt and did my hair!

We've arrived at the St. Regis. It's gorgeous. Definitely cloudy and rainy but still a great view - especially when Glenda is part of it! For context, we're actually looking out here onto Hanalei Bay. That's where our adventures began here in Kaua'i, where we watched our first sunset...

Glenda with our drinks. I ordered a "Green Flash" which is rum and pineapple juice, and Blue Curacao and a handful of other things including a lightbulb-ice-cube! Glenda ordered a delish Lychee Bellini.

Here's the Green Flash with recipe/description card. A "Green flash", by the way, is the phenomenon seen at sunset here, just at the last instant before the sun sinks below the horizon. As it disappears this amazing green flash occurs that is totally awesome. At least it would be totally awesome, I'm sure, if I could see the darn thing. This is another one of those times when Matt looks avidly for a natural phenomenon, only to hear everyone else "ooo" and "ahhh" about it while he scratches his head wondering how he could have missed such a spectacular and special natural occurrence... anyway, the drink was tasty.

Our food arrived! Yum. I got tempura and Glenda got Shumai with crab and other goodies. The sauces were "totally solid", as they say here. Mine was a green lime and basil, hers was a rich balsamic and brown butter.

And in spite of the clouds and rain, we got a breathtaking view out west as the sunset from the bar. Truly a remarkable place.

And that was Thursday!  Tomorrow is our last full day here, so we’re making our lists of the thing we’d like to do before leaving.  So far my list has only one thing on it: Puka Dogs.  As long we get to go there again, I’m good.

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