Kaua’i Day 13

8/14/2010 Saturday 4:05 am

Today was our last full day in Kaua’i.  We heard that there was a high chance of rain, like 60%, but this turned out to be one of the only days where we saw zero rain.  In some cases we saw evidence of recent rain, but we experienced none ourselves.  It was a glorious day in every way.  Here’s our morning view from the deck (they call decks “Lanais” here).  So, ahem, here’s the view this morning from our Lanai:

The sun is just coming up here over calm seas - Kaua'i was preparing a glorious day!

With a bit of pancake fixin's left we felt, well, obligated to finish 'em off this morning before our departure tomorrow.

So our fist order of business was to head back to Po’ipu.  After much discussion we decided we really wanted to get another good snorkel or two in today, and the best snorkeling we’d found on the island was in Po’ipu.  It’s about an hour drive south.

Here's Matt with top down - ready to rumble.

Hellooo Glenda! Here sporting the local island beach-frequenters' style... Sarong hugs swim suit with panache. Confidence yet sophistication radiate from this stylish twist-tie of color and texture! (Sarong courtesy of Linda Light - thanks Linda!)

We didn’t take the camera to the beach today.  But I have to tell you, it was: The Best. Snorkel. Ever. Again today!  I know what you’re thinking – “How could they have the best snorkel ever three times in one vacation?”  But it’s possible, and it happened.  We started at Po’ipu Beach, the one with the cool dividing peninsula out to the sandy rocky sand bar?  And there was a large brown monk seal tanning himself on the sand bar!  It was so cool.  He did absolutely nothing for like the entire time we were at the beach.  Could’ve been dead, flopped there like that.  It was awesome!

Then we snorkeled on both sides of the divider.  The right side, where we went yesterday, brought lots of great fish like we saw before.  Then we went over to “Urchin Alley” on the other side which was rougher, and rockier and full of urchins!  We didn’t do that very long before returning to the right side where we ventured out pretty far into deeper waters and saw a huge school of stripy yellow fish.  I feel the need, at this time, to list some of the fish we’ve seen: Lagoon Triggerfish, Achilles Tang, Ornate Butterfly Fish, Raccoon Butterfly Fish (loads of these), Orangeband Surgeonfish (lots of these too), Longnose Butterflyfish, Blue- and Orangespine Unicornfishes, Needlefish, Saddle Wrasse, Moorish Idol (super cool fish), Spotted Boxfish, Yellowfin Surgeonfish, Bullethead Parrotfish, and even a White Mouth Moray Eel!  There are more – but those come to mind.

Glenda had also been interested in checking out a nearby beach called Lawa’i near “flubbering horn”, oh, I mean, “Spouting Horn”.  I, as is my usual MO, was more interested in: a) sticking with things we already knew, and, b) going to Puka Dogs ASAP.  However, not only was she insistent, but we also ended up at the beach showers next to a guy who was talking all about how he had seen turtles at Lawa’i Beach.  Turtles, along with monk seals, have been high on our list.  So, off we went to Lawa’i.

The water was rougher there, but we got in anyway and poked around.  Some very cool reef formations there, great fish, and we saw a simply enormous red Parrotfish.  It was a great snorkel.  Even so, there were no turtles.  So eventually we decided to get out.  Glenda had just reached the shore and got her head out, and I was close behind, when I saw him – a big sea turtle right in front of me at the waters edge being washed up and down the shore!  I watched him for a few seconds before calling to Glenda.  She was able to hop back in and get buffeted around by the waves with the turtle, like, they almost touched!  So cool.

And so there you have it.  Our best snorkel ever because it was a great snorkel, plus we got to see a Monk Seal and a Turtle.  Yippee!

I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say that all of that was a preamble to my not-so-secret main mission of the day.  Our return to Puka Dogs!

Look at all of these people who have clearly been reading my blog! Puka Dogs was packed today!

I'm pleased to be able to bring you rare footage of the inner workings of Puka Dogs. Yesterday I mentioned the heated spikes they put the buns on... now you can actually see them. In this pic, there are two visible black spikes, all around them are overturned hot dog buns, themselves inside of white paper bags. This is a snapshot insight into the magic behind the Puka!

What could possibly be better than a Puka Dog?  I wracked my brain today to no avail. Until inspiration struck!  What could be better than a Puka Dog?

2 Puka Dogs! (one of these is for Glenda). I went with spicy lemon garlic sauce on both of mine today, with coconut relish and ketchup on one, and mango relish with yellow mustard on the other. Glenda had a veggie dog today too, and did mild lemon/garlic sauce with Pineapple relish and Lilikoi (Guava) Dijon Mustard. These things are incredible! In retrospect, I may had had one Puka Dog too many...

We followed Puka dogs with some delicious gelato - caramel mac nut and Belgian Chocolate in a chocolaty mac-nutty waffle cone. Yum!

Post-Puka we decided to head up to Kapa’a where there was a waterfall Glenda had read about.  On the way we passed:

I had an odd sense of deja vu passing this road. Like I've been down it before - perhaps even many times, and often...

Eventually, however, we made it to Ho’opi’i falls west of Kapa’a.  Say THAT 5 times fast!

Glenda is walkin' the trail...

Wow, a river, dense trees, the wilderness. I was straining to hear banjos, but thankfully all I heard was the roaring of the falls...

Oooo. The falls were very impressive!

So everywhere you drive in Kaua’i you see signs advertising “Ice Cold Coconut”.  We thought this was very strange.  “Ice Cold” is not the first thing I would think of if I were to make a sign advertising a coconut stand.  I might write “fresh” or “local” or “delicious” or something.  But I would be the odd coconut-man out, because everyone selling coconuts on the island has a sign advertising “Ice Cold Coconuts”.  We were intrigued and we pulled over to a place that, in addition to the obligatory “Ice Cold Coconut” sign, also advertised “The Coconut Experience”.

Here we are, having the "coconut experience". The fresh coconut has just had a hole drilled in the top of it and a straw stuck in it. We were instructed to drink the milk inside.

After we drained the coconut, the lady, a young woman with a one-and-a-half year old son, held the coconut in one hand and hacked at it with a machete until it split in two, she then scored and extracted the meat for us to munch on. Yummy! And ice, ice cold, baby!

After extensive snorkeling, double doggin’ it at Puka’s, a good vertical hike, and the coconut experience, we went back to the condo, showered and got cleaned up for our last night on the town.  The town?  Hanalei!

Glenda's lovely outfit for the evening. We took this picture in front of a Hibiscus bush in front of the condo.

We walked back down to Hanalei Beach Park - here we are entering the park as the sun is nearing sunset.

We walked along the beach to the point we could see the sun going down around the hills... Lots of boats in the harbor tonight.

Here's Glenda on the beach with the sunset-lit sky behind her.

After the sunset, we walked into town and decided to stop off at:

Kalypso! We had wanted to go since we saw it nearly two weeks ago. I had a taro-garden burger and a Mai Tai. Glenda was saving her tummy for sushi...

Here's the Hanalei Dolphin, bar, restaurant, and sushi bar! We hadn't been, and this was Glenda's special request.

What to get, what to get?

Glenda got Ono Sashimi. That's a local white fish served raw and with nothin' - no rice, no roll. Just a bed of greens and fish! Glenda is a purist who really appreciates high quality and very fresh fish. She was delighted. Not to be outdone - and because the pancake breakfast, double Puka Dog with chips, Gelato, and Garden Burger with all the fixin's, fries and onion rings left me feeling a little peckish - I ordered a veggie roll and a local brown ale. Just perfect!

Whew!  What a whirlwind.  It was a great day with lots of activities and lots of fun.  Tomorrow we will get busy in the morning with final pre-travel prep and board a plane around 2 PM.  We love Kaua’i, we look forward to coming back, but we both love our life in Austin and feel just peachy about returning there tomorrow.

We especially can’t wait to see all the great people we love so much back home.  Won’t be long now.

Comments are closed.