On a way..
PARADISE ON EARTH
Los Angeles Airport
1pm local LA time, 3 hours difference , we are waiting for a connected flight to our final destination - Hawaiian islands
When people say the way to Hawaii is long, you better believe it :-)
We are out and about for 12 hours already. How many more to go??
Just repeat after me "Kauai, Kauai, Kauai".......
South, where never rains
All right, we finally made it. As a person, who in general familiar with geography more or less of course, I anticipate a long "commute" to Hawaii
where Polynesian sensuality meets with American progmatism and mix with oriental exoticitism, sounds like our metropolitan melting pot isnt it?
But anticipation is one thing and expirience that with all your skin is another. Being a hyperactive in a way, I was really suffering. Cant even imagine how painful it is flying out to say India, or Australia, ahr!
But enough of whining we made it!!! YAy!!
Light breakfast in the morning, and here we go, Hello beautiful Kuiai !
Some cute guy at kayak store recommend to head south, where rearly rains and we did. As we learned later if you wish to see sun and have fun go south and west, north and east sides are getting hit by rain very often.
Now lying on Poipu beach, listening to the waves and watching my family snorkling, I finally realized we are in Hawaii!!
Kids interapting one another , share stories, they are amazed by the colors and wide variation of fishes and other sea life.
I am patiently waiting for my turn, my blood is boiling, need to hike....
Afterwords beautiful coastal hike, more like a walk. The trailhead started at Hyatt Shipwreck beach and leads to ...beach
Passing by gorgeous cliffs i had a deja vu, it does look like Acadia Nat park in Main, yes indeed.
Some parts of the trail are are closed due to erosion and detour goes thru golf field, where sign warn hikers of possible injuries in the head by possibly flying subjects. Fresh ocean air full of some awesome aroma of wind, sand, and spirit of adventure helps us to move forward.. Scenary is beautiful, makes you feel alive, and very energetic. Green grass, little flowers, little birds, we are hiking. What else i can ask for this afternoon??
Go west and you discover Grand canyon of Pacific
Well, well, well. While staying at Kaui, the very first thing in the morning is to open the curtain and see if the sun came up. Hmmmm doesn not look so good. Oh well, as Abby say
" it is still much better, then school " and I always thought to myself " definately better then work"
Heading west today to Wailemea canyon, which called "Grand Canyon of Pacific" . We will see and compair
So far Kauai is absolutely beautiful island, called "garden island". On a way to the west side we passed by some cute little towns, not too many people, but all of them are genuine nice and very laid back. Pure pleasure!! It is sunny here at that side of the island and we are full of good expectations. I planned to do easy hike in the canyon, but plan has been changed, we could not find the begginning, and ended up in Koke's State Parks, pick a book, choose one of the best from the best trail 6 something miles , called Awa"awapuhi. End of the trail promised beautiful vistas and we decide to risk. The only problem was the rain, but remember promising phrase " west side is the driest one and rains are seldom" we went on. Trail was very challenging and kids were taking turns and comlained a lot. After 2 miles we were thinking of turning back, but then we met a guy , who encorage us to continue, so we did. Unfortunately, rain never stopped that day, we didnt see anything because of the fog and poor visibility, but we did all 6 miles round trip and were proud to finish the hike.
When we were done, the sun came up and we saw pretty big and bright rainbow hanging over the canyon, I was thinking of Izzy "somewhere over the rainbow", his land is very inspiring for each and other living soul on planet Earth.
Na Pali Coast
Na Pali coast located North of the island and one of the nature wonders one has to see before die. Accessible only by boat, plane, or hike. Guess what we choose? Sure thing, hiking it is.
An insanely picturesque road brought us to Ka’a beach, where long and strenuous 11 miles hike begins.. The route along the island’s remote Na Pali Coast that is among the most paradisiacal paths on earth. Green walls rise 4,000 feet from the ocean waves, but loose rock, cliff falls, and flash floods are dangers on the winding tropical trip. Fit hikers complete the Kalalau Trail in a long day. Backpackers camp halfway through.
We choose first part of Kalalau trail , 2 miles hike to Hanakapi`ai beach. Beautiful and challenging in the beginning, some parts are very rocky, so we gladly admited wearing hiking boots was an excellent idea. Passing by the small hanging valleys and streams that runs trhu them, hike offering panpramic views of green cliffs and Pacific.Sublime Beauty. First part of that hike is easiets and most popular so watch for foot traffic there. Hanakapi'ai Beach is beautiful but to dangerous to swim. Powerful riptides can carry swimmers away, and the beach has been the unfortunate site of many drownings. Despite the dangers, the trail is safely traversed by thousands of hikers each year.
To get there we had to cross river with streaming water. Unfortunately, we didnt have enouph time to continue our hike to H falls, had to go back before dusk.
Hawaii, Big Island
We stayed at west side of the island called Kailua-Kona, and it was a good choice because of the sunny part. It is probably true regarding all islands, west sides are sunny, and east are rainny. Hilo for exsample is very comparable with Ketchikan, Alaska, ad it is on east side of Hawaii
Anyway, sun is a sourse of my energy and first we decide to go and do some snorkling for a change
Based on tripadvisor information, snorkling at this bay promised to be premier. Besides the snorkling, the place is famous for the monument to the first explorer captain James Cook, who first landed on Hawaiian islands in 1778. After a year his was killed by natives at the same place, here on Kauai.
Anyway, there is a trail that goes down to the monument, but we failed to find it, threfore we took ONE kayak for four of us to get there. It was an adventure, I think we totaly destroyed future kayaking activities for kids, oh well.
Snorkling was ok, current was too strong as per my snorklers, meanwhile I was all around the little bay by feet, watching the bird and enjoying the serenity of the place.
Volcano Natonal Park
We should cover 100 miles today to reach the park, going from west to the south towards Hilo. Little stop on the way just to see Punalu' u Black sand beach. That black sand is very fine and look unusual
There are two active ( most active ) volcanoes: Maunaloa and Kilauea. Kilauea has been erupting since January 3rd, 1983. ( From the sources:
"This prolific volcano currently produces 250,000-650,000 cubic yards of lava per day, enough to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road daily"
Sounds Fantastic, isnt it? What was my dissapoitment when park ranger said : "well, we have no active lava right now" , "Huh" ??????? It sounded like in department store some sales person apologetically tells you " sorry this item has been discontunued by manufacture" :-)))
Well it is what it is. Goddess Pele was probably sleeping. According to the legends, Pele is Goddess of fire, lightening, wind and volcanoes, lives in the Halemaʻumaʻu crater of Kīlauea.
We decide to hike anyway and choose the Kilauea Iky trail. It goes through lush rain forest along the rim of Kilauea Iki ( little Kilauea) and down to its still -steaming crater floor. The black rock that forms the crater floor is actually the surface of the lava lake that flooded Kilauea Iki.
And at night we managed to watch the lava glow at Jaggar museum, it was kinda cool. But....
Freaky Road -Saddle Road
There are two (sane) ways to get to the summit of Mauna Kea and both involve getting onto Saddle Road, from one end or the other.
Now we are talking about really-really big adventure "a 43 mile scenic drive takes you from sea level in Hilo (or Kona or Waimea) up to the summit of Mauna Kea at 13,796 to the astronomical observatories at the top!" They forgot to mention " if you are lucky enough to make it.
We hesitated on decion to go only for a second only because in car's rental contract was mentioned not to take a vehiclal to Saddle River road.
But our curious and adventorous souls were stronger than warnings, who can stop us from visiting that facinating place. So there we went
At first everything seemed to be ok, not too much cars or people after 40 minutes we understoo why is that. Sick and milky air suddenly appears from no where. "Holy caw", my hubster says, "I cant see a thing", but the hope dies the last as they say, and we continued. The more we drove, the less visibility was around. We were passing by military camp, total milky , fogged air and I felt so bad for our troops. How strong this young fellows must be to survive that grayish surrondings. Well, we finally gave up and decide to turn back and good thing we did. Only after the fact I red somewhere that you really need a special car or wheels or whatever to make it to the top. Well, I guess we have to come back here and accomplish our mission
In general, having big expectations from Big Island, I was trully dissappoited by it. But it won't stop me from coming back, maybe not here, maybe to Maui