Spontaneous trip to Kauai

After a pretty crazy week of work I was thrilled when the weekend rolled around.  On Saturday (we are talking about June 24th by the way) I woke up and had a full day of adventuring.  The morning started off with a lovely freedive session at electric beach, my go-to spot for ocean adventuring, as it is only about 15 minutes from my house.  I see all kinds of awesome marine life here, ranging from huge pods of dolphins, to large sharks, and even spotted eagle rays.  There is a electricity plant across the street that uses water to cool it’s system, then dumps out this heated water through a pipe offshore (hence the name “electric beach”).  This hot water attracts a ton of fish and marine life that eat the nutrients and algae growing near the pipe.  This morning the waves were pretty large but I still was able to find a few turtles, humpback cowrie, and tons and tons of fish.  MJ was visiting from Maine, so my parents and her came out to the beach and my mom joined me for the last half hour or so of the dive.  After drying out, I headed into town to Kahala Beach where I participated in a beach clean up.

I was able to walk a pretty far stretch of the beach and picked up so much marine debris.  It always makes me so sad to see how much trash ends up in the ocean, but at least I can make a little positive difference even if it seems minimal.  I noticed a large amount of straws, utensils, bottles, and also large fishing nets.  After the cleanup I did a quick hike up Kamehame Ridge. It was actually a bit more strenuous than I anticipated because there wasn’t mush shade so the sun got super hot.  Not to mention my hydroflask water bottle was stolen during the cleanup so I was parched.  But eventually I got to the top of the ridge and the views were spectacular.  This hike had been on my Hawaii bucket list for a while so I was glad to do this before heading to KAUST. It is illegal because it is on private property, but I wouldn’t say it was dangerous as long as you stay away from the edges! After the hike I headed to Moku (one of our favorite restaurants on Oahu) where we had a delicious dinner!  As we sat around the table MJ and my mom discussed how excited they were to visit Kauai.  I was pretty jealous because Kauai was one of the only main Hawaiian Islands I hadn’t visited this year and it is also one of the most scenic places I have ever been.  That is when I made the spontaneous decision to book a flight to Kauai and stay for just one night.  I texted my boss that I was going to miss a day of work and that was that.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and Dad took us to the airport.  I love interisland flights because the lines aren’t too long and it is just very low-key traveling. We were in Kauai by 8:30 AM where we grabbed our rental car and headed North, travel book (Kauai Revealed) in hand.  We landed in Lihue and our first stop was just a few towns later in a cute area called Kapaa where we did some quick shopping (I bought food-typical) and our first stop Anini Beach, which has the longest and widest fringing reef in all of the Hawaiian Islands.  We took in the views and then were on our way.  Our next stop was in Princeville, at a little hike called Queen’s Bath.  This is a very short trail with a lot of payoff, so I highly recommend this to everyone.  On the trail to Queen’s Bath you pass by a waterfall, a waterfall entering the ocean off a little sea cliff, and just beautiful lush forest to crazy beautiful coastline.  I am pretty sure the entire trail took us 15-20 minutes.  I could see that if it had rained the mud would have been pretty slippery, so I suggest sneakers in the case of rain.

You can only swim in Queen’s bath in the summer when the ocean is still and there’s not crazy waves.  Luckily for us we went on a picture perfect day.  We spent some time cooling off, swimming/floating around, and even jumping in.  It was a blast!

We stopped by the lookout which has a gorgeous view of the taro terraces with a backdrop of dramatic mountains and waterfalls.  A must see, just past the Foodland in Princeville.  We drove through Hanalei all the way to the end of the road, making several stops along the way.  We looked at Lumahai beach but spent most of our time at tunnels beach.  We parked at Ha’ena State Park, and quickly went across the street to take a look at the Maniniholo Dry Cave, which is worth a stop.  Then we went to the beach, turned right, and walked about 10 minutes to find the prime snorkeling spot, known as Tunnels.   We stayed a while, enjoyed the sunshine and amazing views, and snorkeled around.

Me in the entrance to the dry cave and MJ at tunnels! What a day 🙂

 

Our last stop was at the end of the road at Ha’ena State Park, where we took a quick peek at the wet cave and then was on our way.  We stopped in Hanalei where we took a walk on the picturesque pier, and soaked in the views.

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Chillin on the Hanalei Pier
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Look at this amazing view!

We ate an incredibly delicious dinner in Hanalei at a little Mexican spot that had some super amazing vegan tacos that I split with my mother.  I can’t find the name of it but if you are looking for a yummy bite to eat go here, it i next to the healthfoods store.  After dinner we drove all the way South to where our condo was, in Poipu (dropping at Lapperts ice cream store on the way- cause we all know I love food).  Our condo was a beautiful two room ocean front, thank you mom/timeshare!  It is safe to say I went straight to bed after this long and epic adventure!

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