Back to Kauai in 2013

Back to Kauai in 2013

After a five year stretch without taking a “real” vacation, we were able to go back to Kauai. Just like we remembered it, paradise. This time we had a storm that brought us nearly seven days of gray skies and endless rain on the North and East sides of the island. It was surprising to get flash flood alerts on our phones; never seen those before. So it was off to Poipu in search of sunshine and drier beaches. We lucked out most every day there with warmer weather and spent some good time baking on the sand. Jennifer even snorkeled this time, but without the snorkel, which I know isn’t “snorkeling”, but she got into the water and took some great footage of the sealife at Poipu Beach. Our big excursion was to Polihale Beach on the far-Western side. It’s a long way from where we stayed, and the last five miles to the beach are on a teeth-rattling dirt road that will make you regret the effort after a mile or two. Keep going because at the end there are parking spaces for maybe 15 vehicles and then nothing but sand as far as you can see. It’s a massive sandy beach where few people go and we noticed the groups that were there were no closer to each other than 50 yards; definitely not like San Diego beaches.  Take a look at this video.  It isn’t mine, and I didn’t watch the whole thing so hopefully they are “normal” people and don’t do something stupid on camera later in the recording.  The road was dry when we went.) Three things to note about Polihale Beach:

  1. Bring stuff to eat and drink because you passed the last signs of civilization about 15 miles back.
  2. Read the sign where the pavement ends.  It says 4×4 vehicles only.  You probably didn’t rent one.  We did it in a Chevy HHR.  Also, apparently rental car companies forbid you from traveling this road so make your own mind up about this.  Just because we did it does not mean you should.
  3. While it is a state beach, don’t expect much.  Bathrooms? Yes.  Clean? Ehh.  Doors on the stalls? Jen says no.  Then again there aren’t too many people here anyway.

We tried some restaurants that seemed questionable.  Chicken in A Barrel, which by the way had magnificent smoked ckicken (duh!) that fell off the bone with flavor to spare was amazing. Their ribs are not. It’s a roadside attraction and the seating was filthy so we opted for take out.  By the time you’ve ordered it’s too late. Your clothes already smell like smoke so think this through if you’re not heading in for the day after eating here. Bubba Burgers was pretty good, too. Our favorite morning hang out is Olympic Cafe, an upstairs restaurant with few windows makes it a breezy and cool place to overlook the road that cuts through Kapaa. We hiked the Kuilau Ridge Trail one morning. It was almost four miles round trip. It felt like more. The views of the islands interior are amazing from the trail. It rained on us periodically, and the trail was the usual red dirt that becomes slippery when wet making some portions challenging to hike. There are plenty of photo opportunities all along the trail. One tip from a local, at the trail head is a sign identifying the trail by name. Directly to the right of the sign is a three foot wide passage which looks like the trail. It isn’t. Instead look to your right at the yellow gate. Step over it and that’s the trail.  Who k.  We hiked all the way to the wooden bridge where the trail becomes the Moalepe Trail.  Just before this is a picnic table you’ll likely have to yourself if you want.





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