My memories of this trip are fuzzy already. I waited too long to blog this. It’s probably not 100% accurate. Just the rundown.
Day Zero: Arrival
My plane got it at 10pm; around 10:45 I finally got my rental car; a Jeep Wrangler. Rendez-vous’ed with my housemates, nā hoa hale at Times Market and then drove out to the hale in Princeville.
Went to the Big Save early in Hanalei. Nā hoa hale made some baked oatmeal. Went to the beach at Hanalei Bay for hours. Drove into Kapa’a to the farmers’ market. Nā hoa hale didn’t know any of the veggies there, but I flirted with the Ilocana gardeners and bought sayote greens, sigarilyas, canola greens, strawberry bananas, and a lukban. Started black beans in the slow cooker.
I got up early and went to Waipā Foundation’s Poi Day, which is the one thing I had planned and researched beforehand. People looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to wake up early during my vacation and go to a farm to make poi to give away, but it was one of the highlights of the trip. Met Steve, Kahiau, Uncle Charlie, and a German lady who was studying lomi and introduced herself as Mauli ola.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with nā hoa hale‘s B Squad on Hanalei Bay Beach. M jumped off the pier. A Squad and went to a hula lesson. At some point A Squad went shopping in Līhu’e and later met B Squad on Kē’alia Beach.
Then, we all drove to Līhu’e; I dropped off Squad A at a Jackson Galaxy event and then met Squad B at Kalapaki Beach. The local kids were playing, expertly, in the most chaotic part of the beach. At one point they all came out and started re-engineering the lagoon to drain back into the ocean. First they created some fun rapids, then a standing wave which some of them were able to stand up on using a boogie board. It was way too deep and rough to cross, which was bad for folks who wanted to get back to their cars, and one older drunk lady who carrying a magnum wine bottle who just wanted to get back across.
Squad A thoroughly enjoyed Jackson Galaxy… thoroughly, and when we picked them up, the show hadn’t finished yet. However we in a hurry to get to Mark’s Place in time to get dinner before closing.
A Squad went on a surf lesson with Hanalei Mitch, and I semi regret not joining them. Instead, B Squad had a quiet morning at the hale.
Around midday, we all drove out to Kē’ē Beach, parked the cars, and started the 2 mile hike out to Hanakāpī’ai Beach, which was beautiful. The hike was challenging for me due to slippery rocks and steep steps, but I tried to take easy steps to guard my knees and ankles. I realized I have way more endurance than I did a year ago, when I first started crossfit and my nutrition program. I was surprised to feel my right hip socket. I thought my quads would be sore, but it was calves and shins and that were stiff the next day.
We spent some time at Kē’ē Beach before driving back into Hanalei town that night, Chicken in a Barrel. I considered making an exception to my nutrition program to eat a piece of chicken, but in the end I skipped it, so you know I’m a real pescatarian now. I tried to prepare nā hoa hale for how good that place was, but they were still surprised. The chicken is so juicy and smokey that it tastes liked a smoked sausage, except it’s a big piece of chicken.
Squad A went to watch a keiki surfing competition on Kalapaki Beach. Meanwhile, Squad B slept in; quiet morning in the hale. Squad C went on a scouting mission to discover Anahola and Kīlauea, which was awesome. We picked up Squad B back at the hale, and then met up at with Squad A at Kamokila Hawaiian Village for a cultural show.
Then we all went into downtown Kapa’a town; bought some poke and lunch plates at Pono Market and ate them under a kukui tree at the end of Kukui street in Waipouli Park.
Squad BC drove through the tree tunnel and spent a little time in Kōloa town.
We all met up again at the Spouting Horn, and then checked out Po’ipū Beach, but didn’t stay. We ended up going to Moloa’a Beach and then dinner in downtown Kapa’a town at the Local Kauai. We totally failed to attend the Kīlauea night market.
This day was supposed to be a kayaking day, but we got to Kamokila too late; the last boat went out at 2pm. We drove to Wailua river, and they said no commercial activity on the river on Sunday. So then we drove to Nawiliwili Bay south of Līhu’e but that kayak rental was closed as well. We had lunch at Brick Oven Pizza in Wailua and discovered Moloa’a Beach, after failing miserably to find Papa’a Beach.
All seven of us nā hoa hale piled into our cars to drive to Kauai’s westside. Our first stop was Kauai Coffee. My favorite coffee’s were Polihale Sunset and Big Braddah’s, but we left without buying whole beans since we couldn’t find any beans roasted inside the two-week freshness window. We continued on through Hanapepe and into Waimea; I bought poke at the Ishihara Market, and we continued onto the Waimea Canyon.
After lunch, Squad B walked over to Red Dirt, and on the way back we saw that an abandoned building was going up in flames, next to Umi’s Store. Umi was in the street, worried about his own building, and another man told me that hippies lived in that building, and said the word “meth.” As soon as we heard the word “meth,” we knew it was time to leave. Umi complained that the fire department was only two blocks away but still hadn’t arrived. Just then a haole dude charged in and started walking toward the fire; I wanted to tell him that we had heard the word “meth” but he wasn’t interested it us. In the end, we left and Umi went to move his truck and nobody warned the haole dude.
After that, we went back to Island Taco, where the lady talked us out of trying to go to Polihale State Park (sugarcane dirt road!), and advised us to try to try the beach at Kehaka across from St. Theresa’s church. We were there for a shore time and then drove up to Anahola. Dinner was back at Hanalei Chicken in a Barrel.
We got up early and drove to the trail head for Queen’s Bath in our neighborhood. We spent a little time down there; I wasn’t that interested in the swimming hole, but I was enthralled by all the turtles. Later we had a beach BBQ at Anahola Beach Park, and Aunty Sarah shared her fried oama fish with us, as well as some local fish she had daing’ed. I actually spent some time in the water, boogie boarding and swimming, and I made some ahi tuna en papillote.
Some things I want to remember:
- Next time, book the hale early.
- We were trying to be close to the beach and destinations, but next time we might try to be close to local supermarkets and brown people.
- Waimea is a quiet, walkable town.
- Anahola was my favorite beach for swimming, surf, picnicking, parking, and brown people. The only tough part was the dirt driveway.
- Poi Day at the Waipā foundation is something I would do every week if I lived on Kauai.