Wednesday, October 31. (Halloween) Surfing and Birding. This was such a fun day. We took surfing lessons with "Learn to Surf" at Waioli Beach Park, one of the Hanalei Beaches (where "South Pacific" was filmed). There could have been 3 people in our class but it was just the 2 of us. It was so much fun! Since we know how to windsurf the balance part wasn't hard. We were up surfing within the first 2 times. The teacher was a young guy from Kauai who was excellent. He told us when to get ready and get up since the hardest part was figuring out when to start. We know that comes with practice so we'd like to go again some time. We wish we had pictures of us but maybe next time. When the 90 minute lesson was over we were exhausted from bringing the board back out and paddling. What a workout but so much fun! We're so glad we took the lesson and thrilled that both of us did so well.
The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge at the Kilauea Lighthouse was so interesting. We saw giant frigate birds, shearwaters, red-footed boobies, the endangered Nene Goose, and a monk seal resting on the rocks below. (Here's also where you can see humpback whales from Nov. thru March.) The pictures show the cove where the seal was, the Nene Goose, and a very young shearwater.
At Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa a local hula school demonstrates what different ages of children are learning. It was great! Here's a picture of one of the hula dancers and me with a lei that we bought from one of them after the show.
We bought pizza from the "Best Pizza in Kaui" and Aloha Kauai Pizza in the marketplace. It was really good but maybe not as good as Antonio's.
We'll sleep well tonight!
Thursday, November 1. Waimea Canyon is on the west side. We drove to the north end of the canyon to the Pu'u o Kila Lookout. When we arrived it was raining. About a minute later, after we put on our raincoats and walked to the top, the sun was shining but it was still raining close by. At the top of Part 1 of the blog is the beautiful rainbow we saw. Within a few minutes the clouds came back overhead and it started sprinkling again.
The Nene Goose is endangered and also the official bird of Hawaii. Therefore this sign.
The Koke'e State Park museum in the canyon has lots of great info on the canyon: birds, animals, trees, topography, rainfall, etc. We took the Awa'awapuhi Trail, a 6 mile round trip that took us 4 hours (1200' elevation). The beginning was a little muddy and slippery with leaves. We saw 2 animals that lived there: feral goat and quail. What we didn't see were the black-tailed deer and feral pig. Along most of the trail we heard bird songs and roosters crowing. We're not sure how they got up that high away from the museum area but they came running when we sat down and took out a snack. We had lots of blue sky and a few sprinkles along the way. We were lucky, it could've rained really hard. The name of the trail means ginger valley in Hawaiian. Here's a picture of the wild ginger and fern along the trail.
Here are the two sides of the trail, dry west and lush east.
On the way down the ridge road we saw this great rainbow.
Friday, November 2. Today's hike was in the Wailua Canyon on the east side. We did a 4 hour round trip up the Kuamoo-Nounou Trail to Nounou Mountain Trail West. It was a very cool trail, nice and wide with all kinds of different trees: canopy trees, guava, eucalyptus, Norfolk Pines, and even bamboo.
There were amazing vistas and beautiful fall leaves. Yes, even in Hawaii, leaves change colors and fall.
On the way back there was a big rain storm coming toward us from the center of the island. Compare this to sunny Lydgate Beach Park a few miles east where we ate lunch.
Next stops were Opaeka'a Falls, a double waterfall, and Wailua Falls, taller than Niagara Falls but with much less water. (In the winter, when there's more rain, these would have much more water.)
We came into a hard rain on the way to Wailua Falls so next we headed toward the sun, i.e. either the east coast or the south coast. We chose Poipu Beach State Park for some snorkeling and reading. We also made a stop at Spouting Horn again but the waves were smaller so the spouting wasn't as high. Shipwreck Beach was supposed to have great waves so we checked it out. Yes, big waves, and too much even for us to boogie board.
Laundry and packing ended our time in Kauai. We'll definitely be back to the Garden Island. (We'd be really sad to leave if we weren't staying in Hawaii.)
Next stops: Big Island for 2 weeks, Honolulu for 3 days. Back in Amherst on Nov. 20 for a few days.