Thursday, August 18, 2016

8 ~ Paradise Found, the Most Beautiful Hike, Hanalei, and a Luau

Out of all of our travel days on Kauai this was my favorite.  Yes, yesterday was very special, in a class by itself, but this one as a "regular" travel day was amazing.

The Road to Hanalei

Just the road of Hanalei driving up to the town of Hanalei is an breathtaking experience in and of itself.  (a little about that here)

I really did not take enough pictures on this day.  With every curve of the road there was something new and beautiful.  I kept saying, "Scott!  Stop the car... look at this!"  Over and over and over.

True, I was there 20 years ago but I don't remember just how beautiful Kauai is.  Here is a tiny bit of what we saw on our drive (to where we'd be hiking that day)


This was one of those "stop the car" and me taking a photo.



And then further down the road we pulled over and under the shade of a tree to walk along a deserted beach.


and saw treasures there



Take a look at that. Could have left the car parked and just spent the day here.


but... we were headed to this!


Kalalau Trail


Yes, we headed up those "steep cliffs, with warning for flash floods and more dangerous stuff like that.


Let's take a look at that sign. "The two miles to Hanakaoiai is considered strenuous by most who hike it" "Be prepared for sun, heat, rain. Weather can change drastically" "2 liters of water recommended per person. Dehydration and heat related incidents occur nearly DAILY on this trail - bring ample water"


"Gee Scott, are you sure about this?" He was excited!



The first part of the hike was very steep and not much of a path. We had to climb over rocks to make our way up.


But let me tell you it was BEAUTIFUL weather. I can see how dehydration can quickly occur. Because it's NOT AT ALL HOT! Almost could have had a long sleeved shirt on. Maybe 75 at the hottest. So you're not so thirsty.


Check out what we were hiking through.


Green, Green, Green. Kauai is called the garden island. It is lush and green, and very tropical.


We went up and up and up some more.


Through the shade and some parts in the sun.


We were starting to see some views from the trail. Down below us is Hanalei beach.


Amazing green


And right about here we started getting really excited about the views.


She amazed me hiking all this way like it was nothing. And the landscape changed drastically. There was now a clear path. Not rocks but soft dirt. There were small waterfalls within the rocks on the sides of us and huge pods all over the ground.


This is what we saw when we got to the top. (one of my favorite photos from the trip)


Scott spotted dolphins down below, a whole family of them. I know you can't tell from this photo. I couldn't hike with my telephoto (but boy did I wish I had it!)


The water and the views were spectacular.


The layers of colors in the water didn't seem real.



It's hard to tell from the photos but we sure were really high up!


It was exhilarating to see what we saw, to be up there. And it sure was windy too!



A few from the phone up there.

phone 1

phone 2

hike 1

hike 4

hike 5

hike 7

Abigail was really excited about the little waterfalls.


Another amazing view


Always going down is a bit more tricky than going up.


But we made it back down and were so thrilled that Scott made up do that hike!


The Town of Hanalei

We sure were hungry after all of that. And we were excited about having lunch and enjoying the town of Hanalei. The old school is turned into a few really cool shops.



Hanalei is a peaceful, lovely, small town with timeless beauty.


Charming in a Hawaiian sort of way


Small stores line the streets and great restaurants too.


When we were on our honeymoon we stayed for half our Kauai time in the town of Hanalei at a Bed and Breakfast.


We were hoping to find the restaurant that we ate at 20 years ago. An outdoor, wonderful place. And there it was!


There is an whole other part to this day, but I have to stop now... I'll get to the next part of day 8 soon!


  1. Hi Tara! It's not often I comment as I don't have a blog, However I do enjoy reading your blog! I have been especially enjoying reading about your trip!! Every morning I have been grabbing my coffee & eagrly checking to see if you've posted anything new about it.. I feel like I am reading an exciting novel!! lol.. Beautiful trip, I am sure tons of wonderful memories were made on this trip!! Blessings, Lisa / hot_coffee4lisa

  2. Beautiful pictures Tara! I may have chickened out with all the warning signs. :). I love that they girls are getting to see so many places that you stayed, visited or ate at while you were on your honeymoon.
    Can't wait for the next post...


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