Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Day 2 - Adult Pool to Waimea Canyon (see all the pictures) The day started pretty slowly. The morning was overcast, and while running, I got walloped with rain. While we womped down another buffet breakfast, though, the clouds cleared up and the day turned sunny. We had planned on spending the day by the adult pool, where we could really relax and have some quiet time. That plan lasted until about 11 O'clock, when we got deeply bored with our quiet time. Caitie, of course, had 5 or 6 back up itineraries ready. We had been debating which parts of Kaua'i we would visit. There are three really famous natural wonders on Kaua'i: The Na'pali coast, Waimea Canyon (apparently you have to always say "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" whenever you say Waimea Canyon [GCotP]), and Hanalei Bay. Waimea Canyon (GCotP) and Hanalei Bay actually border the Na'Pali coast to the west and east (view from googlemaps). The Na'Pali coast remains accessible only by boat, and then only on calm days. The boat rides sound amazing, but they require a full day and a horse tranquilizer to stave off Caitie's motion sickness. We couldn't spare either, so we dropped the boat from our plans. So, we decided we would drive to Waimea on Monday, and Princeville/Hanalei on Tuesday. We took off at about 2.30pm for Waimea Canyon (GCotP), and we were at the first lookout (check the picture) by 4pm. Not bad for making a half loop of the island. The drive out takes you through a few sleepy towns, and over some of Kaua'i's numerous rivers. The rivers are pretty amazing in the way they just open to the ocean. On the southwest shore, the terrain is flatter by the ocean, so the rivers have almost no current (or so it looked). So these lazy looking rivers just meet the ocean with no waves. Another interesting site is a small town along the Kaumualii Highway. There is a respectably sized canyon right along the highway, and more amazingly, there are several houses also on top of the canyon. Here it is on googlemaps. The Grand Canyon of the Pacific definitely lived up to its billing. The cliffs and waterfalls were complimented by six different rainbows. It was so beautiful that you felt almost cheesy, but then you could look straight down for 3,000 feet and get that wonder of nature feeling right back. After we got back to the hotel, we had a glass of wine and pupus at the hotel bar, complete with live music. Then we had dinner at Tidepools, a restaurant built over the hotel's Koi ponds. The setting and food were superb, although you did feel a twinge of guilt looking at the adorable Koi while cutting into your freshly seared Opakapaka fish. We bravely carried on until about 9pm, when we began dozing at the table. We had to get some good rest to be ready for the drive to Hanalei.