Kauai! (2011) (Part 2 – Poipu, Na Pali Coast Catamaran, Ke’e Beach )

Posted: May 29, 2011 in Bucket List, Family and Friends, Full Life, Happiness, Travel, Travel Resources, Vacation
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View from Balcony Poipu CondoOn the third day we moved to the Poipu area of Kauai.  Poipu is the sunny part of the island and we finally got a couple good sunsets. The condo we had found on VRBO was fabulous and very reasonably priced. We were right above the water with a great view. From our balcony we watched turtles floating in the surf, spinner dolphins passing by, and a morning outrigger race.  I’m really glad we decided to try out a different part of the island.  We had planned to do more in the Poipu area, but I think we planned 14 days of activities for a 7 day visit.  The weather turned more rainy for the last couple days, but managed to clear up for most of the activities we planned.
Na Pali CoastMy second favorite part of the trip was a Catamaran and snorkeling excursion to the Na Pali coast.  The water was fairly rough, and the sky was cloudy, so my expectations were low and I didn’t expect to be snorkeling.  I was pleasantly surprised; Hawaii has a way of making that happen.  The water was great at our snorkeling spot.  The corral was a little sparse compared to other spots I’ve snorkeled at, but there were green turtles swimming with us.  These are beautiful calm creatures and seem unaffected by people.  I was able to swim down and touch one on the shell, cool…  Once we got around the corner leading to the Na Pali coast the sea became very rough and we were headed into a tough head wind.
Under sail on the Na Pali coastThe Captain promised it would be much smoother once we turned back into the wind at the other end of the Na Pali coast, so we sat back and enjoyed the thrill of the rough seas.  As promised the seas were smoother heading downwind, and they unfurled the sails to make it even more enjoyable. On the way out we had seen the turtles and a very large pod of spinner dolphins. On the way back we saw a humpback whale mom and calf. It was really past whale season but we got lucky. This day definitely gave the kayaking trip to Secret Falls a run for it’s money, but the kayak trip and hike was still my favorite day.
Small private beach on the road to Ke'e beachOn day 6 we decided we had better get to the Princeville part of the island. The weather was very cloudy and rainy as we set out, and it was threatening rain as we visited the Kilauea Lighthouse. Between the weather and the renovations, the lighthouse was a bit of a let down, but the location is unbelievably beautiful. I would definitely visit again on a clear day. We had lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant at the Hanalei Colony Resort near the end of the road heading to Ke’e beach. The food was great and the rain came down hard while we ate lunch, leaving us with clear skys the rest of the afternoon.
Best Tarzan impression... We got to Ke’e beach late in the afternoon, but it was inspiring. There are rain forests right beside the parking lot. Really lush jungles including massive vines. A word of caution, if you swing on the vines, be prepared for them to break at any time!  I was shooting for a Tarzan impression, but didn’t quite achieve even a good George of the the Jungle swing.   We were distracted on the way to the beach by the beginning of the Kalalau Trail. We couldn’t resist walking up it for a mile or two even though we were in sandals. This 11 mile trail along the Na Pali coast is at the top of my list for the next visit to Kauai. Backpacks, tents, and secluded beaches; sounds like paradise to me. By the time we got back to the beach the sun was low in the sky and shimmering on the water. The water was warm but refreshing … it was a fitting last evening in Kauai.
Shimmering water of Ke'e beach

If you missed the first post on this trip see the post: Kauai (Part 1)

To see all our Tropical Vacation Posts go to our Tropical Vacation Posts page.

A few more pictures from the second part of our trip to Kauai.

Sunset at Poipu Condo

Sunset at Poipu Condo

First Part of Na' Pali Coast

First Part of Na’ Pali Coast

Na' Pali Coast Mountains

Na’ Pali Coast Mountains

Kalalau Trail above Ke' e Beach along Na' Pali Coast

One of my favorite pictures of Jenny – Kalalau Trail above Ke’ e Beach along Na’ Pali Coast

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