|It was so exciting to stumble upon this pier at Hanalei Bay. Notice the “beach closed” sign on the left, which obviously no one observed, including us.|
Yesterday, after our time at the “club,” (Listen to me. I sound like a snob. Don’t mean to), once again we took off in a westerly direction on the main highway toward the tourist dense Hanalei Bay.
|We hadn’t been on a pier such as this since our time in Belize, two years ago.|
We understand why the tourists flock to Hanalei. When one thinks about it, tourists do know where the action is and what is worth seeing. It almost becomes a matter of “follow the crowd.”
|A few times while we lingered on the pier, a sea spray came up and over the sides of the pier. There had been high surf warnings the past few days which were diminishing as of yesterday.|
Sadly, that’s the way it is in most places we’ve visited. The beauty of the best spots is often shrouded by the density of the people clamoring to see what it’s all about.
|Since we arrived in Kauai, Tom has been following my way of eating and is losing weight. He grumbles a little until he gets on the travel scale.
Sure, there is extremely rough terrain to navigate in order to visit sights that are less accessible to the masses, resulting in quiet and serene viewing. But, let’s face it, our days for extreme hiking and other such activities are long behind us. Too often, we’ve encountered seniors with walkers, wheelchairs, and cane who have been injured while traveling.
|An artist was painting a beach scene while in the shade of these trees at the beach.|
We proceed with caution and, so do many tourists of all ages, at their own levels of fitness. Speaking of fitness, the working out is going great. I’ll be back to my “old” self (or shall I say “new” self) a lot quicker than anticipated. Most likely, in three weeks I’ll be able to match where I left off some time ago, anxious to move forward.
|The views from each side of the pier are impressive. But, as shown in other photos here, the mountains add an indescribable element.|
Back to Hanalei Bay…Tom had heard that if one drives down any side street from the main road toward the beach in the charming town of Hanalei, getting past all the vehicles lining the streets, a world of wonder awaits at the end of the road.
|There was a heavy mist in the mountains.|
Thinking it would be one more beautiful beach, I sat back with my camera in hand while Tom drove anticipating a few shots requiring I step outside the car. Little did either of us know what treasures lay at the end of those side streets.
|We visited this spot after we’d already spent our time in the sun. Surely, we’ll return another day with our lawn chairs.|
Suddenly, we were parked in an almost completely full lot, anxious to get out of the car to walk the pier and the beach ahead of us for some of the most exquisite scenery we’ve seen in the world.
|Little ones were giggling over the surf as parents held on tight.|
For those of you who have followed us from the beginning of our travels, you’ve seen many of the beaches and tropical islands that took our breath away including the dozens of beaches we’ve seen on our past 10 cruises in the over past two-plus years.
|The roaring surf. What a sight!|
But, dear readers, nothing and I mean nothing, we’ve seen to date compares to Kauai. The combination of sand, surf, greenery, and mountains is hard to beat and to clearly define in our amateur attempt at photos.
|Sure, the scenery of this pristine beach would have been more enticing without all the crowds. But, it’s the revenue generated by tourism to Hawaii that makes the maintenance of these public areas possible.|
In addition, yesterday, we had an opportunity to see the Hanalei River which flows north from the eastern slopes of Mount Wai’ale’ale for 15.7 miles until it reaches the Pacific Ocean at Hanalei Bay as an estuary.
|What a sight! What a day!|
“Mount Wai’ale’ale, Kauai”
Taking sunny pictures of Mount Wai’ale’ale (see more photos) proves to be difficult. This mountain and especially its summit is almost always concealed in moisture-laden clouds. In fact, it is one of the wettest locations on Earth, receiving about 450 inches (11,430 mm) of rain each year. The rainiest year on record so far was 1982 with 683 inches (17,300 mm).
Many sources (including the local tourist industry) say that Mt. Wai’ale’ale is the wettest spot on Earth, however, the 38-year average at Mawsynram (India) is higher at 467.4 inches (11,870 mm), according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Located in the center of Kauai, Mt. Wai’ale’ale rises 5,148 feet (1,569 m), making it the second-highest peak on the island, after Kawaikini at 5,243 feet (1,598 m). In the Hawaiian language, Wai’ale’ale means “rippling water” or “overflowing water.”
|The clear sky only added to the beauty of the setting.|
This is intriguing enough to make us determined to explore this river further at some point in these upcoming four months. As a matter of fact, it appears there are more sights to see in Kauai that are favorable for our level of exploration than on the other three islands we visited over these past three months we’ve spent in Hawaii.
|Beachgoers exploring the shoreline.|
As for today, yet another beautiful sunny day so far, of which there are many on this island, it doesn’t appear the expected 60% chance of rain today will actually transpire. If it does rain we certainly won’t complain. It’s been sunny every day this week and we’ve taken advantage of every moment.
|The homeowners of these properties that line the beach could easily tire of the constant flow of surf and sunbathers. But, they need only look beyond the crowds for views of a lifetime.|
Have a fabulous Friday and weekend to come. We’ll be baaaaaaaaaack!
Photo from one year ago today, January 23, 2014:
|I’ve made an effort not to bore our readers with too many one-year-ago photos of warthogs, my favorite animals in the bush. But, this shot of “three little pigs” made me smile and I just couldn’t resist sharing it one more time. For more photos from this date, please click here.|