A trip to Hanalei Beach…Memorable day! How did we get so lucky? Hawaii population and tourism stats…

Vicki, Jerry and me.
Tom and Jerry (ha!) really hit it off!  We’d wished they’d been staying longer!

Kauai is different than the other Hawaiian Islands. One cannot drive all the way around it. Its population is the lowest of all of the major islands:

Hawaii State and County Population

Hawaii Population
Hawaii Population Density:

Oahu: 1,594.9 persons per square mile
615.8 persons per square kilometer
Big Island of Hawaii: 45.9 persons per square mile
17.7 persons per square kilometer
Maui: 187.1 persons per square mile
72.2 persons per square kilometer
Kauai: 121.2 persons per square mile
46.8 persons per square kilometer
Molokai: 28.2 persons per square mile
10.9 persons per square kilometer
Lanai: 22.2 persons per square mile
8.6 persons per square kilometer
Niihau: 2.5 persons per square mile
1.0 person per square kilometer

Tourist Visits:

Adding the tourism stats makes us realize that during our four months on the island of Kauai, the likelihood of making friends is low based on its lower level of tourism and its remote nature as shown in the above pie chart.

This was our view, all day when we sat in a part shade, part sun area with Vicki and Jerry.

Tom and I headed to a beach, any beach, for some fun in the sun, and to take some photos. No more than two minutes after we picked a spot, a kindly gentleman, Jerry, helps us maneuver our new Costco purchased portable lawn chairs and our beach bag down the short but relatively steep uneven hill from the parking lot to the sand.

A one-lane bridge we’d traveled on our way to the beach.

Jerry seemed to be about our age and we were surprised he’d offered to help. Good grief, a person of any age would have difficulty maneuvering that drop off. (I banged my head on a tree limb going back up at the end of the day, although not seriously).

We’ve missed sandy beaches after the six weeks we’d spent on the Big Island where most of the beaches consist of black sand and lava rock.

Jerry, one of the most friendly people we’ve met while in Hawaii, is vacationing in Kauai with his lovely wife Vicki for a short period, sadly leaving today. Oh, how we wish we’d have met them when they first arrived. Surely, we’d have spent considerable time together.

Yesterday, Tom and I took off from the condo around noon determined to find a spot to sit on the beach when there’s no pool at this condo complex.  We’d known there was no pool here when we booked the condo long ago. But, in our zealousness to stay at a beautiful yet affordable location to “lick our wounds” from the holidays, we were willing to forgo a pool when we knew there were sandy beaches on this island, some in immediate proximity.

A camping area along the beach includes a port-a-potty.

However, many of the beaches we’d researched online required dangerous treks down steep cliffs and over rough terrain to reach the beach. Not wanting to risk injury in our lives, which could terribly impede our travels, we tend to avoid high-risk activities. Well, some high-risk activities. 

Too conservative? Perhaps. But, can you imagine how a broken leg or knee injury would affect us, homeless folks, not only time-wise but financially if we had to stay put to recover? We’d miss future bookings, losing deposits, cruises, flights, and on and on. It would upset the apple cart having a domino effect. Instead, we choose to err on the safer side based on our current ages and level of fitness.

An oceanfront house on Hanalei Beach.

Finally, we found this particular section of Hanalei Beach after driving through the absolutely charming town of Hanalei with shops and restaurants lining the boulevard, deciding we’ll surely return in the near future to dine out and walk along the streets. It couldn’t have been more appealing. Future photos will surely follow.

The traffic was dense on the narrow highway requiring we cross several one-lane bridges. The friendly people of Hawaii need no stoplight or stop sign to gain access to these several bridges. They politely let the next grouping of cars pass without giving it a thought.

The sand was soft under our feet as we walked along this section of Hanalei Beach.

Even Tom, the usual “overly grumpy” driver, stayed calm and cheerful as we crossed each of no less than four such single-lane bridges. When we spotted a seemingly adequate strip of sandy beach, a parking spot was awaiting us. Leaving our stuff in the car, we found a spot to get down to the beach to walk along its sandy shores to investigate, as shown in some of today’s photos.

There was a waterhole, most likely a result of high tide.

Back at the car, we decided to select the beach area closest to the car to avoid hauling everything over the fallen trees and branches. No more than one minute after we were loaded up, there was Jerry, at the ready, to reach up a helping hand. Who is this kindly gentleman, Tom and I asked in our eyes when we glanced at one another?

After chatting for several minutes, we decided we needed more time to chat and made our way toward his and Vicki’s perfect sandy spot, part sun, part shade. From that point on, the memorable day began and later sadly ended with hugs goodbye, and promises to stay in touch.

This beautiful dog, most likely an Alaskan Malamute, was tied to this tree and hardly noticed us passing by on the beach.

They own two homes; one in Pennsylvania and another in Scottsdale, Arizona where they travel back and forth, based on the seasons and personal obligations. They were surprised by our story; these two old-timers, homeless and traveling the world for who knows how long. How fun it was when they pressed us for the story after the story of our travels. 

We felt guilty hogging the conversation but they, like others on occasion, are curious as to how we live our somewhat unusual lives. And, we were curious about how they managed to own two homes as many seniors do throughout the world.

The beach had many fallen trees and branches making it tricky to navigate at certain points.

Sadly, as the sun began to wane and with their upcoming departure back to Arizona today, we finally said goodbye. They’d kindly offered to take us out to eat but I’d already prepared most of the evening’s meal and we both felt dirty when we were covered with sand. 

The trees on either side of us created a quiet beach.  We were the only visitors in this particular spot.

We all packed up our stuff and hugged goodbye, knowing we’d stay in touch. This morning, opening my email, there was a charming email from Vicki and Jerry and we couldn’t have been more pleased. One never knows how paths may cross again someday.

It was a glorious day. May your Tuesday be the same.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, January 20, 2014:

On a rickety pontoon with no less than 20 other passengers, we took off to explore the Blyde River Canyon in South Africa. Tom was thrilled to be back on a boat. No wonder he loves cruising as much as he does!  For details and more photos on the river, please click here.

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