The Na Pali Coast…Wet and dry caves and tunnels…The end of the road…

The colors in the tunnels at Tunnels Beach are varied.

Life is easy, living on Kauai. We’ve wandered in a pleasurable routine, leaving time for exploration, meeting new people, stopping to revel in the astounding scenery all around us.

The entrance to the tunnels at Tunnels Beach.

Honestly, we’ve never seen such beauty in one location, on one island. Who knew? I’d been to Kauai years ago, but did the usual tourist thing, staying in a resort/hotel that had everything one could want, did a little sightseeing, and tried a new restaurant every night. 

After working out and time at the pool, we had no idea we’d head to the Nap Pali Coast. As a result, both of us were still wearing our swimsuits and me, my workout pants for a peculiar outfit. Had we decided ahead of time to go exploring, we’ have gone home to change our clothes. In Hawaii, swimsuits are acceptable day wear.
Tom at the tunnels.

Under those conditions, one only notices their immediate surroundings. But, in those days BT (before Tom) I wasn’t as observant as I am now. Also, I seldom took photos. 

Note the person at a distance which provides a better perspective of the massive size of these tunnels.

Having developed an eye for possibly good shots, both Tom and I are always on the lookout for that which may appeal to our readers and also remind us in years to come how lucky we were to see what we’ve seen in our travels.

Inside the tunnel.  If we’d had a flashlight, we’d surely have continued deeper into the tunnel.

Oftentimes, Tom drives while I practically hang out the window since the narrow road on most of this island doesn’t allow for stopping. Although, we do stop at almost every designated overlook, beach, and park when possible.

Looking out to the road from inside the dry tunnel to Tunnels Beach.

Sure, we miss a few things along the road making a mental note to return someday soon. After all, we have plenty of time in these remaining three-plus months, actually 114 days until we leave for Honolulu to sail away.

Finally, we reach Napali/Na Pali.

The time will fly quickly as we now realize we’ve been here two weeks as of today. At our current rate of sightseeing, every few days or so, we’ll eventually run out of the major points of interest, especially now that we have seen the entire north coast that is reachable by road.

It was an overcast day and the beaches were still packed with tourists.

Beginning in March and April, we’ll see new blooms of many varieties of flowers we’ve yet to see when we’ve been in the islands from October through May. It will create an entirely new landscape for these exquisite rain forests and mountains.

We’d have loved to have spotted the Hawaiian Monk Seal but none were on the beach.

When we decided to drive the Na Pali Coast on Tuesday, it wasn’t planned in advance. On several occasions we’d driven part of the way stopping up to a certain point, leaving more for the next time. Finally, we drove to the end of the road at Na Pali Coast State Park as shown on the map.

Kauai Map showing points of interest and the location of Kauai vacation rentals. Kauai Map, Kauai Map, Kauai Map.
The road we took to the Na Pali Coast is not shown on this map but you can see the Na Pali Coast State Park in the upper left of this map.

It’s odd for the road to end. Surely, there are roads that travel to the more remote areas in the northwest, requiring access from further inland locations.

At this point on the beach, we were at the end of the northwest road in Kauai in Napali. Much of the 15 miles stretch of the Napali Coast is inaccessible due to steep cliffs. A boat tour would be ideal to see the entire coastline.

In the near future, we complete the remaining shoreline roads heading south past Lihue to the southwest until that road ends and then a trip to the Waimea Canyon as shown in the western interior. 

Napali, aka Na Pali, can be spelled two ways with the accent over the first “a.”

We’ll never run out of the less well-known points of interest that ultimately we end up loving the most. Those obscure, unanticipated events, such as the albatross that will continue to bring us joy over these next few months when the eggs are hatched and finally, the parents will allow the chicks a little time away from under the nest.

This is ideal for the serious hiker.

Without a doubt, we’ll cherish the change of seasons, although not as evident as in other parts of the world, when spring and summer flowers begin to bloom in Hawaii, that was tucked away over the few degree difference of the winter months.

This is the entrance to the “wet” tunnels where swimming is not allowed.
The water is most likely stagnant in this tunnel when the ocean is across the road.  Unless, of course, it’s fed by a spring or river nearby.

Today, we off to the golf club for my workout and a little sun time at the pool, a quick trip to the local grocer, and who knows what other treasures will be calling us?

Hanging vines from the steep cliffs above the caves.

Have a day that brings you many wonderful surprises!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, January 29, 2015:

Organize nursing of three baby warthogs in our yard in Marloth Park. How sweet is this! For a special visitor on that particular date one year ago, please click here.