Continuation of the road trip to Poipu Beach…A wide array of sites to see…

The horse seemed happy to see me as I approached the fence,with giving us his version of a smile.
As we drove away, the horse’s eyes stayed with us. He, too, enjoyed the short interaction.
Unable to see the Waimea Canyon due to the vog (fog and volcanic smog) the ride back down the mountain was relatively quick.  As we lowered in elevation, the air began to clear, although the sky was still hazy.
Back at sea level, the sky cleared and the scenery was breathtaking.

With a plan to turn right toward Barking Sands Beach (photos tomorrow) once we reached the main highway, Highway 50, we continued along the road, spotting the photos ops we’re showing here today. 

This creek wandered along the quiet road.

When the above horse smile at us, animal lovers that we are, we couldn’t stop laughing. It only takes a minute of interaction with an animal to get my head spinning longing for more. 

Another road leads us to another area of the military installation, located on the ocean.
Military installations were positioned at the end of several roads we explored, preventing us from going further.

After seeing this horse, I began looking at the chickens and roosters along the highway with a renewed interest.  OK, I’ll admit it.  I’ve loved the chickens since the day we arrived in Kauai. I continue to look at everyone we pass. 

Shortly after we were back on Highway 50, we stopped at the Kawaiele Waterbird Sanctuary, only spotting a few birds as we wandered the grounds.

Not unlike my fascination with warthogs in Marloth Park, I have a special affinity for the chickens since discovering that they are much smarter than previously assumed. 

Here’s the ‘Alae ke’oke’o as shown in the poster below, one of only a few birds we were able to see at the Kawaiele Waterbird Sanctuary.
This poster helped us determine the bird we’ve shown in the water.  Not quite sure how to pronounce it but it’s an ‘Alae ke’oke’o. Many Hawaiian words and names are difficult to learn to pronounce.
The wetlands at the bird sanctuary.

Lately, I’ve been making a clucking sound at the roosters and surprisingly they approach me with fascination, thinking I’m “one large hen” they need to pursue. One almost climbed into the car with me as shown in this photo below. It all provides us with fodder for laughter.

This rooster wanted to jump into the car with me after I’d made clucking sounds. 

Once we reached the highway after the interaction with the horse we headed along the western side of the island. With a map in hand we were able to locate appealing attractions along the highway stopping many times to investigate and take photos, enjoying every step of the way.

This dirt road would have taken us to the very end of the road as shown on the map on the western portion of Kauai. Unfortunately, the little car would have been damaged on the rough road forcing us to turn around.

Tomorrow, we’ll share our tour of the Kauai Coffee Company where we had an opportunity to see how coffee was roasted, taste a variety of their blends, and wander a path through the coffee estate, a former sugar cane plantation. We had no idea how much fun we’d have visiting a coffee farm!

See you later with lots more!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, February 21, 2014:

A year ago on my birthday, Nomsa and Zeff stopped by to sing Happy birthday in Afrikaans to me and exchange warm hugs while we were living in the African Reunion house. Having cared for our needs for three months it would be difficult to say goodbye a week later. Notice the sign behind Zeff’s head, “Take risks. If you win you will be happy.  If you lose you will be wise.” Then and now we find significance in those words as we continue in our travels. For details from that date, please click here.

Vog!…Fog!…We couldn’t see the Waimea Canyon…But, we saw so much more…A year ago…birthday visitors…

The early morning sky through the windshield as we left Princeville at 6:40 am yesterday morning for our mini vacation.
The higher up we drove, the more we realized that we’d most likely not be able to see the Waimea Canyon due to the vog.

Expectations often lead to disappointment. In our world travels we’ve attempted to keep our expectations low, allowing many opportunities to be pleasantly surprised, rather than sorely disappointed.

These few photos were taken from a lower elevation.
At this point, we were at 2500 feet above sea level.
Upon entering the state park, we still have several miles to drive to the lookout point.

So was the case yesterday when we were particularly pleased that we’d kept our expectations low for actually seeing the Waimea Canyon.

By the time we reached the lookout point, the vog had taken over. No overlooking view was to be had.

Thus, when we arrived after a two, not three-hour drive from Princeville (in moderate traffic) and, the canyon was shrouded in the vog (fog and volcanic smog) which was so thick you could cut it with a knife, we weren’t surprised or overly disappointed.

This was the walkway to the lookout point at 9:00 am, getting “voggier” by the minute. 

We had an agenda of other sites to see on the south and westerly end of the island of Kauai that without a doubt, were as satisfying as seeing the canyon may have been on a clear day. We’d heard it was more likely we wouldn’t be able to see the canyon than not. 

Through the vog, we spotted this chicken and her chicks huddled again a short stone wall.

Once we arrived at the Waimea Lookout Point and after a few minutes of checking out the views, we were heading back down the mountain with “other fish to fry.” The vog was simply too dense.

As we drove back down the mountain, the visibility improved although there was no sun.

With a map in hand and numerous points of interest to explore along Highway 50, we found ourselves driving to the very end of the most westerly point on the map as shown below in this previously posted map.

Over the next several days, we’ll continue to share the many photos and stories of the fabulous time we spent in Poipu and the southern coast of Kauai to celebrate my birthday which is today. What a perfect way to celebrate a birthday!

The sun peeked through for a few minutes, only to be hidden again for most of the remainder of the morning, making a strong appearance after 2:00 pm.

The overnight stay at the Sheraton Kauai was also ideal. Able to get a free upgrade with a little nudging we had a partial ocean view and a spacious room with free wifi. Using the link here on our site for, we’ve been able to accumulate enough points for three free nights valued at up to $216/night to pay for most of the cost for the room, leaving us with a bill for $77 plus the $31.50 resort fee. 

The rich clay soil along the canyon’s edge at a lower elevation.

Our total out of pocket cost for the “getaway” was $107 plus the cost for fuel (minimal with the tiny car) and meals.

This morning as I prepare this post, we’re hoping for an hour by the gorgeous oceanfront pool before hitting the road again, planning to stop at Costco in Lihue to “reload.” After Costco, we’re heading back to Princeville to unpack our stuff and the Costco loot settling in for a great birthday dinner at home. We couldn’t be more content.

Tom suggested we return again this morning although we suspected it wouldn’t be any different another day.  It appears that a sunny view of the canyon is relatively unlikely most days.

Thanks to my husband for making this birthday special as he always does in one way or another. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with many new photos of other sites we visited that are clear and easier to see as opposed to today’s “voggy” batch from the unpredictable Waimea Canyon. Please check back.

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

One year ago we posted this photo when friends had come for dinner to celebrate my birthday and this charming visitor came to call during dinner. What fun we had!  For details from the day’s post, please click here.

On the road again!…Mini vacation, here we come!…

The flower blooming season is yet to come, which we’ll have the opportunity to experience before we depart in May. Even without flowers, the greenery is colorful in its own way.

On Friday, it will be my birthday. Away from family and old friends and with a desire to avoid making a commotion with new friends, yesterday we decided to head to Poipu, Kauai to see the Waimea Canyon and other local points of interest.

Tom in deep thought while gazing at the sea.

Leaving this Thursday morning, we’ll make the 70-minute drive to the hotel, the Sheraton Kauai, to drop off our stuff (one duffel bag) and check out some of the sites in the popular beach town. Later, we’ll spend a little time by the hotel’s pool and to check out the hotel’s amenities.

By using the link here on our site, we’ve been able to accumulate enough points recently for three nights in hotels. Recently, we used one of those night’s credits in Hilo before the flight from Big Island to Kauai and now a second credit for this hotel in Poipu.

With rates over $300, a night at the Sheraton Kauai including the “resort fee” ($30 extra charge hotels often charge in order to beef up their revenue), our credit for $216 was useful. 

By the time we visit the Waimea Canyon on Friday morning, we’ll have traveled almost the entire perimeter of the island at one point or another. Once we arrive at the northern tip of the Waimea Canyon, we’ll be relatively close to Princeville. However, the only way to return is the way we came, heading south following the eastern side of the island back up to the north. There are no roads from the Waimea Canyon area to Princeville.

Trees near the beaches provide welcome relief in the shade on sunny days.

It is the remote nature of many areas of this island that are particularly appealing to us. Of course, the towns along the way are crowded with tourists, not so much with the locals when the entire population for the island as of 2013 is only 69,512. Over 1,300,000 tourists visit Kauai each year.

In March, the road from Princeville will be under construction in parts. We had hoped to make this trip before it began. Now is as good a time as any to visit the Waimea Canyon.

Unlike many other beaches in the world, Kauai’s beaches are surrounded by vegetation.

As for the birthday thing, it’s of little importance to me and for that matter to Tom either. When we began our travels, we decided to forgo any hoopla about holidays, birthdays, cards, and gifts. Instead, we feel the love each and every day. 

The gift we’ve given one another of joyful, peaceful, and stress-free travel is all either of us need from the other. And this, we give to one another in abundance for which we both are very grateful.

The beach is equally beautiful on cloudy days.  Now, is Kauai’s rainy season and yet we’ve been fortunate to have many sunny days.

The age thing only plays any relevance to either of us in the hopes that our current level of health and fitness is maintained through many years to come. If I had a cake with candles to blow out (and surely it would be many candles) my only wish would be for the health and well-being of those we love and for our continuing health in our travels.

A few days ago we met a wonderful couple well into their 80’s that travels for most of the year. Although they have a home, unlike us, their goal is to be able to continue on. 

The rich colors of the rocky cliffs.

In essence, our lives are easier in many ways than for those who travel part of the time. We don’t have to go back to repack, pay bills, arrange maintenance for a house and yard, read the piles of mail, and tend to all the responsibilities of daily life. All we do is move to a new location every two to three months which now, with our reduced amount of luggage, can be accomplished in minutes not hours. 

We’re often surprised by how few people there on the beach each day.

One last comment on the age thing; I will be 67 on Friday, a number that has little effect on me one way or another. I have never been shy about my age. Age is only relevant in that time seems to be ticking a little faster as we’ve grown older. 

A bonfire, ready to light.

Working out with vigor once again makes me feel revitalized and more youthful. I am committed to continuing to find a place to workout wherever we may live in the future. It was impossible finding workout facilities in the mountains of Tuscany, the hills of Madeira, and in the bush in Africa. 

Waves, ready for surfers.

When we’ll soon head to Australia, New Zealand and some of the countries in which we’ll live in the South Pacific it appears there may be some types of accessible workout facilities. If not, I’ll manage a workout routine at home. 

We never tire of the beauty of the sky and surf.

We’ll continue to post each day including on Thursday morning before we leave Princeville and then again on Friday while in Poipu. We’re looking forward to sharing many new photos and adventures of our upcoming “get away” in days to come.

Have a happy day!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2014:

One year ago, we were on our final bush braai, a cookout in the bush at night in Kruger National Park, wild animals all around us and guards with rifles protecting the perimeter of our camp. For details, please click here.

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.