It is a strange and unsettling time living with social distancing on Kauai. After all, being social is what small-town living is all about. I miss the hugs that have become our welcome greeting since moving to the Garden Island. I miss the barbeques, the dinner parties, the fundraisers. I miss having friends over to play cards. I miss playing pickleball.
Even though the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus on Kauai has remained at 21 since last weekend, with 17 recovering, the state and county orders are still in place as Oahu battles to lower the curve. Our night curfew is in place, most businesses are closed, very few people are working, and face masks are required when in public. Fortunately though, Governor Ige and Mayor Kawakami understand the need for residents to exercise. Outdoor activities are a huge part of life in an area of the world where weather is pretty perfect year round.
So, surfing, swimming and hiking are still doable as long as social distancing is practiced. With this in mind, on Sunday Tom and I decided to leave Bandit, our cat, and the hens behind for an afternoon of adventure. We drove to Honu Point, our vacation rental (now closed for business), parked, and hiked down the hill to Sea Lodge Beach. The last guests who stayed at the house told us about a waterfall they discovered. We were determined to find it.
As we approached the ocean, instead of going left to Sea Lodge Beach, we turned right. After climbing across some rocks and walking down the coast for a few hundred yards, we found what a lot of people want to see when coming to Hawaii, a beautiful waterfall.
We have been waiting a LONG time to see what was going to take the space of the athletic club in the Prince Golf Clubhouse on the north shore of Kauai. The Prince golf course has been closed for several years and the clubhouse has not been open to the public for the same amount of time. When it became clear that work was being done inside the left-hand side of the building, rumors started circulating that there was going to be a coffee shop and market. Finally, after months of anticipation, two weeks ago PV Eats opened.
PV Eats is far more than a coffee shop and market. Yes, it has a coffee and juice bar. And, yes, it has a market. But this venue also offers a full bar and restaurant with a killer view of the Prince Golf Course.
If you find yourself falling in love with the albatross in Honu Point’s neighborhood, consider a walk with Cathy Granholm. She lives just down the street and checks on the albatross almost daily. With her computerized list of tag numbers handy, she scouts the neighborhood (and Princeville in general) to see which adults have flown in. She has been following some of these adults for years and has a family tree showing the lineage of many of the birds. She also checks each nest to make sure the chicks are progressing as they should.
Cathy’s walks are fascinating, filled with facts, theories, and lots of stories about birds she has observed over time. Because albatross return to where they are born and where they nest, it is much like a family reunion each year when the birds return from the north. She, like I, and many of the neighbors, feel totally invested in their welfare. Cathy has anecdotes about who has paired up with who (not all mate for life apparently) and about times when she has had to step in and help out a fledgling trying to fly for the first time. There are some funny stories as well as some sad ones. I keep telling her she needs to write a book.
For the first time, on the north shore of Kauai, Aquatic Bodywork sessions are offered by my friend, Kalaya Delmars, an Aquatic Specialist certified in four water therapies (Watsu, Jaraha, Water Dance, Healing Dance). This exclusive kind of therapy is offered at only the very elite hotel spas in the world. Imagine floating in a warm water pool while being massaged and stretched by an expert!
The warm water embrace of Aquatic Bodywork invites the muscles to relax and the spine to open with each movement. The buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure of the water supports and increases blood circulation and lymphatic flow helping with range of motion, muscle tightness, weakness and emotional stress. Aquatic Bodywork helps break the pain cycle. What better time to try out this therapy than when on vacation?
Princeville Ranch offers lots of adventures on the north shore of Kauai and off-roading is just one of them. Located between Princeville Resort and the Kalihiwai River, you won’t have to go far to have a lot of fun. I’ve written two blogs featuring Princeville Ranch’s horseback riding and zip line adventures. Now it is time to tell you about their off-road package which includes riding, hiking and zip lining. The company is owned by Karin Carswell, a local resident I am proud to call my neighbor and friend.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll experience – not recommended for clean freaks!
To all of our past and future guests at Kauai Vacation Rental at Honu Point, Tom and I wish you the most wonderful holiday season. We are appreciative of the fabulous guests we’ve had and look forward to meeting new friends in 2018.
Need a yoga fix on Kauai? Meet Anna Myers (far right in photo). She has been a fitness professional for 35 years. Several years ago she introduced Yoganna, her form of yoga, to the north shore of Kauai. It is a safe, fun, Hawaiian yoga program for all body types.
As a way to give back to the community she loves, Anna offers Yoganna by the Sea on the last Thursday of every month. All of the proceeds go to charity.
If you are looking for what to do in Kauai and you are a hiker, try the Okolehao Trail which is on the mountain behind Hanalei, just down the hill from Princeville. Let me warn you, however, this hike is not for the weary!
The Okolehao Trail is a 2.3 mile hiking path which ascends 1,232 feet up Hihimanu Ridge. As you are driving north into Princeville, look off to the left and you will notice a mountain that has at its top a shape much like a shark’s tooth. That is Hihimanu.
Okolehao Trail is a moderate trail but the weather really determines how difficult it will be to hike. If the north shore has experienced a lot of rain the trail will be much more difficult because of the mud. In this case a walking stick is a must.
The round-trip hike takes about four hours. In some sections, sharp, foot-wide inclines necessitate a system of ropes to aid hikers in their climb up Hihimanu’s spine. The reward, of course, is at the top where there are sweeping, 180 degree views extending from the Kilauea Lighthouse to the Na Pali Coast. Hanalei Bay’s crescent shape will be sparkling right below you.
Yes, today was another drop dead gorgeous winter day in Princeville, Kauai; warm temperatures, clear skies and a slight breeze. From the lush, green mountains to the white water swells I just had to share. This video was taken by me at the end of our peninsula.
And, just to add some excitement to the spender, we have at least four albatross nests within five houses of our property. One parent stays on the nest while the partner goes off for food. Then they exchange places. This continues until the chick emerges from its shell and is old enough to stay warm without them. Princeville is the only place in the world where albatross nest among people!!
To highlight the day, as I was wandering around taking photos, I caught two young albatross trying to “hook up” with each other. Enjoy the dance (be sure to have your volume on).
These magnificent birds stay in the neighborhood until their chicks fledge in July. They definitely add to the enjoyment of a winter or spring vacation on Kauai. Come stay at Honu Point and you, too, will be able to have this “bird’s eye” view.
For more detailed information about the Laysan albatross, see my previous blog written one month ago when I was anxiously awaiting their arrival.
Yes, we do celebrate Christmas on Kauai and just to prove it Santa is coming to Princeville soon! He may be driving a golf cart instead of a sleigh, however. Bring your family and friends to meet the jolly fellow on Saturday, December 16th. He will be arriving at the Princeville Community Center at 10:00 AM for an hour of fun. Bring your cameras for photos. Refreshments will be served.