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.
I oftentimes get asked the question, “What is the best Kauai helicopter tour company?” I have been hesitant to answer in the past because I have not personally been on a Kauai helicopter tour since the 80s. Last week, however, a good friend of mine who owns a condo in Princeville, went on the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour out of the Princeville Airport and came back raving about it. “We FINALLY experienced this March 2019 – and WOW! It is by far the BEST way to get a sense of the whole island. It was spectacular!”
Kauai is unique in that there is no road which circles the island. Therefore 70% of the lush interior, along with the Na Pali Coast is inaccessible by car. This is, without question, the most beautiful part of the island. The tropical rain-forests, lush valleys and cascading waterfalls are what dreams are made of. Parts of the Waimea Canyon can be seem by driving to the west side of the island and up to Kokee State Park (about a two hour drive from Princeville). The 17 mile Na Pali Coast, with 3000 foot sea cliffs, is stunning by boat. However, ocean swells often keep boats from touring during winter months. A Kauai helicopter tour, on the other hand, will give you a bird’s eye view of this spectacular scenery and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters fly year-round, weather permitting of course.
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, I got to play tourist for a day because my friend came to visit from Vancouver. So often life gets complicated, even in Paradise, and the only time one stops to “smell the roses” is when a visitor comes to town. I try never to take the beauty of Kauai for granted but, often, I don’t take time to visit some of our wonderfully scenic spots unless I’m acting as a tour guide.
The weather was perfect for a walk on Hanalei Bay. There was a slight ocean swell so some people were getting their first chance to try out surfing. Others were bouncing in the surf or building sand castles at the water’s edge. It was Spring Break so there were a few more people than usual this time of year.
I wanted to take my friend to the Stone Dam on the Wai Koa Loop Trail. We weren’t up for hiking the 5 mile loop which takes about 2.5 hours so I parked at Common Grounds (at the end of Kuawa Road) in Kilauea and we took a short walk to the Kilauea River. This private property is open from 8:00 to dusk. The owners would like you to sign a waiver which can be done at the Mini Golf in front of another entrance to the walk/bike ride loop.