Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vacation in Kauai - the trip

As I have blogged already, Julie and I did a 10 day trip to Kauai, the northern most island in the Hawaiian chain. It was one of the best vacations we have ever taken together.  Normally at the end of a week, we are both ready to head for home.  In Kauai, we stood around on the 10th day trying to think of some reason that we could stay.

We rented a house off VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner). It was a fantastic find. It was a two bedroom house, ocean front, in Poipu Beach on the south side of the island.  You can see it's location here.
The real prize was the porch that ran across the back of the house.  There was also a small lawn with some lounge chairs for sunning.

We knew the house was special when this was our view from the porch the first afternoon. It was clearly a sign of a good vacation.  We had some shower the first few days and there seems to be some magic about rainbows in Kauai.  They seemed to be everywhere you looked.
We somehow managed to find ourselves sitting on the porch with a glass of wine ten evenings in a row. Highs of 80 and lows of 70 every day, makes for some good porch sitting.
If the sunset wasn't enough, throw in a catamaran.
...or a surfer.  There were some surfers who came every evening, probably from work, and surfed until the last of the light disappeared.
The incredible thing was that this house cost us about the same as we would have paid for a room at the Grand Hyatt that overlooked the parking lot.  An ocean view hotel room would cost about three times as much as our house. Yeah VRBO!

Now lets take a look around the island.  If you haven't been to Kauai, it is one of the most spectacular places on the planet.  Beaches, mountains, jungle, reefs, bays, a dry side, and the rainiest spot on earth. 

This is the Waimea Canyon.  It's 10 miles long, one mile wide, and 3500 feet deep.  Not quite the Grand Canyon but very impressive.
This is the north coast, up at Hanalei Bay.  Long sandy beaches offer good surfing and snorkeling.  The mountains just shoot up from the coast.
And this leads along the north side to the Napali Coast.  The only way to travel this coast is by hiking trail or boat.  The mountains are way to steep for a road.
You get some perspective of the heights when you notice the tiny white dot, which is actually a large sailboat.

The Alakai swamp is the wettest place on earth.  They get about 300 inches of rain per year. The humid air comes rolling across the Pacific, hit the 5,000 mountains, and dumps all the moisture. This results in nonstop cloud cover at the peaks.
And all that moisture results in forests and jungles that seem to have more shades of green than you could name.
And there are waterfalls everywhere.  Little ones. Wide ones. Some that are 3,000 feet tall.  Most are back in the mountains where there are no houses, but this one had a house right at the top.  I wonder if they can see any of it.

I'll put some more things out tomorrow.  Just too much for one post.
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