Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Fern Grotto and Other Kauai Sites

One day, we went on a boat trip up the Wailua River to visit the Fern Grotto. The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii.

On our way up the river, we were entertained by a couple hula dancers and a guitarist, and two women playing 8-string ukuleles! I was really impressed with the ukuleles. First time I have seen the 8-strings, and it may not be the last...

And off we go up the river!

The Fern Grotto was severely damaged by hurricanes in 1982 and 1992, but has recovered quite nicely.

We got serenaded here too!

After our boat trip back, we drove to Glass Beach. While it's not as spectacular as it was 5 years ago when I first saw it, it's still pretty impressive.

It was formed by discarded glass from a nearby industrial area.

And then we went to see Spouting Horn, a blowhole on the south coast of Kauai.

We also went to see several beaches while we were on the island. Poipu Beach is where I stayed on my first trip to Kauai many years ago. It looks a lot different now.

And Lydgate Beach was close to where our condo was. It had a nice protected area.

I'm so glad we went to Hawaii when we did. A few weeks later and it wouldn't have happened!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Waimea Canyon and Kauai's South Coast

One day while in Kauai, we went to the end of the road in Waimea Canyon. Unfortunately, when we got there, the weather wasn't the best.

This was our view! Nice rainbow, but not much else.

This is how it looked when I was there 5 years ago.

Fortunately, as we started back down the road, the views got better as we got out of the clouds.

We stopped at several places to get views of Waipo'o Falls.

As we got a little lower, the clouds were above us, and we got clear views of the canyon.

We stopped at the Menehune Ditch, where there was a swinging bridge across the river.


The Menehune Ditch is an ancient water course built by the Menehune, who were Hawaiian dwarfs!

On the way home, we also stopped at another bridge, the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge.

And we also went through the Tree Tunnel on the way home.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Exploring the North Shore of Kauai

One of the coolest things to do in Kauai is to hike the Kalalau trail, which starts at Ke'e Beach at the end of the road. There's a nice boardwalk from the parking lot to the trailhead -

But then it gets a "little" rough... The trail goes on for 11 miles along the Napali coast, but we went less than a mile.

Our goal was to get a view of the coast. The landscape is just amazing.

Looking back at Ke'e Beach.

We turned around once we got a view of the coast, and the trail starts to go back down again.

Back at Ke'e Beach.

Hi there! Even the roosters like the beach!

On our way back home, we stopped at the Kilauea Lighthouse and the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Every other time I've been to Kauai, it has been closed, so I was really excited to see it. The lighthouse was nice, but not open.

But the big deal was the Wildlife Refuge! I saw my first ever Nene Geese! Wow!!!

And over on the hillside, these are all nesting birds!

I saw all of these, but only got a picture of some.

A really bad picture of a Red-Footed Booby, but still exciting to see. I had seen Blue-Footed Boobies and Nasca Boobies in the Galapagos, but no Red-Footed. Wow!

But I got lots of pictures of Red-tailed Tropicbirds. They seemed to be the most common.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Moving Over to the Garden Island of Kauai

After a week on the Big Island of Hawaii, we had a short flight over to the island of Kauai.

We had a very nice condo in Kauai, right on the beach.

The waves are a bit high for swimming or snorkeling, but it's still beautiful.

On the day of our arrival, we took a trip to see some nearby sights. First up was Wailua Falls, also known as Fantasy Island Falls, because it was featured in the opening credits of the TV show.

There are LOTS of chickens running around free in Kauai. Apparently, the are mostly the result of past hurricanes, when chickens were freed.

We also went to see Opaeka'a Falls.

From there, you get a good view of the Wailua River, the only navigable river in Hawaii.

And we stopped at Poliahu Heiau, an ancient temple. There isn't much left of it, but it was still interesting.

The view from our condo. Lots more to come!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Waterfalls and Ukuleles

One day while we were on the Big Island, Rosemary and Karen went on a tour to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Since I had been there before, and the volcano wasn't erupting now, I didn't go with them. So I had the car all to myself, and went on a drive over the middle of the island (on the new road) to Hilo.

My first stop was Rainbow Falls. Just gorgeous!

I went to some ukulele shops in Hilo, then drove our to Akaka Falls. Wow!

Kahuna Falls is next to Akaka Falls, and hard to see, but I thought it was really cool that a flower was growing in the right spot to get the perfect picture!

Walking back to the car, the bamboo was really colorful.

I've always wanted to go to a ukulele festival, and one was happening here! Rosemary and Karen were very nice to go with me to Waikoloa Beach, north of Kona, for the Waikola Ukulele Festival. First up was a workshop put on by Roy Sakuma. I didn't have my ukulele with me, but I did some air-strumming.

After the workshop, various artists performed at different nearby locations. This is my favorite, Kris Fuchigami, playing Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."

Another short video showing how intricate his playing is.

I've been going to many ukulele shops, and found one I really like! More on that later...

When we were done at the Ukulele Festival, we walked over to the nearby Waikoloa Petroglyph Reserve.

Very cool!