Day 4 - Mountain Tubing
As I mentioned in my first Kauai post, our vacation was the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. The days usually started with a light, 10 - 15 minute shower, followed by rainbows and double rainbows, the aroma of Kona coffee brewing, eggs scrambling, and reading on the patio while listening to the waves and enjoying the warm ocean breeze. We had 1 - 2 planned adventures per day, a limited number of scheduled tours throughout the week, and plenty of hours in between to go where ever the road led us. Most of the time it was to a waterfall off the beaten path that I'd read about or a beautiful secluded beach that we had all to ourselves.
Day 4 of our trip included mountain tubing through the former Lihue Plantation - an old sugar plantation with amazing tunnels and flumes engineered and hand dug circa 1870. We grabbed a tube, donned a headlamp, and away we floated...but without a camera.
On the way to Kauai Backcountry Adventures, where we loaded the van that later took us to the Lihue Plantation, we discovered Opaekaa Falls.
Wailua Falls, after our tubing excursion...I attempted to hop the fence for an afternoon dip, but my lawyer husband pulled me back over and insisted we follow the rules.
That evening we had dinner at Duke's (Wade's favorite restaurant of the trip). Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was a famous swimmer and surfer who won his first Olympic gold medal in 1912. Dinner was WONDERFUL. And the ambiance was as good, if not better, than the food. Our table was upstairs on the balcony overlooking the ocean. There were Mai Tais, a live band, an ocean breeze and fabulous food. Thankfully, I made reservations weeks in advance. And a special thanks to the stranger I met at DFW who recommended it!
Day 5 - Waimea Canyon State Park
What a way to start our day! But then, this is practically every day in Kauai.
The morning of Day 5, we knocked the top off the Jeep, slathered on SPF 70, filled the fuel tank, and made the drive from Princeville, where we were staying on the north shore, to the Waimea Canyon on the east shore. The Na Pali Coast is impassable by car, so to reach the Waimea Canyon from the north shore, you "must" drive around the entire island which is about 60 - 70 miles...on this island, I would gladly drive for hours, stopping at every overlook and waterfall to gawk and awe.
Waimea Canyon is a MUST SEE.
We went off-roading and followed an old hunting trail along one of the Na Pali coast ridge lines...the views were incredible.
We even found roosters in the canyon...
After we finished exploring the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," we made our way south again to Spouting Horn. Here we watched a blowhole spout plumes of sea water into the air.
With an hour to spare before our dinner reservation and Luau, we enjoyed a stroll through the McBryde and Allerton Gardens which are practically across the street from Spouting Horn Park.
I was determined to attend a luau during our visit to Hawaii and made reservations at what seemed (after bookoos of research) to be the most popular luau on Kauai. Albeit entertaining, I'm not sure how authentic it was. I was expecting to see a buried kalua pig, tiki torches and to be sitting under the stars. Instead, there were microphones and costumes...all following a fresh flower lei greeting, champagne toast and a four course dinner. But there was good music, dancing, and we enjoyed star gazing on our drive home.
Paris runway, or Kauai luau?
The end to another wonderful day in Kauai...and still two more days of adventure to be had!