22. Island Hopping Memories – Kauai
Summer of 1966, and unsure where we would be after the instructor I was replacing returned, we went island hopping to get pictures and memories to share of special places. There are a lot of things to see and enjoy, so I can only hit the high spots.
June 2: Up early, we were off by jet to Lihue, the major city on Kauai, the northern most island. Kauai is called the Garden Island, but we call it the island of beautiful beaches.
After lunch we headed south of town in our rented car, and stopped at Spouting Horn. According to legend, a giant sea lizard got his horns caught under the lava, and to this day is snorting and moaning under there. The water shoots up and into another hole where the water is squashed through with a fantastic sound – sorta like a plumber’s helper working in a toilet only louder.
A short way down the coast was our first “beautiful beach,” Poipu, a small crescent of sand with one end protected by rocks, so we swam a little, and got a little sun-burned.
Next morning, after a breakfast of Macadamia Nut pancakes at the Tip Top Cafe, we headed again on the southern route to go to the end of the road. We stopped at a lookout to view Hanapepe Valley. Legend says when a young Hawaiian woman seemed to be barren she was sent to this valley to live and almost always got pregnant while there.
Nineteen miles uphill was Waimea Canyon lookout, our main destination. What a view! It’s called the “Little Grand Canyon” and it sure is. On the side of the canyon we spotted some wild goats – gray ones and one black & white. With pleasure I noticed that we stayed longer at places than the tour groups – four came and went while we enjoyed the view.
A short drive up at the end of the road was Kalalau Lookout – a beautiful deep slash of a canyon open only to the sea, and inaccessible by land. We ate our box lunch, then went back to Waimea to catch the late afternoon shadows and color. Clouds moved in, so we drove back down to the beach near Hanappepe and went swimming near ancient salt pans. The sun sank, and we hightailed it for Lihue.
Next: the northern route of Kauai where the movie South Pacific was filmed.