On Monday, we jammed into the rental car and drove south towards sunnier weather. Our destination was a weird little place called Kalaheo Inn in a small town of the same name, minus “Inn”. Our cramped, two bedroom suit was comforting. It might have been due to the cross breezes, low ceiling, white wooden walls, and insanely tacky appointments.
True to predictions, this side of the island was sunnier. Grass was drier, ground redder. The whole south side of the island, except for the resort area of Po’ipu, had a run-down and casual vibe. Vast amounts of land were occupied by farms, especially those cultivating sugar cane and coffee. This is the side where industry rules.
Most of our time was spent watching humpback whales from the beach, exploring tide pools, sampling freshly roasted plantation coffee, playing cards, and stealing/chewing wild stalks of sugar cane.
We were not entirely without rain. Various fingers of precipitation kept blowing in from the southwest, obscuring what should have been jaw dropping views of Waimea Canyon and the Napali Cliffs with thick white fog. One day was drizzly at the beach. The lone monk seal sleeping behind caution tape didn’t seem to mind though. Nor did the whales, who seemed to be a daily sight in the distance. I’ve never seen so many whales.
Sorry for blubbering…
Here are a few photos from the southern side of Kauai:
Tree and yellow grasses.
A holstein on the wrong side of the fence.
Leather on barbed wire.
Man washing a horse.
Tall cook pines.
Goats in the shade.
The lord of the flies watches over an remote dirt road.
Mustang, only driven on weekends.
The green trail down to Ho’opi’i Falls.
An odd flower.
J. about to spit a longan seed.
Sister at the falls.
One of many flowers littering the ground by the falls.
A Kauai style yard: farm animals and junked cars overgrown with plants.
Fish tail on telephone pole.
Menehune Fishpond, made by the old natives.
Cattle staring at me.
Rustic fence corner.
The porch outside our room at Kalaheo Inn.
Lizard on a red leaf.
Another cook pine.
Highway 50 with coffee growing in the distance.
A bean drying tent at Kauai Coffee Company.
The crumbling lava walls of the old Russian Fort.
Father inside the old fort.
A trail from the fort to the beach.
Froggy went a courtin’.
Tree and fort.
The oddest feeling neighborhood in Kauai is a single tree lined street of semi-abandoned homes built for employees of the only surviving sugar mill on the island.
Dusty tennis court.
A sugar mill home.
The lone lamppost near the mill’s office.
Stuffed animals on display at the intersection of Highway 50 and Hanapepe Road. There were numerous, soggy, and half-hazardly placed specimens. It looked like a memorial to a tragic bus crash.
We asked the owner of a local restaurant what they were there for. She said they were a tradition started by a local man. He used to create elaborated animal displays outside his store, but since dying people had just been placing them randomly.
Scenic Hanapepe Town.
The old Hanapepe Theater.
Prince Kuhio Memorial.
Mother and clear ocean at Shipwreck Beach.
The wave etched cliffs at Shipwreck Beach.
The lone cliffs.
Our first whales were spotted in the distance off Shipwreck Beach. That afternoon we watched about twenty migrating south. Stupidly, I had left my binoculars at the hotel.
Flowering vine taking over a wire.
Banana ice-cream cake with fig newton crust, peanut butter and chocolate sauce topping.
The black cows again.
Red rock, green grass.
Sprouting Horn, a pocket in a lava rock beach that shoots waves into the air.
Baby sugar cane fields.
Red crested cardinal.
Black brittle stars are creepy, like a slinky aquatic tarantula.
Me and my sister looking at a bounty of tide pools at Po’ipu Beach Park.
A monk seal resting at the same beach.
My father pointing out a fascinating fact.
Toilets and rubble.
Abandoned sugar mill.
My prized stalk of sugar cane I harvested from Waimea Canyon.
A littering of starfruit.
Never photograph a man and his twigs.
J. braided the hair of a local coconut.
Storm rolling in at another sunset.
The Kauai trip was winding to a close, but there was time for one last adventure. On Wednesday, J., my sister, and I set off on an other eight mile hike. This one was to go through a weird, muddy, rain forest plateau. Details are forthcoming.