Hawaiian Island Three – Kauai (part one)

Our third and final island! We arrived in Kauai to a bit of rain, which we had suspected anyway because we checked the weather before we flew out there. Once we had collected our bags we walked to pick up our rental car for the week, this was the biggest car you could possibly imagine – just look at the size of it compared to my dad (he’s around 6ft)! If you’re a large group of 5 to 8 people, this car would be great to rent, it has three seats in the middle back and then 3 reclinable seats in the boot as well!

We were all so hungry as it was around 4:30 and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast that morning, so we grabbed a McDonald’s en route to the hotel (it was delish and well needed).

After checking into the hotel and lugging our suitcases all the way to the room, I decided to unpack before going to bed. Whenever I stay in a hotel I always feel the need to sort out my entire suitcase before doing anything else, I find I can relax a lot more once everything is put away and organised. However staying in a room of two boys, it doesn’t help keep the room tidy!

The next day was pretty packed of fun activities! We attempted to get up early-ish, having breakfast at the hotel restaurant (Lava’s at the Sheraton Beach Resort) before the big day ahead. Brandon and Ryan wanted to surf and boogie board so we left them with the big waves whilst we walked around the corner to snorkel and sunbathe!

I love being in the warmth and the sunshine, I’m convinced that if my doggies could be flown out with me, I’d move somewhere far warmer and sunnier than England!

Not far from our hotel is a cute little shopping village, full of places to spend all your money (which I planned to do, and did do in one particular store) and restaurants. We stopped at Bubba’s for the most delicious fast food burgers. This place is a smaller chain of quality fast food which has more of an authentic feel compared to a McDonald’s or Burger King – in fact, that particular one was visited by none other than Robert Downey Jr. whilst he was on set for filming Tropic Thunder, which was filmed a few miles up the road!

We then drove for another 25 minutes or so towards the north shore, where we went for a bike ride along the coastline. The only other time I’ve explored somewhere by bike was in Portugal a few years ago, for some reason it’s not the top of my list for fun activities. However, after an easy ride taking in the sites of only a teeny part in Kauai, it’s something I think we should do on all holidays/trips away.

We didn’t do anything special for dinner after that, just something quick around the corner from the hotel before the tiredness hit and we all retired to bed.

Tuesday was hike day! We stopped off at probably the best restaurant in Kauai, La Spezia, for breakfast (we ended up visiting this place 4 times in total during our whole stay).

Before coming on this trip I had looked on Pinterest for things to do in Kauai and so many pictures came up of Waimea Canyon/Waimea State Park, so this is where we chose to explore!

Like the drive up Haleakala in Maui, it was a very long and winding road to the top. We stopped off on the way to the lookout spot which showcased some incredible views, the moment you climbed up the steps to the viewpoint it felt like I was in a postcard – the views were something else!

Once reaching the top, we had the task of finding somewhere to park our ‘minibus’ of a car – when I say ‘we’, I mean my dad.

When we started off the hike, I was pretty sure we were all prepared for what was ahead. Of course, I’ve never walked a mountain in Hawaii, nor have I walked one of the wettest places on Earth but I still paced down the first (of many) downward descents in the beautiful sunshine, no idea of the challenge which was ahead…

It wasn’t long before we reached the first obstacle (which later proved to be a big problem on our way back to the car, but more about that later). We had to climb, yes climb, up the many steep, muddy and rocky paths with little to hold onto! Once that was accomplished, we had a nice flat walk along man-made wooden paths, the Akali Swamp Trail.

I have to say, this hike was incredibly challenging, we walked down what felt like millions of steps, more uphill climbs than you can imagine and unstable tracks to finally reach the end to an amazing view!

We were very lucky to actually be able to see anything because the clouds fly past and cover up the mountains in seconds. When this did happen, we knew we had to get going, as clouds mean rain. It wasn’t long before it tipped it down, so with my poncho on we braved the 5 mile trek back, in the mud. As I thought, the only problem we faced were the practically vertical descents we had to climb up earlier, they had become even more muddy than before and we eventually returned to the car completely covered in mud!

We showered off before looking for somewhere to eat for dinner, however it had gotten to about 9:00pm at this point and all of the local restaurants had closed. We only knew of one place which was open until late and that was La Spezia, the place we went for breakfast! This was a very good decision though, the food was the best I’d had in Kauai so far!

After just two fun filled days, I’m going to pause this post here. We have so much planned for the rest of the week that I’ve decided to split Kauai’s post in half!

See you there…

Aloha xo

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