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Anini Beach 28 July 2017

1623 : 415

Our adventure began with chirping from a device at 5:30am. Still dark outside. Minimal breakfast, scramble to get our gear together, and away to Hanalei, where we signed in and were shuttled to Hanalei Beach Park. In 2017 that means you park your pick-up on the beach. Used to be a beautiful beach. (Sorry, but that seems to be this trip's theme.)

1624 : 410

Our catamaran arrived, pulled into the river for easy boarding. Sam the captain and Miguel his crewman ("typical Hawaiian names," says Miguel) were of the "We'll try to get you all back this time" school of guiding.

1625 : 408
<p>Going out, Ke

Going out, Ke'e (at the end of the road) and the beginning of the Na Pali trail were still in shadow.

1626 : 406

Sam drove us into several caves. In one, the water clarity was superb. 12 feet to the bottom. On the way out of this cave, he drove us through a waterfall. Afterwards, he said "That was Fertility Falls..."

1627 : 404

I was more interested in the rock near the mouth of the cave. These caves were once lava tubes, when Kauai's volcano was active. The Pali (Hawaiians for "cliff" but it specifically means the kind of lava formation seen below) are made of layers of solid lava and layers of conglomerated ash and lava bombs.

1628 : 402
<p>The steepness and indentations...

The steepness and indentations here, the work of millennia of weather, are spectacular. Also amazing: how much is covered with green.

1629 : 400

On foot, this is as far as you can make it. This land, once thickly settled by pre-contact Hawaiians, has been made into a preserve, the Kanaka Maoli (and later, the hippies) were rousted. 

1630 : 398

Past Polulu, there are beaches and interesting valleys punching deep into the Pali. The only way to get here is by boat. We passed a group of intrepid kayakers on their way with the current all the way to Polihale in one day!

1631 : 396
<p>Our westbound voyage ended in...

Our westbound voyage ended in a very busy park, with a good reef, Nualolo Kai, about halfway between Hanalei and Polihale on the western side of Kauai. The reef here is practically dead, and fish are not as abundant as they were a decade ago. I'm wondering if we will find this to be true on the Big Island as well. But there were fish!

1632 : 394

The trip back was bumpy, into the wind and against the current and a four foot swell. Good captaining from Sam. The view of Ke'e on the way by wasn't as inviting. It has rained, on and off, all afternoon.

Tonight, Rochelle and I go back to Hanalei, to Baracuda, for tapas.

1633 : 382

As promised, back to Hanalei for dinner. The setting for this town is as spectacular as ever: golden beach (with pier for jumping and fishing), lazy green river, taro fields, all against a backdrop of the wettest mountains on the planet, complete with waterfall. 

I wish I coukd say the town matched up. It's gone from quaint and authentic (in 1996) to touristy and junky.

1634 : 380

A little early, we sat in the spacious atrium of the BARacuda building, and realized we were sitting under a shade/rain canopy made of PhotoVoltaic modules on a transparent substrate! Great design, and we hereby award this building the PV Design Award of 2017 (or whenever it was built.)

1635 : 376

Just like our restaurant consultant (Damiana) said, dinner – tapas – was lovely, if a little spicy (and pricey). A superb salad of baby local greens over goat cheese with torn croutons (more kudos);

sorry, we ate before we clicked the pics: Lamp ribettes over tomatoes with more goat cheese; house-made chorizo with apple sourkraut; carrots with north African seasoning and aioli.

Lapperts at Princeville for dessert, since BARacuda is heavily into cheesecake (ick!)

1636 : 372

Home in time for a sunset beach walk. Nice people sitting and walking. One woman (still sitting in the water) said, "We leave Monday, and I'm not going to lose a minute of it!" 

Our sentiments exactly. With all the inevitable disappointments of returning for a fourth time in 27 years to a beloved place, this choice of house and beach has been perfect for us, and completely delicious. I wonder how many other places on Kauai, or indeed in Hawaii, can summon the same feelings?

1637 : 370

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