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Kaua'i: First Impressions

On January 2nd, 2010 we flew to Lihue, the small Kaua'i airport. An hour's drive later we arrived in Hanalei and easily found the house that Claude and Susan had rented, a small but comfortable two-bedroom house, with a well appointed kitchen (Susan is a great cook and she had already bought all kinds of good things). A deck in the back overlooks a small tropical garden and the whole neighborhood is full of various kinds of palms, giant climbing vines (monstera deliciosa) assaulting tall trees and interesting flowers like this cordyline, locally known as the ti plant, or this bauhinia tree.

It was late afternoon when we arrived, but we quickly set out to check out the local beach, about three blocks away. Joan did not even bother to shed her winter clothes! The sun was setting behind the hills, but people were still swimming and surfing.

The next morning, blue sky was brilliant above the mountains, the waves were gentle and surfers were out early. A perfect beach day. Claude and Susan like to go to Tunnels beach, a short drive to the West of Hanalei. The spectacular scenery of that beach was used in the movie version of South Pacific and Makana mountain was used to depict Bali Hai, the forbidden island. In the old days, young Hawaiian men would climb the peak in the evening and throw lit torches toward the ocean. The wind would pick them up and carry them far out, thus creating great fireworks. We spent much of the day swimming in the turquoise water, beachcombing and sitting in the shade.

The Napali Coast.
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