We wanted to take full advantage of being in port early from our overnight stay so Denis and I rose early in order to take him to Puakea Golf Course for his 7:30am tee time. We walked to the shopping mall to pick up the car and navigated our way to the golf course. It was only about 15 minutes from the pier and an easy drive through the downtown of Lihue.
Once I dropped him off I headed back to the ship to get Ian and Laura going. After reading some blogs about swimming in waterfalls, we decided we were going to visit Wailua Falls (otherwise known as the Fantasy Island falls from the popular TV show) and see if we could find a way down to swim in the pool at the bottom.
We arrived at the falls and had a great view from the top (over 100 feet down) but could not see an easy way to navigate to the pool. Ian spoke to a local lady and while she wouldn’t tell him exactly where there was a path, she did point him in the general direction. We eventually came across a portion of the fence that had been cut and could see somewhat of a path leading down the cliff into the forested area. We met up with a woman and her two daughters who were contemplating the trek so we watched them begin their descent at which point Ian had decided he was also going to go. The girls then informed us there were ropes along the path that you could use to keep yourself from sliding down the side of the cliff so I decided I would also go. Laura opted to stay at the top rather than plummet to her death (her words).
The downward climb was tricky and required carefully picking your way through the trees, brush, rocks and mud. However, after about 20 minutes of walking/sliding, we made it to the bottom. The pool was cool and refreshing and swimming so close to the waterfall was truly fantastic. It was another wonderful experience and I was glad we had chosen to attempt the walk.
Climbing up was a little harder only because more people were starting to come down and the path was becoming more slippery. But we made it back up – sweaty and full of mud.
At this point it was approaching lunch time so we stopped at McDonald’s and picked up some lunch and then went to the golf course to pick up Denis. He had a terrific round playing with a man who lived in Kauai but was originally from California. The golf course was very different from the ocean coarse he played in Kona. The Puakea Golf Course consists of pristine fairways, groomed sand bunkers and rolling hills surrounded by vistas of the surrounding mountains. The mountain views change as you make your way around the course and add to the challenge and experience of playing this course.
We had decided that we would spend the afternoon at the beach and drove to the southern part of the island to Poipu beach. The first section we set up at was a very sandy beach but when you went in the water it was quite shallow and not really great for swimming. The area underwater on this part of the beach was made up of black lava rock making it quite tricky to walk.
We spent some time lying on the beach and then I walked around to the other end of the point only to find a second beach with huge crashing waves. We moved our things to this side and spent the next hour and a half playing in the cresting waves. It was so much fun and when we finally dragged ourselves out of the water, we were sufficiently exhausted.
On our way back to the car we stopped to get some Hawaiian shaved ice. This is a specialty of the Hawaiian islands and is a cool treat. You receive a cup filled with ice and then you choose the specific flavour of concentrated syrup you would like – there are many tropical options including coconut, pineapple, strawberry, passionfruit, etc. You can also choose more than one flavour and have a multilayered ice. It was a good treat after our extended swimming session.
At this point it was getting later in the day and we decided to start heading back to Lihue. We had heard about the gardens that were located at the Kauai Marriott back in town so we decided to visit and see what the property was like. In the centre courtyard is a huge open-air garden with water features, bridges and tropical plants. It was a beautiful spot to walk around and essentially no one was there. We walked through the hotel to the onsite beach and saw a really beautiful spot that we would love to come back and stay at one time. Always good to be planning ahead for a future vacation.
Denis and I dropped the kids at the cruise terminal and headed back to the airport to return the car. We caught a shuttle back to the ship and came onboard just as they were beginning to close down the security lines. We had loved every moment spent in Kauai and vowed we would be back again.
Our dinner this evening was a tasty calamari salad, tenderloin and a tomato pasta dish.
This evening we watched the Headliner Show – Piano Man in the Aurora Theatre. The show included a choreographed show with music and dancers highlighting music from Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Barry Manilow. It was entertaining.
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Sharing Our Travel Dreams
Sharing our personal experiences onboard and on the road, along with tips and insight for creating memorable vacations.