our friend's place in Lawai and headed east and then north along
the coast. Our destination was Hanalei Bay. Kathleen
had managed to secure several nights at the Hanalei Bay Resort,
so it seemed like a good thing to do. Since we were
operating without an agenda, we decided to jump on the room as
it was the last one left in the area.
The photos below are what we saw.
checked in and got our room and schlepped our stuff from the
jeep to the room. When I went onto the balcony I was
pleasantly surprised by the view.
our room was the "second pool" and a BBQ shack for cooking if
you were so inclined. Notice the white ship in the bay.
turned out, the white ship was not a fishing vessel but rather a
Coast Guard cutter. Why it was there was a question, but
careful examination of the photo above will reveal that the deck
crane is deployed and seemingly hoisting something into a
smaller boat moored along side of the cutter.
sundown approached we started thinking about food. We were
somewhat dismayed to find out that the restaurant at the Hanalei
Bay was closed for refurbishment. I say "somewhat
dismayed" because the alternative was walking down the cliff
trail to the St. Regis Resort which has a 5-star
restaurant. Which, in my mind, was not a bad thing.
It was about an hour from sundown so we decided to head down the
paved trail was down a narrow side canyon and was quite
steep. And, when your room is at the top of the hill, what
goes down must come up at the end of the night. When we
got to the bottom of the canyon we could see across a field to
the rugged mountains to the south.
Regis is quite a place and likely the nicest resort on the north
shore of Kauai. And at $700/night for a basic room you
would HOPE it would be nice. We did not stay there, but we
did eat several meals there. Not surprisingly, they were a
tad pricey too. The hotel is built into the cliff and has
on the order of 10 floors (at least according the the elevators
we were in). The beach area is nice, clean and well-staffed.
clouds were hanging over the mountain tops to the south making
for an otherworldly view. Kathleen and I decided to eat in
the better restaurant at the hotel. It was embarrassingly
expensive but I must say that the food exceeded my
expectations. After all the food and wine we had to hike
back up the hill to our room.
the next morning was much clearer than the night before allowing
a nice view of the mountains beyond Hanalei Bay.
decided to eat something and headed to the on-site restaurant to
be told that they were closed until 11am and that "the closest
place is the St. Regis". Hmmm. We hiked down the
hill and got a nice view of Hanalei Bay.
early days of our country, we had "separation of church and
state". Here at the St. Regis, we have "separation of
tourists and money". They have raised it to a fine
art. The atrium in the lobby is a case in point.
center of the atrium had an interesting pumpkin-shaped fountain.
the breakfast area was a nice pool and a panoramic window with
outstanding views of the mountains to the south.
the breakfast buffet at the St. Regis and it was just OK.
When asked for comments about my experience, I gave a scathing
review which resulted in them compping the meal. That was
not my intention, but given the circumstances it seemed
appropriate. As we were leaving we got a nice view of the
surf in Hanalei Bay.
A hot, sweaty
hike up the hill gave us a look at the Hanalei Bay's tennis
courts with a nice view of the bay beyond.
decided to drive to the south end of Hanalei Bay. I saw
the cliffs to the south and stopped to take a photo. Note
the white vertical line in the center of the cliffs.
of the previous photo reveals that the white line is in fact a
huge waterfall that cascades thousands of feet from the upper
peaks to the valley floor below. This set of falls is best
seen from a helicopter tour (in the works) as getting there on
foot would be quite a challenge.
passed this interesting church next to the road, so we decided
to check it out.
the small size of the church building, it had a very nice
stained glass window on the north-facing side.
to the west along the north shore we came to a turn-out that
gave us a nice view of Hanalei Bay. The trade winds were
blowing hard throwing spray from the waves in our faces.
the bay we could see the St. Regis and Hanalei Bay
Resorts. The trade winds were whipping up some small white
caps on the bay.
further down the road we found another beach that had nice shade
followed the road west over many one-lane bridges to a state
park. There was a fellow there selling "shave ice" which
are sno-cones, Hawaiian style. The shave ice machine looks
like a drill press with a spiked chuck for spinning the ice
blocks. The shaver is in the bottom and the shavings are
scooped into a cup and then topped with a flavored sauce.
It was quite tasty and very refreshing given that the outside
temperature was 90 degrees and it was quite humid.
the road from the shave ice concession was a sea cave like
something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. It was perhaps
50 meters deep and 8 meters tall. It would be an
interesting shelter except during high tide and a storm in which
case it would be filled with sea water.
walked out onto the beach at the state park and were rewarded
with a great view of the turquoise water. By now, the
clouds had burned off and it was scalding hot.
distance I could see some movement on the horizon.
movement was a pair of kite surfers working the trade winds.
experiences are defined by what you see. This fellow came
from the beach to surf the trash can looking for
treasures. He looks like he has had a hard life.
followed the road to the absolute end which was another state
park. We found a place to park and Kathleen informed me
that we were "going on a short hike". It was
short, only 1.0 miles round trip, but very steep and very
rough. The full Napali trail is 11 miles one-way along the
rugged coast, but we were only going to do the first (and
steepest) part. At the 0.25 mile mark, we were rewarded
with great view of the beach below.
lagoon at the bottom of the photo above is sheltered from the
surf by a coral reef. Note the color of the water.
terrain near the first overlook at the 0.25 mile mark was really
These cliffs are nearly vertical and go for many tens of miles making coast landings here a near impossibility.
At the 0.5 mile overlook, the peaks were right out of a science fiction movie. Like, say, "Jurassic Park" for instance which was filmed near here.
At the last overlook
I spotted these interesting fruit (or seed pods) on one of the
trees. I do not know what they are or if they are
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2016, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.