I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging but recently I was reminded how important it is for me to share and keep up regular posts. I guess part of the reason is lack of routine – or maybe that’s just an excuse. I was recently talking to a dear friend and I asked how do I get back into it, and she simply said, “write about your most recent wow moment”.
On our recent trip to Hawaii, my awe moment was the island of Kauai. This island embodies all my core principles of: co-existence with wilderness, minimizing human footprint and having a tight knit community. Honor fruits and vegetables stands are plenty and the numerous coconut trees can quench the thirst of the entire island. This is what I call island life. I open my first day on the beach with a chilled local coconut, Kauai juice, local papaya the size of my head – heavenly. To top it off we drove around to different beaches, saw sea turtles, waterfalls and lots of different plants and birds. For dinner we decided to splurge since we unknowingly missed lunch and went to Red Salt. The menu is an excellent blend of local and international flavours, and the atmosphere, well, it makes you slow down and take in all that this place has to offer. One item on the menu that stood out is a massive burger – not cheap but worth every penny: wagyu beef, foie gras, gold leaf, truffle fries, and it goes on and on. They also have amazing accommodations! Night cap by the pool, pineapple crème brûlée and port, no complaints here.
Next morning, we took our chilled coconut and papaya to go. Our visit to the Waimea canyon was the perfect setting for what was to come. We booked a Na Pali coast snorkeling tour which would take us inside sea caves and around the pristine beaches Hollywood has used as backdrop in Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and others. I must give a huge shout-out to Mike from Na Pali Experience for being an amazing host, funny, knowledgeable, daring and well making our day seem magical. Highly, highly recommend booking a tour with these guys unless you have friends with boats that can take you along the whole Na Pali coast or you are a serious hiker and/or kayaker. I can still see the turquoise water splashing my tanned skin and snorkeling with turtles.
Most of the land is protected around the Na Pali coast, but with permissions you are allowed to camp on some of the beaches which otherwise would be restricted to the public. Hint, if you are planning a trip to the coast you might want to research how you can get permission to camp, because it is so worth it.
Our drive back from this experience was silent – we were both taken aback and grateful. The salt in our hair was a constant reminder of wildlife meets the coast. I want to go back!
As the plane took off from Lihue airport a stillness and acceptance that I would return overcame me as I watched the plane rise into the clouds and the turquoise water would soon vanish.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on Big Island and Honolulu…
Personal recommendations for Kauai:
Organic grocery store | papaya’s natural foods
Breakfast/brunch place | Java Kai
Amazing cold press juice that can save you | Kauai Juice Co
Boat/cave snorkeling tours | Na Pali Experience
Dinner ($$$$) | Red Salt
Fresh fruits and veggies | Donation stands (local and amazing)
[personal statement: I try to include my favourite places in posts to help those of you who might want travel guidance. Since I view my blog as a community sharing space, please leave comments with recommendations you might have that you think might be useful for others, thank you so much!]