Jeepin' in Paradise

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So, after all this we were set. On a beautiful sunny day in paradise, my wife and I hopped into our Jeep and set out for an all day excursion of the western side of Kauai. We stayed in a cottage that was owned and rented out by a local family, and it was situated on the east side of the island right behind the beautiful ‘Opaeka Falls. The cottage sat right in the middle of an exotic fruit orchard and gave us a tranquil, secluded atmosphere that was much different than the popular tourist resorts. Kauai is a small island and it can be explored in very short time.

Our first destination was ‘Spouting Horn’ near the town of Po‘ipu. The ‘Spouting Horn’ is an amazing blowhole and a must see on the island. Waves crash through an opening on the lava shelf that forces ocean water to spray into the air. It is very impressive. After viewing the blowhole for several minutes, we headed back on the road for our next destination, Waimea Canyon.

Waimea Canyon is an extraordinary canyon and another ‘must see’ on the island. Mark Twain once dubbed Waimea Canyon “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The canyon is accessible by two roads with the main road leading up from the town of Waimea via a 4,000 foot elevation increase. Expect the temperature at the canyon look-out point to be quite cooler than on other parts of the island. Many of Kauai’s hiking trails are scattered throughout the canyon and they offer various levels of hiking from short easy trips to more experienced longer trips. At the look-out point you will be in awe at the different levels of erosion along the canyon walls as well as the spectacular waterfalls still shaping the canyon today. Also, expect to come across Kauai’s unofficial state bird: the wild chicken. Although the chickens can be found all over the island, the canyon seemed to be a hot bed for them.

After spending some time at the look out point, we headed back down the canyon road to the coast for our next adventure. In our guidebook we had read about the area of Polihale and we decided to check it out. Polihale State Park is only accessible via a five mile dirt road that has its fair share of bumps along the way. After cruising with ease in our Jeep over this dirt road, we arrived at the entrance to the beach.

The beach is a remarkable sight as it is fifteen miles of uninterrupted sand with marvelous sand dunes. The beach is extremely wide, up to 200-300 feet in most areas. The end of the state park is the end of the road as the Napali coastline begins. This is also the spot that native Hawaiians believe is a jumping off point for their spirits to enter the spirit world. It is a very sacred locale in their culture and it is well protected by the government.

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