Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 Kauai trip condensed for Shutterfly book

This was our 11th trip to Kauai, first for our good friends Coni and John Schneiderjans.  It was fun showing newbies around our island again!  For the first week, the weather was pretty good, then the rains began.  Hanelei even got 50" of rain in the week that we left.  It was in the low 80's most days and it was pretty windy.  Unlike the last couple of years, there was not a lot of vog this year. 
I was able to work a little Wyndham VIP magic with our timeshares this year.  Managed to get both weeks in 2 bedroom oceanview Kauai Beach Villas units for 1/2 the amount of points normally required.  We did have to switch rooms after the first week and didn't get as good of views as we have in the past, but they still weren't bad.  The first week we were in a ground level H building unit.

 2nd week view, from our 2nd floor F building unit.

Ken and I did have the first 4 days to ourselves so we did what we usually do---hit the beaches!  Our first beach was Lydgate.  They had rebuilt the rock wall since we were last there and I was curious to see how the snorkeling was.  I'd heard a lot of horror stories about how there were no fish there anymore because of the lack of circulation of the water.  But I was pleasantly surprised to see how pretty it looked.

So we put on our swimming suits and headed in to see if there were still any fish.  And there were lots of our favorites from years past.  The water was pretty murky in most areas, but the rocky area to the right of the beach wasn't too bad.

Another time we headed south to Lawai and Poipu.  Found our turtle at Lawai.  Seems to have made this rocky ledge it's resting area.  This is the 2nd or 3rd year we've seen it here.
We also watched an ingenious dog playing with a tennis ball.  His owner was hitting the ball into the surf and the dog would swim after it.  When the owner got tired of playing, the dog brought the ball to anyone who would play with him.  If noone would play with him, he would paw at the ball between his legs until it went flying behind him.  Kept us quite entertained until sunset.
Poipu looked really pretty, too, but I was disappointed in how cloudy the water was there, too.  Not much better then Lawai.  Even the shallow area by the life guard station where I usually find lots of fish to photograph didn't have many fish.

At least the tombula was still there and the weather was beautiful.
We did see a monk seal there and Ken had an interesting conversation with a volunteer that came out to rope off the area.  Apparently they're tagged for what island they're born on and whether they're watched for research purposes.  The particular one at Poipu this day was not from Kauai and had evidence of having been bitten by a tiger shark as some time or other.  He also asked why some are almost black and others are much lighter and she said the darker ones have shed their fur recently and the darker fur was new.
We've been having a rough spell with sunsets on Kauai the last couple of years.  Didn't get too many again this trip.  Most of the time the clouds were too heavy.  But here were a few from this year.

One night when we were at The Spouting Horn waiting for sunset, we saw that the wild Kauai chickens do have at least one enemy.

On our way to Saltpond for a sunset, we were treated to a double rainbow going into the canyon as seen from the lookout along the main highway.

We also headed north and had great conditions at Anini.

Now that we know where to snorkel at Anini, we always find lots of fish.

And usually a turtle or two.

One morning I even took a walk south along the beach by our condo.  Until now I'd always gone north (to the left), so it was an interesting change.  I followed the beach past a small park where surfers often go, then to the end where a lot of rocks blocked going any farther.  

Our visitors arrived on Feb. 21st about 6 pm.  I sat by our beach for a couple hours waiting for their arrival.  I guess I've never sat out at the KBV beach before at that time.  I was surprised to find crabs all over the beach ducking into holes when water or beach walkers came by.

The next week we spent as tour guides and loved every minute of it.  We don't often go see so many places anymore, so I always enjoy it when I get the oppurtunity to.  Plus there were things they wanted to do that we've never done, so I got to do one of them with them.  That was zip-lining.  It was fun, but $69 for 3 zips seems like a lot of money.

They wanted to do the helicopter tour and I was excited about taking another one, but the day we were suppose to go I had stomach flu all day and the night before, so they postponed it.  Then the weather got worse and we weren't able to do it.  We did the heli tour the first year we came here and think it would be really neat to do it again now that I'm more familiar with the island.

We did the reciprocol Na' Aina Kai garden tour (with our Missouri Botanical Gardens membership) and thoroughly enjoyed it, again (did it our first time last year)

While we were in the area, we also took them to the lighthouse where we watched the frigates and red footed boobies, as well as searched the horizon for whales.

Also took them to Smith's Luau---our 6th time there.

By then the rains had begun, but we continued to show them around.  Even Poipu was soaked!
Kauai's red dirt even turned the ocean red.

So we went to Na Hoku and bought jewelry!
Between the raindrops, we also toured the Coffee Plantation.

and hit the Original REd Dirt Shirt factory.
Of course we took them up into the canyon, too.  Even though it was raining every where else on the island, it was beautiful up there.

Even made it out to beautiful Polihale.

They even tried snorkeling a couple of times.  They thought the water was much warmer at Poipu then it was at Kee.

Their week quickly came to an end and we were by ourselves for another 4 days.  Even though there was still a lot of rain and flooding, we were able to do some more snorkeling.  Actually made it to the north shore 2 more times and to the south shore one more time.  Probably had my best days ever snorkeling at Tunnels!

Kee was great, too.

Anini, too.
Snorkeling from the south shores was a little disappointing.  The water was cloudier then usual, but I still had a great time.

We even saw a bit of sunshine!

But the Poipu parking lot remained a pond for these Hawaiian Stilt or Ae'o to enjoy.

Our last day ritual still includes releasing the flowers of our leis into the water so that we will return again!  This time we did it at the small boat harbor down south.

Just a few more pictures from our 2+ weeks there.

bananas growing at the putt putt golf course.

countryside heading north

Koloa town
east side surfing beach
Wild flowers along the Kapaa walking path.
Wyndham Kauai Beach Villas grounds
cell tower
interesting post

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