Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kaua'i: Part 2 - Waterfalls, Whales, & Malasadas

Us at Opaeka'a Falls
On our second full day on the island we hit the road to explore the North shore. But first, we had to check out the Opaeka'a Falls, right across the street from our hotel. Even though this is my third time visiting Hawaii, this is my first time seeing waterfalls while there.
Opaeka'a Falls
Wailua River
Cows in Paradise

Our next stop on our North shore journey was the Kilauea Lighthouse. By the time we got there, the skies had cleared up and we had a perfect view of whales' water spouts shooting up across the bay. At one point we even saw a humpback whale come up out of the water for a second. It was amazing. Winter in Hawaii is the perfect time to see whales, and since I was banned from cruise ships, I'm really happy we could see them from the shore.

We had been on a mission since Day 1 to find some malasadas, and according to Yelp there was a shop in the next town north. So far our mission had led us to three other places, starting with the Kmart parking lot in Lihue. There is a malasada lady that everyone raves about set up in front of Kmart, but when we got there we just found a locked up stand and a sign advertising vague store hours: "about 10am til all gone." We then tried another bakery down the street, but they were already out of malasadas too. Then, we followed Yelp to a third malasada shop in Lihue, but somehow we wound up in front of someone's house on a completely residential street. Now we were following Yelp to a Princeville malasada shop located in Ching Young Village. We drove past a huge statue/fountain, past a golf course, and turned into a neighborhood of fancy houses. No malasadas in sight. Yelp duped us again. We gave up and headed to Hanalei Bay, which turned out to be a gorgeous, secluded beach.

Not far from Hanalei Bay was something called the Dry Cave, not to be confused with the Wet Cave, right next door. We set off for there, and as we were driving I yelled out "Ching Young Village!" Turns out it was not nestled in a residential neighborhood at all, but was actually right off the side of the highway. We pulled over, found the infamous bake shop, and each got ourselves a giant malasada.
Ching Young Village
My First Malasada
 Honestly, it just tasted like bread rolled in sugar. Bread and sugar are both components that I love, so I wasn't disappointed, but for the effort we put into finding that sugary bread, I was expecting a little bit more. Now that our malasada mission was successfully accomplished, it was on to the dry cave:
Of all the cars in the parking lot, every single bird within a mile radius decided to convene on this particular Jeep
Me at the Dry Cave entrance
Venturing further in...Scary!
The Dry Cave ceiling was actually not completely dry - we're still not sure why it was dripping water

Even though Joe is slightly claustrophobic, we made it all the way to the back of the cave
View of the entrance from the back - to give an idea of how deep the cave is
There were huge spider webs all over the place - made me think of the giant spiders from Harry Potter & LOTR
Visiting Limahuli Gardens was on my Kaua'i wish list, and it did not disappoint. It's basically a one mile loop through a gorgeous mountain terrain with native Hawaiian plants along the way. The gray clouds floating over the mountains, and the ocean off in the distance was unlike anything I've ever seen before. I didn't know which way to look because the view was so gorgeous in all directions.

Caught rubbing my belly

Weird fruit - any ideas what it may be?

Roosters Everywhere!

Entrance to Limahuli Gardens

On our way back to the hotel, we happened upon a farmer's market and had to stop by and check it out. While there, we were introduced to rambutan (similar to lychee) and star fruit. We sampled the rambutan, which looks like a sea urchin, and it was delicious. You just peel off the pink, prickly skin, and then eat the white fruit, but spit out the seed/pit in the middle. The fruit has a sweet, mild taste and a jelly-like consistency. I sampled the star fruit later, and it tasted like a citrusy pear - less acidic that an orange, and not as grainy as a pear. You can eat the whole thing, skin, seeds, and all. We also picked up a few bags of macadamia nuts in honey and coconut flavors. Yum! I devoured the coconut bag within a few days. 
Our first time eating a rambutan
Kaua'i Farmers Market Loot
Again, congrats if you made it to the end! I think day's 1 and 2 were the peak of our picture-taking. Deciding which pictures to post is no easy task because they're all amazing. Day 2 managed to cross quite a few items off my Kaua'i Wishlist - we saw waterfalls (#2), visited another beach (#1), visited a farmer's market (#4), hiked at Limahuli Gardens (#5), AND sampled malasadas (#8). No wonder we were exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel! Still to come: Fern Grotto, Snorkeling, Waimea Canyon, and Kayaking.

No comments:

Post a Comment