Silvère went back to France to finish his notice period at work, and I went to Hawaii with Kim, who works in the company I just quit.
Deciding what to do was a real struggle as there are many beautiful islands. We picked 3: Kauai, Maui and Big Island. The inter island flights are pretty cheap but life in Hawaii is not. Any tour ranges from $100 to $260. Food is more expensive than in NY. Accomodation is simply out of reach for people on a tight budget, like me. So it’s settled! We won’t compromise on what we want to see, but we’ll camp the entire time.
Kauai is such a special place… It’s lush vegetation everywhere, small cute towns with chill coffee shops and small restaurants. Locals were very nice. We were offered dinner twice and the owner of a coffee shop / board gallery put up a ukulele and bass concert for us, every one was making sure we’d get the aloha experience.
It only lasted 6 days but it was enough to feel completely immersed in the shaka spirit (the hang loose sign Hawaiians do with their hand to say “good” among other stuff).
Kauai really has it all: green everywhere, amazing beaches with crystal clear water and lots of fish right on the shore, friendly dolphins who like to play with boats, its own colorful “Grand canyon”, a jaw dropping steep coast, etc… To top it all, there really aren’t that many tourists and resorts are rare. The island is pretty small so we never had to drive more than an hour to go somewhere. Everything is easy, relaxed, feels natural. We basically spent our time snorkeling, hiking and drinking nice cold beverages.
The one thing we splurged on was a helicopter tour. It took us over the whole island and inside the Waimea canyon. That’s where Jurassic park was shot, and when we flown over the waterfall from the very beginning of the movie, they turned the actual Jurassic park music on! I love that movie and it felt like we were actually gonna see dinosaurs. I was expecting triceratops or t-rex but they didn’t show up… At least we got to see a bird that really looked like a pterodactyl!
We also indulged in a sailing tour to see the Na Pali coast from the sea. For hours we stared at that dramatic landscape. The best part was when a pod of spinner dolphins came playing around the boat! They escorted us for a while, it was absolutely magical.
Kauai was love at first sight, we both were very sad to leave! It felt like we’d been on the island for months already, not needing anything from the outside world…