Hawaii: Kauai – love, dolphins and ukulele

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…

Chickens and roosters are everywhere. They crawl non stop from 4 am.

Chickens and roosters are everywhere. They crawl non stop from 4 am.

The

The “Jurassic Park fall”

The Waimea canyon from the air.

The Waimea canyon from the air.

The Na Pali coast is absolutely gorgeous.

The Na Pali coast is absolutely gorgeous.

Na pali 2

Na pali 3

The pod of dolphins playing with our boat.

The pod of dolphins playing with our boat.

Those beautiful spinner dolphins in the gorgeous Kauai water.

Those beautiful spinner dolphins in the gorgeous Kauai water.

coast

One morning, we had breakfast on the beach we were camping at, when a monk seal was making his way at of the water to greet us!

One morning, we had breakfast on the beach we were camping at, when a monk seal made his way out of the water to greet us!

We saw an average on 3 rainbows a day on Kauai. It lightly rains for 2 minutes and boom, rainbows everywhere!

We saw an average on 3 rainbows a day on Kauai. It lightly rains for 2 minutes and boom, rainbows everywhere!

The surfers enjoying the sunset from the waves.

The surfers enjoying the sunset from the waves.

mewater

big flower

View from the hike in the Waimea canyon.

View from the hike in the Waimea canyon.

flower red yellow

Tropical fruit booths are everywhere.

Tropical fruit booths are everywhere.

Kokee state park

Kokee state park

Another hike in the Waimea canyon.

Another hike in the Waimea canyon.

palihale

The snorkeling is so amazing. Fish are right on the shore, they're big and colorful!

The snorkeling is so amazing. Fish are right on the shore, they’re big and colorful!

In the historic town of Hanapepe.

In the historic town of Hanapepe.

frangipanier

camping

The improvised awesome concert in a coffee shop / board gallery, just for us!

The improvised awesome concert in a coffee shop / board gallery, just for us!

beach kauai

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