Aloha from Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii

Aloha guys! Moritz and I have escaped the cold – unfortunately not the flu, but more about that later – and we will spend three weeks on three Hawaiian islands. First stop: Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii.

picture aloha from kauai

I have been to Hawaii before, 13 years ago to be more precise, for an English course. Ever since I wanted to come back with Moritz. Last time, I have stayed on Oahu and visited Maui and Big Island on weekend trips. But I’ve missed Kauai and that has always nagged on me. Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii, this lush, green paradise for hikers and nature lovers. I knew I had to come back one day. And January 11, 2017, was this day 🙂

After a horribly long flight and delayed flight due to a snowstorm in Frankfurt, we arrived on Kauai one day later than planned. But nevertheless: We were there! On Kauai!! Woooow!!

For the first time we have booked an accommodation with airbnb and were a bit nervous how it might turn out. What can I say, we loved it 🙂 We had a small, well equipped apartment (fresh bananas, a pineapple and a papaya awaited us on the table, how lovely is that?!) in Kapaa, only five minutes away from the beach. Too lovely.

airbnb apartment on Kauai

There were cats and chicken everywhere. Yep, chicken. Did you know Kauai is called Chicken Island by some? We were told that a hurricane once destroyed a chicken farm and ever since, its former inhabitants live all over the island. 🙂

We had made big plans for our 6 days on Kauai and they included lots of hiking and snorkeling. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, we had not only sunscreen and flip-flops in our carry-on-luggage, but also the flu. I have to admit, I brought it with us. It hit me the day before we took of and my nose was running the whole flight. So we decided to take it easy on our first days so that I could recover and we “only” went to the beach.

Kapaa Beach

On our second day on the island we decided to do the tourist thing and drive around the island. We visited to two waterfalls, Wailua Falls…

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Wailua Falls

… and Opaeka’a Falls:

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Opaeka'a Falls

After the falls we hit the road again and drove to the north shore of Kauai where we visited the old lighthouse…

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Lighthouse

… and indulged in some wave watching:

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: wave watching

Hiking along Na Pali Coast

On the next day, we did the hike I was looking forward to for ages: the Kalalau Trail along the world-famous Na Pali Coast from Ke’e Beach to Hanakapiai Stream. This is in fact only a part of the 11 miles long trail but in order to continue behind Hanakapiai you need a permit and camping gear. Plus, the last part of the trail is very strenuous and steep and thus nothing for someone just recovering from a flue and suffering fear of heights 🙂

The path was slippery and wet so make sure to bring good hiking boots if you consider doing this trail one day, too.

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: wet and slippery KalalauTrail

And even though we hiked only on the easy part of the trail, there was quite a difference in altitude.

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: KalalauTrail can be quite steep

But the lush rainforest we passed thorough…

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawai: Kalalau Trail

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawai: Kalalau Trail

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawai: Kalalau Trail

… and of course the stunning views of breathtaking Na Pali Coast were more than rewarding:

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawai: Kalalau Trail

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawai: Kalalau Trail

What a hike! I can tell you that the constant up and down left me breathless and with sore muscles. Well, I think I’m a bit out of shape 🙂

Visiting Waimea Canyon

On the next day, Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, was on our list. However, as Moritz’ nose and throat started to feel a bit funny, we decided (with heavy hearts…) to erase the hiking parts from our to-do-list and simply drive to the viewpoints.

We drove off in the early morning and arrived at the first viewpoint when the morning mist was still lingering in the canyon…

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Waimea Canyon

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Waimea Canyon

But the further we drove and the higher the sun moved, we got a better and clearer view of this natural wonder:

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Waimea CanyonKauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Waimea Canyon

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Waimea Canyon

We finally left Waimea Canyon and entered Kokee State Park. At the end of the road, there is one viewpoint we wanted to visit and I don’t want to deny you the pictures of Na Pali we took from there:

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Na Pali Coast from Koke State Park

Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii: Na Pali Coast from Koke State Park

As Moritz has caught the flue now, we’ve spent the last day on Kauai mainly in our apartment and packed our stuff for the flight to Oahu on the other day. Stupid flue. But well, one always needs a reason to come back to a beautiful place and ours is that we weren’t able to do all the hikes we had intended to do. So I think it is not” good-bye” but “see you again, Kauai!” 🙂

Have you ever been to the Hawaiian islands? Which is your favorite one and why? And have you booked appartements via airbnb already? How  are your experiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

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