The day started with what became the usual routine: early rise, breakfast buffet at Aloha Nui Cafe, shuttle to the airport, then car rental. We reached the first attraction on our list – Wailua Falls – at around 9 am. A local (who was guiding a small group of tourists) brought his own screwdrivers to climb on a traffic sign post and take good pictures with the waterfall in the background. He was really nice and took a picture of us, even though we were not part of his group. On the other side of Wailua River we stopped to see another waterfall – Opaeka`a Falls. Kuhio Hwy goes North along a never-ending beach – unfortunately parking is not readily available (or visible). We spent some time on the beach only once, when we noticed a semi-paved parking lot. With a single exception, the beach was deserted – probably due to the wind, the temperature, and the fury of the ocean.
The sun was shining on Kilauea Wildlife Refuge when we got there. We had to retreat (not for very long tough) in the gift shop in front of a pouring rain. Watching the ocean pounding into the rocky coast was very relaxing. However, it was very disappointing to see the dark clouds on the west side of the island. We laughed a little at the “historic site”: a lighthouse built in 1913, which was closed to tourists for protection. This is the first place where we saw the protected state bird of Hawaii: nene, the colorful goose. Relatively close to the Kilauea Lighthouse we hiked down to the Secret Beach. The trail was incredibly muddy and slippery. The good thing was that we made it down without falling; the bad thing was that the mosquitoes had a fiesta with Lida’s blood. A waterfall was supposed to enchant us once we reached the beach, but we couldn’t find it.
The rain was waiting for us as we moved West. It rained while we were heading to Hanalei Valley. It rained while we were looking down to Hanalei Valley. It rained on the way to Haena State Park. It rained while we were on the Kee Beach. It rained when we were looking at a small wet cave. It rained while we were inside of a dry cave. In these conditions, hiking part of the Na Pali trail was completely out of the question. Tired of rain, we decided it was time to move to the South of the island. It took us less than two hours to reach the Spouting Horn, which was acting up, fueled by strong waves. While it was nice to see the water thrown up in the air, the turtles were not very eager to show up at the surface. We caught the sunset on the Poipu Beach; not very scenic because some clouds at the horizon decided to perturb the uniform light diffraction.
Due to lack of something better to do, we got back on the ship much earlier than we wanted to (around 7 pm). Quite a few fellow tourists went to a Lu’au (Hawaiian show) and the ship was emptier than usual. After dinner (we eat at Paniolo Tapas and Salsa – a Mexican restaurant), we skipped the night show (Not-So-Newlywed Game) to get a good night sleep.
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