Early arrival is very often associated with a pleasant visit to Waimea Canyon. Apparently the clouds and the tourist crowds start to ruin the views during mid morning. Luckily, our rental car spent the night in a parking lot very close to the harbor. This was just one of the factors that helped us get to the Canyon by 8 am. We drove all the way to the end of the Waimea Canyon Drive and stopped at the outlooks on our way back.
The first two outlooks gave us a glimpse of the Na Pali coast – at the time however, we didn’t know what we were looking at. Some of the clouds we tried so hard to avoid were already there, along with some wind and cold temperatures, making sure that we couldn’t complain of perfect weather. At the Canyon Lookout the sun decided to deprive us from a good view by shining (through the clouds) right in our faces. A few pullouts – where big buses don’t have a chance stopping – gave us much better views of the canyon. After discovering Waipo`o Falls, we kept an eye on it at every stop. Waimea Canyon Lookout offered an impressive panorama, very difficult to capture in regular pictures. Even though we were short on time, a few minutes on Kukui trail didn’t hurt anybody.
On the way back we stopped again at the Spouting Horn, hoping to see some turtles. We were lucky to spot one of them, even though the ocean wasn’t any calmer than during the previous afternoon. This seemed to be a very disappointing end to our vacation: we had to head back to the ship, which was supposed to take advantage of the tide to get out of the harbor at 2 pm.
An announcement on board, saying that we were cruising along the Na Pali coast, took us by surprise later in the day. We went on the deck and stared in amazement at the incredible views. After the sun went to bed (three hours, two rain showers and two rainbows later), we tried to explore the rest of the ship. We ate at Alizar again, but the food was not as tasty as we remembered it. The last show (Farewell Variety Show) didn’t have anything memorable… or maybe it did, but the thought of a soon-to-be-gone vacation was too overwhelming.