This was my bird’s eye view of the Garden Isle during an early morning helicopter ride!
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The majority of this island is inaccessible and can only be viewed from above so I had to splurge on this opportunity to see all its beauty.
Hundreds of waterfalls flowed down the tropical rainforest covered mountains.
Cascading double rainbows disappeared into the ocean around me.
The Waimea Canyon and NaPali Coast were clearly visible on this day as well.
We flew low into the valleys and even into the crater of the inactive volcano.
My jaw dropped open for the entire breathtaking hour!
I decided to explore the south shore where the sun tends to shine most of the time and attempt to find another hidden path and beach. On my way, I stopped and walked along the short cliff path near the Spouting Horn in Koloa then made my way to Poipu Beach Park, whose entrance was an intriguing old ceremonial ground and celestial map with 4 tiki pillars created by ancient Hawaiians.
I was hoping to find sea turtles at this beach but only saw a stone one.
So instead I ran in the waves then ventured to find the unmarked beach.
The sign was marked private property and the road was really only suitable for 4-wheel, drive but I took my little compact rental down it anyway. I ran into a horse stable then followed it around to the coast.
Definitely thought I was completely lost the entire time and that I wouldn’t get the car back out! Finally I saw another vehicle and followed it to park.
Luckily I came out right by the dry caves and the Mahaulepu Beach, but I didn’t know it!
I wandered around the caves, sunned on the beach, then climbed onto the cliff walk in my bare feet because I thought I was just going for a lookout. It was so gorgeous and inviting that I just kept traveling the trail to see what was next around the corner.
My phone died, my water ran out, but I kept being pulled toward the top where I stumbled across the stone labyrinth in front of Kahili mountain (I think)!
I met a local minister there walking it, and I joined him. Fortunately, he took some pictures for me and told me to listen to the water crashing at that spot from 3 different sides. It created a peninsula, and we were standing on hollow rocks!
He told me to carefully go peak over the ledge to see the water swelling and crashing into the cliffs underneath us. I’m barefoot, remember, and the rocks were so jagged! But what a miraculous sight!
Unbelievably special day.
On one particular day it was raining all over Kauai island except way down on the west side so I hopped in my rental early and took off hoping to catch some sun, see a new beach and take the drive into the Waimea Canyon State Park for some spectacular views.
After spending some time swimming a little, laying on the rocks (until the waves pushed me off) and taking a short walk at Salt Pond Beach Park, my local friend met me up the road at Glass Beach (Kauai) so we could fish for treasures.
He brought a long pole and a little net and we literally scooped up the ocean floor from between the cliffs and sorted through all the shells looking for beautiful sea glass and expensive shells for the jewelry he makes called pukas (which means a hole in the center).
They are usually either white or lavender color and so precious. Well we hit the jackpot this day and found so many beautiful things! He let me bring them back for souvenirs.
After spending an hour or more on this activity we thought the clouds had lifted enough to view the canyon so we headed up. On the way was an incredible view of the hidden and forbidden island Ni’ihau. Next time, I want to take a snorkel trip there!
As we started to climb, the rains came again and the clouds stayed low. We drove all the way to the top anyway hoping for just a glimpse of this “Grand Canyon” of Hawaii.
All I got was two quick glances off the road of the splendor below and one of them happened to be a waterfall!
We decided not to venture far on a hike because of the deep slippery mud and no view. Luckily, I saw it better from the helicopter, but I can’t wait to go back and hike there!
I spent some time praying for the clouds to disperse and thinking I see a glimmer of sunshine. But no.
Click here for Part 3 and more breathtakingly amazing photos.