Minnesota Farmer

On Kauai
June 20, 2013, 7:43 pm
Filed under: garden, Hawaii, rain, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is my fourth trip in 4 years to the Hawaiian Islands and my first trip to Kauai.  They call it the Garden Island, but I must say that I was a bit unimpressed with the gardens and found Oahu to be more of a garden than Kauai.

Kauai is one of the most western of the Hawaiian Islands and one of the oldest.  Some say that the first human settlements in the Islands were here.  With the abundant moisture and good farm land I would say they made a very good choice.  In fact, parts of northern Kauai can exceed 400 inches of rain a year.  We stayed in Princeville, on the wet northern coast.  Looking out our southern windows there were mountain tops we never saw the tops of in the six days we were there.100_2076

The weather is quite different only a few miles south, and once you get to the southern end it is almost a desert.  Sitting on a northern Kauai beach is no fun if you have to have an umbrella handy.

The wet weather does allow for some really interesting plants to grow.  There were several orchids on the trees of the house we stayed in, and the grass and trees were in constant need of trimming when the rains let up.100_2066

Most of the island is roadless.  This can cause some interesting traffic as all cars are funneled to oceanside flat areas.  There is a part of the northeast coast, the Napali Coast, that is too steep for cars, so if you live on the north side and want to go to the west side you can hike a trail called “the crawl”, take a boat, or drive around the entire island.  There is a spot where an interior road reaches to within 7 miles of the north road, but there is no way to get from one to the other.  After all, how do you build a road on terrain that goes straight up and down.100_2156This is one place, where if you really want to see the island you need a helicopter.  There are few roads.  There are some really great hiking opportunities, and for the really adventurous, hiking up a stream into the interior can get you to places few ever go.  There is the highest swamp in the world to hike into, and beaches that are only reachable by kayak.  Then there are the sights you only see from a helicopter.100_2160 100_2146

So here are my tips on the island of Kauai.  If you are going for the beaches, stay on the eastern shore.  If you want a lonely beach go to the western shore, but remember you can only get there by kayak, and it would be best if you planned to camp there overnight.  I have seen much better gardens on Oahu, plus the shopping and historical sights are better.  Take a helicopter ride.  This is the one island that this is a must to see the island.  Bring your hiking shoes.  Plan on being wet if you go to the north shore.

The temperature along the coast never seems to vary.  It was about 75 at night and 83 in the day every time I have visited Hawaii.  It can get cooler up in the mountains, and you will get wet at some time.  It’s more likely to be wet on the north shore than on the south, and some islands are wetter than others.  High humidity is a given.

So will I go back again?  Most likely not.  Family got me here the last several times and they are no longer there.  Besides, there are so many other interesting places to visit.



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