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Trip Report Another Hawaii Trip Report

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Having read a couple recent reports, I thought I'd share a bit of our recent trip to what I've seen referred to here as that "Hell-hole" of an island, Kauai.

We were there for 10 nights, all of them in a cottage towards the end of the road on the north shore, 7 one-lane bridges west of Hanalei. Except for the steady stream of traffic to and from the Kalalau Trail, Ke'e and Tunnels Beaches, the location is quite remote, but suited us perfectly. And it reminded us, more than any other place we've been in Hawaii, of what we saw/felt/experienced in previous trips to French Polynesia. Loved it. We also loved our little spot at Hale Makai Cottages, a small beachfront compound of five cottages: http://www.halemakaicottages.com/.

Spent one of the 9+ days on the beaches around Poipu, and another taking the drive up to Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley lookout, but our only scheduled activity was a photography tour with Kauai Photo Tours: http://www.hawaiianphotos.net/kauaitours.htm. Generally, we woke up in the mornings with nothing on the day's agenda, and went to bed that night having completed only half of it. Oh, and needing to go buy some more mai-tai mix. Next time we'll have to program even less, I suppose.

Best memories:
Sunsets with a bottle of wine at Tunnels Beach;
Walking back to our cottage in a tropical downpour after dinner at Mediterranean Gourmet one night;
A banana tree with ripe bananas next to our cottage;
The Luau at Mediterranean Gourmet, which for me, was almost a spiritual experience;
A welcoming rainbow against the backdrop of Puff the Magic Dragon our first morning there;
But mostly, just observing and living life at a Hanalei pace.

Best meals:
Red Hot Mamas in Wainiha;
Hanalei Dolphin;
Kalypso in Hanalei (more for the vibe than the food);
The Luau and a few happy hours at Mediterranean Gourmet;
Shave ice over macadamia nut ice cream at Jo Jo's (ice cream is a food group, isn't it?).

Somehow, I have to justify (to my wife) having lugged a camera around wherever we went, so if you care to take a look: http://www.pbase.com/smg9774/kauai&page=all.

Can't wait to go back........