[make your comments at the end of this post... mahalo]
One day, we decide to drive North from Poipu. Princeville here we come - though with many stops on the way and that might take a while.
We drive past the closed sugar cane factory outside Lihue and get back on Hwy 50. Without knowing it, we also drive just West of the Waita Reservoir, home of the famous PEACOCK BASS, one of the top best fighting, freshwater fish in the world. As the Sport fishing in Hawaii website says, "Aerial acrobatics, guile and cunning, the Peacock Bass is an intelligent, powerful, and worthy opponent of even the most accomplished tournament bass angler…..and you don’t need a passport or have to worry about the water to do it!"
We pass beautiful Eucalyptus tree groves and the two-lane road is shaded by the branches of a double row of towering eucalyptus trees, also called swamp mahogany. They grow into a dense, green Gothic arch. Alexander McBryde directed the planting of the nearly mile-long grove of trees in 1911 as a community project. (Tree Tunnel in the last post)
We take the 58 Hwy toward Nawiliwili Harbor which hosts the beautiful Kauai Marriott on the North side and stately cruise ships as their port-of-call. It is located at the mouth of the Hule'ia Stream which creates a natural channel for the large ships. This harbor and nearby Niumalu Beach Park were pictured in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. We drive into the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club and have a wonderful buffet breakfast before getting back on the road.
Lihue is expanding fast and one of first signs of that is when we notice is the large shopping complex including Kukui Grove which houses K Mart, Macys, Sears, Meyvns and many, many, more stores. The center is also across the street from Costco and Home Depot and down the road from Wall-mart. Now, it seems, the retail mainland has arrived in Kauai. The good news is you can now buy anything you need in Lihue.
We cut back toward the Airport to connect with Hwy 51 North and take the Ahukini Road out to the point. There we see AHUKINI LANDING, overlooking Kauai's original deepwater port. The pier was once an old ship's landing. It was from here that the many sugar plantations, that were once so prevalent on Kauai, loaded their shipments to the mainland. At one point it was the only location where large vessels could dock on Kauai. After World War II, a better harbor was constructed at Nawiliwili Bay where the cruise ships now dock. The old Ahukini Pier was abandoned and mostly dismantled in 1978. Few tourists visit here so it is a treat.
We get back on 56 and go North along the coast. Our next stop is at the Wailua Golf Course. Who can resist a round at one of the best community courses in Hawaii and very reasonably priced also? It was first built as a 9-hole golf course in the 1930’s. The second 9 holes was added in 1961. Course designer was Toyo Shirai. Wailua GC hosted 3 USGA Amateur Public Links Championships and is voted by Golf Digest as one of Hawaii’s best 15 golf courses. We got around the course quickly (just over 4 hours) and I shot a reasonable 84. Now we head out Northward again.
We again veer off the Princeville course once again to see Wailua Falls. The pounding water and its sound are so relaxing. We cannot get very close to the falls this way, so we decide to come back another day to enjoy the Wailua river, the famous Fern Grotto, and the Kamokila Hawaiian Village from a river cruise.
The Kamokila Hawaiian Village is a historical site of an authentic Hawaiian village and it is good to see it by a tour boat. The Kamokila Hawaiian Village is snuggled by the world renown FERN GROTTO, SECRET FALLS and the OPAEKA‘A WATERFALL, on the Wailua River. They have found artifacts that include medicine rocks, birthing stones, bell stones, foundations of houses and petroglyphs. It was first restored in 1979. In past times, this spot was ideal for a fishing village. Men would use their canoes to fish in the river and ocean. The mountains, and valleys around supplied essentials like wood and food for their perfect village.
When we do the Wailua river tour we will also see the ULU’WEHI Falls, more commonly known as the “SECRET FALLS”, is located on the North fork of the Wailua River and can be accessed via a short hike. The Waterfall was said to be the bathing site of the Ali’i (KING) of the Island. At approximately 120 ft. high, the Secret Falls is a sight and the perfect backdrop for a picnic, photo shoot, and lot’s of fun. There is a pool at the base of the Waterfall that offers a tranquil setting, and a soothing environment.
When we check our watches, we now realize we have been enjoying ourselves too much and cannot get to Princeville in time to see the sunset. So, it's back to Poipu and a wonderful dinner at Merriman's. Maybe we should make a tee time at the Princeville golf course for tomorrrow. That would ensure we make it all the way North without any distractions. Hmmmm...
More on our trip up the East coast of Kauai in our next post.
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