Our last full day in Kauai began for me at 5 am when I quietly left the house to greet the dawn at the nearby Shipwreck Cove. After I returned, the family got up and we took an overall one hour drive to the Western side of the island where one of the most spectacular beaches can be found at the start of the Na Poli coast in Polihale State Park. The thing about the Hawaiian islands is that everyone can be Ansel Adams with an iPhone. It is virtually impossible to take a big shot on Kauai.
At dawn I walked along on the nearby cliffs of the Shipwreck Cove as the sun rose and transformed everything into a golden glow and then a vivid pink. I later found a solitary man who was fishing over the high cliff with one of the longest fishing lines I have ever seen. The dawn was so enchanting that I hope to do it again before we head for the airport in the morning.
The next stop was something that was irresistible after the trip with Captain Andy. As we worked up the Na Poli coast, the crew pointed out a beach that ran for a few miles to the start of the Na Poli coast. I had to see the Polihale beach up close.
This trip is not for people with sensitive backs or vulnerable vehicles. For almost 5 miles, you have to drive on a gravel and then a dirt road with huge bumps and holes. There were already two trucks with flat tires and two other vehicles were stuck at the end in the sand. We moved in our minivan at a 10 mile an hour space. The difficult pays off in the end with one of the most pristine and unique beaches in the world. The problem is that there is a dangerous under current as well as other perils. It is also worth noting that the sand at this beach is super soft and you sink a foot in some places. It makes for a very restful day, but the sand retains a great deal of heat. You should wear flip flops to get to the water from your car. We stayed very close to the beach and loved it. There were relatively few people on the beach.
I walked a couple miles down the beach to the point where the Na Poli coast begins. It is amazing to swim with the awesome mountains just off the beach. I know of no other beach with such a unique mix of soft sand, towering cliffs, and seclusion.
On our way home we stopped at Island Taco in Waimea which we terrific, though again surprisingly expensive like so much else on this island. Unfortunately, we went to Waimea Beach to see its famous black sand only to find that it was closed due to bacteria contamination. The stench was overwhelming. We did not want to end our wonderful time on Kauai with that memory of Waimea beach so we went back to Salt Pond beach for some late day body surfing.
It was an incredible day though the kids will have some sunburns to take home as memories in the morning.