I couldn’t tell you where this place is even if I wanted to. I could narrow it down for you, though. Itineraries are great, but for me, the best part about trips are the times when you get lost in a wonderful place that you had no intention of visiting. This was one of those times. After a quick trip to Wailua Falls, Joel and I decided to check out the south shore of Kauai, near Koloa and Poipu. After stopping for a Hawaiian plate at the Koloa Fish Market and then eating said Hawaiian plate at the very popular Poipu Beach, we decided to drive around the area to explore a bit. For some reason, I can’t even remember why, but we pulled over and decided to check out this one area. And then we took pictures. Joel even saw a whale breach. He was stoked. And so was I.
Located beyond the Maniholo dry cave is another one of Kauai’s north shore landmarks, the Waiakanaloa wet cave. This wet cave is located just before the Ke’e Beach parking lot. Waikanaloa, meaning water of Kanaloa, and its neighbor, Waikapalae, are said to have been dug by the goddess of fire, Pele. During a recent visit to Kauai, we decided to drive to the end of Highway 56 / Kuhio HIghway. At the very is end of the highway is Ke’e Beach and, more importantly, the trailhead to the famous eleven-mile long Kalalau Trail.
The Maniholo dry cave makes for a short and fun stop if traveling to the north shore of Kauai. The cave is located at the bottom of Kaiwikui Ridge and across from Haena Beach Park. Maniniholo means “travelling reef surgeonfish.” You’ll often times here locals refer to small fish, or small things in general, as being “manini.” According to legend, Maniniholo was the name of the head fisherman of the area during the time the menehunes were leaving the island (Wichman, 1998). Apparently, a few of these little imps were caught stealing food from the fisherman and were subsequently killed. The rest of the menehune, well, jumped on their canoes at Makua Bay and was never seen again.
By completing the Kuaokala Trail, I was able to strike off another Na Ala Hele maintained trail off of my list. Kuaokala terminates at a lookout that overlooks Makua Valley, however, the best views are to be had before reaching this lookout. Our crew had previously reached this same lookout point via the Kealia Trail in Mokuleia. The Kuaokala trailhead is located in Waianae, far from the trailhead of Kealia. Access to the Kealia Trail is open, whereas you will need to get a permit from the Hawaii Division of Forestry if you want to hike the Kuaokala Trail. That said, I believe that Kuaokala is a better hike, with much more varied vistas.
I’m a long time fan of Herb Kane’s work. I can still remember visiting the Bishop Museum, where his artwork would bring life to the Hawaiian folklore that we would learn about in Hawaiiana class. If you grew up in Hawaii, then you can probably relate. Maybe not to seeing Herb Kane’s work at Bishop Museum, but surely you can remember sitting Indian-style in Hawaiiana class as your Kumu (Hawaiian teacher) taught you how to count in Hawaiian, play the ukulele, and told you stories about the ancient Hawaiians. Yes, going to elementary school in Hawaii is way better than going to elementary school anywhere else (if you can look beyond national standardized test score averages). Of course, I’m bias, but I digress. The point is, Herb Kane is not just a talented artist, but a living legend. Herb Kane is an author, historian, and cultural leader. So, I was very pleased when I stumbled upon his work during a recent stay at the Grand Wailea in Maui.
This is Instagram Hawaii Spotting: Volume 5. I use Instagram a lot. A LOT. This makes sense since I’m pretty much glued to my iPhone and I love to snap photos. These are a few photos that I Instagrammed during a recent trip to Kauai. Enjoy!