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Tuesday
Oct222013

Go west

We got up bright and early since we had a full day of activities ahead of us. We started off by heading over to Tip Top Café where we indulged in pancakes with a house-made papaya sauce and sweet bread French toast. After breakfast, we drove to Western Kauai to do some hiking in Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke'e State Park. 

It was about a 90 minute drive from Eastern Kauai to Western Kauai. We stopped on the road before reaching Waimea Canyon to admire it for a few minutes from afar. Next we stopped at Waimea Canyon Canyon Lookout for a slightly closer look. Finally we began our hiking for the day. Looking at maps, it's a little confusing which state park we actually hiked in; Waimea Canyon and Koke'e are side by side. We carefully hiked up and down the trails. We think they were Cliff Trail and Canyon Trail. Our goal was to see Waipo'o Falls. On our way to the Falls, we only encountered two other groups of hikers. As we retraced our steps, we passed quite a few more hikers on their way to the falls. We were glad that we started out early and managed to avoid the crowds. We continued on to the Koke'e Museum and spent a few minutes looking at their exhibits. We also spent a few minutes at Russian Fort Elizabeth State Park. We stayed long enough to read the information plaques and took a quick stroll into the ruins of the fort. I found it curious that such a small area was considered a state park.

On our way back to Eastern Kauai, we spotted a sign for Kauai Coffee Company. How could we not stop and take a look? The Visitor Center had a self-guided walking tour and a tasting area where you can sample every available estate coffee and watch a short film about the company and the plantation. Each coffee plant (tree) yields roughly one pound of coffee. Kauai Coffee Company has over four million plants on their plantation. They are the largest coffee producer in Hawaii and also in the U.S., and they are proudly 100% GMO free.

After a fairly full day of sightseeing, we returned to our hotel and spent some time relaxing on the beach. When we returned to our room, it was decided that there was a shortage of clean clothing. An emergency laundry session was required. Once the clothing crisis was averted, we went for dinner at Kalapaki Beach Hut. We both ordered beach burgers and a side of taro fries. They used local ingredients, including the beef. The food was fresh and very affordable. It was a nice conclusion to a busy day.    

 

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