Wild and Mystical Kauai
It is a cold and grey winter’s day in Vancouver. Snow is falling outside the window. A stark contrast to the warm and vibrant images filling my computer screen and my head. This was our second adventure to Kauai and it was equally magical to the first.
This trip had days of solid rain, high tropical winds and a flash flood warning. It also had days of beautiful warm sunshine. I certainly felt a strong connection to the natural environment and the power of Mother Nature on this little island. It was a clear reminder that we are part of a world much bigger than ourselves. At times all we can do is surrender to those greater forces and eat lots of tropical fruit.
We stayed in a lovely guesthouse on a larger property right on Hanalei Bay. Our hosts were very generous and kind. Shoes were certainly optional most days.
The commute to the beach took us through the yard, past the scent of the citrus trees, the beauty of the orchids, all the little lizards scurrying about the yard and along the sand dollar paving stone path.
There were many citrus trees in the yard including a Meyer lemon, a couple types of oranges and a lime that when picked left your hands coated in their richly perfumed oils. The view from the shower was of the neighbour’s orange tree. Little orange gems dancing among the dark green foliage.
We stocked up at the local farmer’s markets. Calculating how many avocados and bananas we would need to carry us over until the next market.
Taking all of the treasures out of the bags and displaying them beautifully on the table when we returned home was part of the fun. Anticipation of the goodies we would eat in the coming days was part of the pleasure.
We explored the island’s many beaches, read books by the shore and rode waves on the boogie boards. We went to bed early and rose early to the sound of birds singing or rain falling. We played scrabble as night fell and listened to the geckos.
We swam in the ocean almost every day and felt truly blessed by the sun when it kissed our skin. We ate passionfruit, pineapples, papayas and bananas. The citrus juices ran down our hands and faces.
We made fresh fruit smoothies, fish tacos with fruit salsa and coconut curry with green papaya salad. We ate lots of guacamole and the best mango lilikoi sorbet I have ever tasted, scooped out of the back of a truck.
One afternoon when it just felt too wet to go outside I baked some oatmeal cookies with lots of macadamia nuts and coconut. There is always a silver lining.
We drove through the lush green valley, across one lane bridges and up a winding road to an awe inspiring canon. We got bitten by many a mosquito.
We tried blue java or ice cream bananas for the first time. Finally they ripened on the last days of our time on Kauai. They were fluffy and sweet.
I spent time capturing the beauty of the flowers in the garden and taking it all in on the swing under the lanai.
After days of wild winds and rain we experienced a most amazing sunset over the bay. Time with loved ones in a tropical paradise is precious. While perhaps we didn’t get as much beach time as we had anticipated, I had other experiences I had never anticipated that will stick with me for a long time to come.
I came home with sand between my toes and a sense of rejuvenation that only comes from being in nature, from breathing the freshest air each day, swimming in the salty water and sharing in these experiences with those nearest and dearest.
Kauai is certainly an adventure with her wild and unpredictable nature.
I continue to be in awe of the raw and vast beauty of the island. The lushness of the landscape, the power of the ocean, the freshness of the food and simplicity of life leave you wanting more and dreaming about the next time you will visit.