Friday, September 2, 2011

{ Kaua'i ~ Part VIII: Polihale + Sunset }

Getting around Kauai is interesting. The island is basically a circle, but because of the rugged mountains in the interior {remember Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on earth?}, Kauai's highways go around the rim of the island. And because of the Na Pali coast, the highway is a broken circle--it doesn't go all the way around: There's a 17-mile stretch along the northwest side that is road-free.

We stayed at Princeville, just a few miles from the north end of the highway. So, to get to Polihale, the westernmost beach on Kauai, we drove literally all the way around the island, but ended up within 10 miles {as the crow flies} of where we started.

Polihale is an immense beach. It's 15 miles long and about 300 feet wide. Once the highway ends, you have to take dirt roads for about five miles to reach the beach. Luckily, it was dry when we went, so the dirt road was in good shape.

: : On the way to Polihale : :

The Na Pali mountains are a magnificent backdrop for this colossal beach. Can you see the pickup trucks on the sand?

The sheer size of everything at Polihale--beach, mountains, waves--is staggering.
And talk about HOT! We'd heard it's 3-5 degrees hotter on the west side of the island, which translates into burning the soles off your feet when running from your towel to the water!

That's Mike on the far left. I do not know how I managed to take a picture just as a wave struck him full-on, but I did and it cracks me up. The waves at Polihale are wicked powerful. I was swept off my feet and tumbled around several times when standing in less-than-waist-deep water. Really, really powerful surf! I managed not to lose my bathing suit, but it was close a couple times, and a lady nearby wasn't as lucky as me!

On our way back home, I asked Mike to pull over so I could take a photo of this building, the United States Post Office of Makaweli. Isn't it the cutest post office you've ever seen?

Earlier in the week, we'd gone to the grounds of the St. Regis Princeville and tried to catch the sunset. It was overcast, though, and a very unsatisfying sort of sunset. Mike was determined to get me to a beautiful sunset tonight, and we raced homeward to get to the St. Regis and literally run for the bluff!

That's Mike, high-tailing it toward the sunset.


Ahhhhhh. Now this is what I'm talking about!

: : Hanalei Bay : :

Isn't God amazing? Not only did I get to see a beautiful sunset, there "just happened" to be a sailboat leaving the bay!

Thank you, Mr. Mike, for sharing such a beautiful sunset with me.


  1. What a beautiful photographs! 3-5 degrees hotter? Eep. I hate when I get burned footsies from the sad!

  2. Oh, that turquoise water looks sooo refreshing (esp in the heat!). Beautiful sunset, and sharing that kind of beauty with one you love makes it super-special :)