Kauai, Hawaii – Part 2: Days 4 & 5

On our 4th day in Kauai we checked out Wailua Falls, one of the 2 easily accessible falls on Kauai [as in, you can drive there and don’t have to hike through a hot valley].  It was beautiful:

We saw beautiful long-tailed birds flying around the waterfall:

       

Since the beaches were still fairly dangerous, we spent the rest of the day at the Kauai Plantation Railway, which is a 40 minute train ride through an historic plantation.  What appealed to me was the wild pig feeding halfway through the trip!  We got there early and enjoyed the wildlife around the depot while we waited for the train:

        

This was the only Gold dust day gecko I saw – they were everywhere on the Big Island but are very hard to find on the other islands:

        

       

Once the train ride began we saw lots of animals & plants – that’s taro growing in the pond in the 2nd picture:

       

As we approached the wild pig enclosure, the pigs started coming towards the train.  The little ones came over fast whereas the big old bulls slowly sauntered out of the tall grass:

       

Look at that little face!

The train tour guide told us the pigs are all wild, and were caught foraging in the plantation.  They were humanely trapped and moved into the giant fenced-in enclosure complete with mud pit for wallowing:

He said there’s about 50 wild pigs.  There were also a few large goats – hubby fed one of them – I zoomed in for the 2nd pic so you can see his adorable little goat tongue:

        

Then it was all aboard and the pigs started making their way back to the field.  The bulls went back into the tall grass & you couldn’t see any sign of them!  Made me realize how well they can hide and that we probably drove by tons of them during our trip without even realizing it:

       

On Day 5 we headed up North to the Kilauea Lighthouse & Wildlife Sanctuary where we saw so many birds including the endangered Hawaiian Nene [nay nay]:

        

The Nene are so tame – they just walk right by you, or come right up and graze on the grass at your feet:

        

        

        

A nice couple from Canada asked if we’d take a picture of them in front of Kilauea Lighthouse with their camera, and then they offered to return the favor:

       

The nesting Red-Footed Boobies completely covered the hill across the inlet:

        

As we were leaving, we drove by a lookout point & I asked hubby to stop the car.  I ran over to take some sweeping vistas with my camera, but instead happened to look down and saw a pair of Red-Footed Boobies on a nest.  The male flew up to a branch above the nest, then took off, but I got a pic before he did that:

The female remained on the nest and I was so excited when she stood up to groom & I could see her egg!

       

I got those shots with my 300mm zoom – they were pretty far down from the lookout point and not easily visible.  I’m so glad I spotted them!

As we left the refuge we drove by this beautiful church and stopped to take a few pics:

        

One of the grave stones was CRAZY:

“Erected by the Kilauea Sugar Co. to the memory of J. H. Hermanson who after 6 years of faithful service was killed by the bursting of a centrifugal machine in the Cos. Mill.  Also of H. C. Erick his fellow countryman who lost his life in the same accident aged 19 [17?] years”.  Crazypants!  What a horrific way to go.

On our way to investigate some caves we’d read about, we stopped at Hanalei Bay to see the famous pier and take a quick swim:

       

The Bay is protected by a reef quite far out, so there wasn’t so much as a wave to be seen.  The water was super shallow & super warm:

        

We backtracked slightly to Princeville for a deli lunch.  The Hawaiian cardinals & sparrows were crazy!  They were enamored with our chips:

        

        

And of course there were chickens:

Then we headed another half hour up the road to Manini-holo dry cave which was crazy!  It’s huge and you can walk all the way into it.  At one point, when I was most of the way inside, hubby said “whatever you do, DON’T. LOOK. UP.” – that was enough for me!  I hightailed it straight out!  He told me later that even though he didn’t see any spiders, the ceiling was completely covered in webs.  Cave spiders… *FULL BODY SHUDDER*:

        

       

Then we headed a short ways up the road to the Waikapale wet cave.  The mountains on Kauai are just beautiful!  That’s me way down near the water in the 2nd pic, to give you some perspective:

        

Scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides were filmed in this cave.  I just read that if you hit the cave at the right time of day the water and walls glow bright blue!  Next time…  I want to know what’s through that opening in the back wall – but not enough to climb in and swim through!  Cave spiders…:

At this point we’d reached the end of the road – as far north & west as we could drive.  On the way home we stopped at an overlook of taro fields:

       

While at the overlook some roosters & chickens became quite friendly.  I think the rooster wanted to come right into the car:

       

Here’s the pics Jim was taking in the above photo:

        

The only other pic I have to show from days 4 & 5 is another beautiful church:

Stay tuned for days 6 & 7!

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10 Comments

  1. are those baby chicks?
    no sexy time on the beach pictures-bummer;)

    • there were TONS of baby chicks everywhere – from just born to teenagers.
      LOL sexy time on the beach… that’s when YOU go on vacation 🙂
      PS thanks for the KIWI!

  2. The pictures invite you to dream.
    Die Bilder laden zum träumen ein.
    Liebe Grüsse

  3. Wow. You took some great pictures, especially of all the animals. I love them.

  4. so many animals! Kate would’ve been in heaven..

    • I know it! the pigs were awesome. And someone said there’s more wild chickens on Kauai than people, but I’m not sure that’s true… They were everywhere!

  5. This was fascinating – great descriptions, wonderful pictures – WOW what a gorgeous place! And it looks like the two of you made great use of your time there – seeing and enjoying everything. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    • Yes, we sure did! We wore ourselves out! That’s probably why it’s taking us so long to recover from our trip. But it was worth it 🙂

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