We woke up bright and early on our fourth morning in Kauai and headed from Koloa to the west side of the island. Nishan and I were headed to Waimea Canyon, but first, we stopped at Ishihara Market in Waimea for some poke.
Ishihara Market boasts the most expansive (and freshest) poke selection I had during my time in Kauai. Nishan and I picked up a few containers of maki sushi, tuna poke, and the most tender lobster poke you can imagine. I only wish we bought more, because soon we were out of time and had to get back on the road towards Waimea Canyon.
Waimea is Hawaiian for “reddish water”, a reference to the erosion of the canyon’s red soil. Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is unique in that it was formed not only by the gradual process of erosion, but also through the sudden collapse of the volcano that created Kauai. Intense island is intense.
After spending the the afternoon at the canyon, we headed back towards the town of Waimea for Jo-Jo’s Shave Ice. Next up: Port Allen. Port Allen is the halfway point back towards Koloa on the south shore, and we had scheduled a boat ride around the Na Pali Coast which departed from this old port town.
The Na Pali coast encompasses sixteen miles of rugged coastline along the northwest side of Kauai and is inaccessible to vehicles. Na Pali means “high cliffs” in Hawaiian, and indeed, these cliffs rise as much as 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
We were lucky to see the coastline on an exceptionally calm day, which meant that our boat was able to sail further north than usual. Between the dolphins, the crystal-blue waters, or the intensely colorful sunset, we took in the gorgeous views as much as we could. You know the saying “photos don’t do it justice”? Yeah.
By the time we returned to Port Allen, it was nighttime. We settled in for a quiet evening at our condo, tired but happy from another day well spent on the island.