March 19, 2011 at 6:37 am Leave a comment

Last year my friend Susie and I decided it was time to go on a cruise to Hawaii.  The waters were very rough as we left San Diego and we were both seasick for a few days so our trip didn’t start out very good but it definitely made up for the discomfort once we arrived in beautiful Hawaii.

Our first stop was Hilo, on the Big Island.  The first thing that I noticed was the banyan trees.  They were absolutely huge and beautiful!

Banyan tree in Hilo

We met a wonderful taxi driver who drove us around the area showing us beautiful waterfalls and scenery.  Of course we had to make a stop at Hilo Hattie’s to shop a bit, too!

Waterfall in Hila

He then dropped us off at Liluokalani Gardens, a 30 acre beautifully landscaped Japanese garden with arching red bridges over fishponds, huge turtles in the water, rock gardens and views of Hilo Bay and Moku Ola (Coconut Island).   We strolled around taking in the beauty for several hours until calling the taxi to return us to the ship. 


Our next stop was the historic town of Lahaina on Maui.  Besides the charming buildings that greeted us as we came ashore the first thing that we noticed was the huge Banyan tree in Courthouse Square.  This tree was brought to Maui from India when the tree was only eight-feet tall.  It was planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Lahaina’s first Christian mission.  The tree now is about 50 feet tall and extends over 200 feet from side to side.  What an awesome sight!

Giant Banyan tree in Lahaina

From there we took a bus out to Whalers Village to go swimming on Ka’anapali Beach.  The beach was practically deserted that day so we had a great time having the beach to ourselves.  Then back to Front Street to have lunch at Forrest Gumps.


Forrest Gumps

 That was all the time we had on this beautiful island so back to the ship!

The next day we arrived at Nawiliwili, Kauai.  Susie’s brother and his wife were also taking a cruise around the islands and this just happened to be one of the islands that we were both on at the same time.  We met and went out to breakfast and caught up on our adventures.

Susie, David and me

Then we were off to take our kayaking trip up the Hule’ia jungle stream through mangroves and into the heart of the Kauai island jungle.  We passed the living archeological site called Alekoko, a fish pond preserving the fishing methods of the ancient Hawaiians.  We could see a couple of the gates that were used centuries ago.  Susie had never kayaked before and this was just my second time so we zigzagged a bit as we were going up-stream.  It was the perfect place for us beginners though.  It had a very gentle current and the winds blow inland here so it helped in pushing the kayakers up-stream.  Easy as pie!  The trip was beautiful. 

Lush jungle along the Hule'ia jungle stream

Then we got out of our kayaks and hiked through the jungle to the Hidden Valley Falls and swimming hole as the tour guide showed us native edible plants and nuts as well as the beautiful flowers, plants and streams.  What an adventure this was!  I never thought I would ever get to say that I kayaked up a jungle stream, much less hiking through a jungle.  It will always be a wonderful memory for me!

Tying up the kayaks

Jungle walk

Me and Susie at Hidden Valley Falls

My next post will be the second half of my Hawaiian adventure!


Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , .

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