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Kauai, Paradise on Earth: Day 3

Cliff hiking, puka dogs, and a rooster stampede.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42427255@N00/sets/72157626482751039/with/5668090410/

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With a little time left at the Hyatt, we decided to start the day with a BANG. We threw on our sneakers and headed to the Maha’ulepu Hertitage Trail, which carried us 4 miles (roundtrip) along ancient sand dunes that have been hardened and compacted into spectacular limestone ledges and cliffs that run beside the pounding ocean.

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The trail started at Shipwrecks Beach, right beside the Hyatt, so it seemed like the best time to do it. As we headed along the trail, every view seemed more spectacular than the last. The view was so huge, it was hard to take it in.

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A photo can never do it justice. You have to be there, standing at the cliff’s edge, feeling the wind whipping through your hair, feeling the salt spray on your cheeks, and hearing the waves crashing against the rocks below, only then can you fathom the enormity of it.

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The trail ends at a beautiful and secluded beach where we lay in the shade and listened to the crashing waves for a bit before heading back.

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It was time to say “good bye” the Hyatt, and while I would miss the decadent spa and the cool blue pools, I would not miss the $14 cocktails or the fact that no matter where I turned, there were people everywhere. This is why I don’t do resorts. The lack of seclusion is hard for me to take. However, for 2 days, it had been fantastic.

But I was ready to go!

We went a short distance down the road and stopped at Puka Dog in Poipu for lunch. Literally a hole in the wall inside a small shopping center, this hot dog counter had a perpetual line streaming in front of it, a testament to just how good a hot dog can be.

What’s a puka dog, you ask? First, “puka” means “hole” in Hawaiian. To make a puka dog, they bake a large fresh roll (about twice the size of an average hot dog bun) and poke a hole in it. They toast the inside of the bread and stuff in a giant, perfectly grilled polish sausage. They then squirt in any number of unique toppings that you request.

I had spicy jalepeno garlic lemon sauce, mango relish, and lilikoi mustard and a fresh lemonade, just like grandma used to make (the lemonade, not the lilikoi mustard...I'm not sure grandma knew what lilikoi was). Delish.

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Wanting to see the south side sights before heading north, we drove toward Spouting Horn where we were stopped in our tracks by the amazing smell of garlic wafting through the air. We slammed on the brakes, made what I am certain was a very sketchy and illegal u-turn and pulled in at the Savage Shrimp truck to sample a plate of garlic shrimp. Smelling amazing and wrapped in foil, we carried our prize to a picnic table at Spouting Horn and sat down to eat what may be the best shrimp I have ever had.

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Yes, the best shrimp I have ever had was on a paper plate purchased from the back of a truck on the side of the road.

They marinate the shrimp in olive oil, garlic, and spices for something like 24 hours and serve it with the peel on. We sat there peeling and licking our fingers as a few chickens wandered over by our table.

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“Don’t feed the chickens,” I said to Matt.

“Why not?” he asked. “Maybe if I give them some, they’ll stop touching my feet.”

“The sign says, DO NOT FEED THE CHICKENS.” I replied.

Rules. I am all about rules.

“It’s the rule” I said smartly as I licked a big drip of garlic flavored oil as it ran down my hand.

That’s when Matt ignored me and made another mistake. He threw a handful of rice away from the table.

Remember the spoon and the koi? Well, it was a lot like that, but with chickens.

Within SECONDS, what were 3 or 4 chickens became about 40 chickens. They came running out of the woods. They came running from the parking lot. They came running from the restrooms. Chickens everywhere. Cackling and running straight for us in a frenzy.

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There were wings flapping, feathers flying, roosters crowing, and hens pecking. It was like Black Friday at Wal-Mart as they climbed all over each other fighting for the rice. I felt like I was in the Old MacDonald version of a bad Alfred Hitchcock movie.

I was mortified.

Oh my goodness. We fed the chickens. The sign said don’t feed the chickens and we fed the chickens.

I just knew we were going to be the first people thrown out of Spouting Horn Beach Park as I waited for some park official to show up with handcuffs for my garlic-greasy hands.

Thankfully, no one showed up to chastise us and no chickens were hurt. When the food was gone, everyone returned to their normally scheduled business and I left the table quickly.

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We got our look at the giant blow hole that is Spouting Horn, perused the vendors that were lined up selling shell necklaces and sea glass earrings, and headed back down toward Hanapepe with Lappert’s on the brain.

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Lappert’s Ice Cream is some amazing Hawaiian goodness. With a cupful of Kauai Pie (kona coffee ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and vanilla cake crunch) we stopped to check out the sights and made our way back north.

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Aloha bliss, indeed.

It was time for a pit stop at Salt Pond Beach Park where we licked dripping ice cream from our hands and watched the kids play in the waves.

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We stopped in old Koloa town on the way, browsing the cute shops and eyeballing the giant monkeypod tree before continuing north. We passed through the tree tunnel, drove through Lihue, Wailua, Kapaa, grabbed some groceries and found ourselves in Anahola in the late afternoon.

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We checked into Secret Cove Villa which absolutely WOWED us upon entry. It exceeded our every expectation, with sweeping views of the most beautiful beach from every room, gorgeous décor and amenities, wonderfully cool a/c, and a welcome basket of chilled champagne and goodies upon our arrival.

This would be our home base for the next week and we couldn’t have been happier.

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As the sun settled lower and lower in the sky and we snuggled deeper and deeper into the super cushy sofa of Secret Cove watching the waves crash below and sipping chilled champagne, we just couldn’t tear ourselves away.

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We threw our dinner plans out the window and made a snack tray of cheese toasts, salami, fruit, chips and hummus, and garlic mac nuts followed by Roselani coconut ice cream; popped in a dvd; and called it a day.

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Posted by vicki_h 08:37 Archived in USA Tagged beach island tropical hawaii kauai

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Because I so enjoy your blog, I have nominated you for a Versatile Bloggers Award.
Debbie Day
http://dbdazedomain.wordpress.com/

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