Part 2 of this series is where the magic starts to happen.
Waking up in a time zone four hours behind what you’re used to is the first magical part of day 2. After a long travel day (Part 1), a good 8 hours of sleep later and we’re still waking up at 5:00 AM, refreshed and ready to go.
The plan: no plans
We drove up to the North Shore to revisit some of our favorite places from last time. Since last time, there had been a landslide on Hanalei Hill. It happened on April 15th this year and there has been a lot of work to get the road opened up.
However, it is one way with each side taking turns so if you want travel past this point like we did, expect some delays. The road is open during certain hours of the day, closes during the middle of the day, and reopens later in the day.
Luckily for us on this day (Sunday), the road is open all day but still one direction at a time.
Our favorite beach is Ke’e beach, which is where the main road ends, the famous Kalalau trail begins, and you have an epic view of the Na Pali coast.
Well, since the last time we were there, the north part of the island experienced a massive storm that flooded the entire north end of the island and cut off those locals for three months. It washed out a large portion of Ke’e beach. The beach and trail had become so overrun with tourists before the flooding that the state of Hawaii decided to use the reset and rethink this incredible site.
They moved the end of the road away from the beach, set up some agricultural sites, and required a parking pass or shuttle pass to visit the spot, including hiking the Na Pali coast.
This meant that we were only able to drive to a certain point before some park officials turned us around and we headed back to explore other islands until our scheduled hike the next day.
Our first beach
On our way back, we hit up Lumaha’i Beach as our first official beach of the trip. It has the Lumaha’i River running into the ocean. There is a nifty rope swing on the northwest portion of the river’s entry into the ocean that is pretty cool. There are also some rocks you can walk on and see waves splashing against them. Be careful, don’t get too close, don’t die.
We walked along this beach for a while and played around in the sand. There was only one person that we could see on this beach so it felt like our own private area to goof off and watch the waves.
After a while, there was another spot we wanted to go see.
The Queen’s Bath
I didn’t really know what The Queen’s Bath was. All I knew was that several people had recommended it as a must-see.
It is located in Princeville, just north of the Makai Golf Club. There is limited parking at the trailhead and everywhere else you would think to try and park is monitored and will have your car towed if you don’t have a pass.
The good news is that people are coming and going from the trail pretty regularly so we just parked by the trailhead in the neighborhood, stayed in the car, and waited for someone to come out and leave so we could take their spot. We only waited about 5-7 minutes and got our parking spot.
It is a short hike through some beautiful scenery before you are on the rocky ledges of this area. There are lots of little crabs running around and we saw a couple turtle swimming around in the ocean near the ledges.
Turn left once you hit the rocks and you’ll wander into a sinkhole of sorts, filled with crystal clear water and waves splashing against it.
Here’s a video of Caitlin swimming around in The Queen’s Bath
There are a lot of fairly good-sized fish in this pool that you can see swimming around you. Bring some goggles for an even better view of the life that exists in this little area.
There is a ledge that we all jumped off and into the pool. It is salt water, so plug your nose unless you want salt water up in the area that only a Covid test can reach, and this burning lasts longer than the brain-tickle of the Covid test.
Here’s my not-so-epic jump:
Here’s Caitlin’s more-epic jump:
We spent quite a bit of time here, chatting with a cool couple from Florida and floating around. Afterwards, we went hiking further north around the rocky ledges. There are a few other decent-sized pools that you can jump in and play around in. One has some pretty big swells so be careful there.
We hiked around a corner and found a little cove where a sea turtle was swimming and trying to catch food. It was pretty cool and worth the tricky hike in there.
The ledges have areas that are pretty sharp. I got a very small cut on my left thumb and pointer finger. Really, about the size of a paper cut, but boy, when that cut gets into salt water… it stings… so heads up.
After The Queens Bath, we went and checked out Secret Beach, which… spoiler alert, isn’t really secret. It’s real name is Kauapea Beach and plenty of people know about it. You walk down a good-sized hill through the backyards of some homes with spectacular backyards to get down to the beach. It’s a pretty big beach with a nice view of the Kilauea Lighthouse and some cool caves within the ledges.
A storm was heading in so we headed back, but before we did, we saw a fallen coconut and took our shot at getting inside a coconut. It’s quite the challenge, but with the combined strength of Caitlin (super strong) and myself (the strength of an infant) we were able to crack that coconut open. We weren’t brave enough to eat any of it.
Time to eat
We headed back to an area near our hotel and ate at Chicken in a Barrel BBQ. If you like BBQ, this place was yummy with lots of different meat options and fries. Caitlin went with the sweet potato fries, I went with the Sample Plate that has BBQ chicken, steak, ribs, beef, and pork all on top of rice. Chicken in a Barrel has a spicy teriyaki sauce and a sweet sauce. I went with the sweet because that’s just the kind of person I am.
We snagged a massive snow cone from JoJo’s Shaved Ice. Caitlin went with the banana colada, strawberry colada, and pina colada mix. It was refreshing and delightful.
Next, we jumped in our hotel pool and splashed around a bit. I worked on my freestyle stroke and dolphin kick while Caitlin got more tan.
Quick bike ride
Our hotel offered free bike rentals to guests as long as you had the bikes back by 6 PM. We took off around 5:15 PM after signing a waiver stating that if we damaged the bike, we were responsible to replace it at a cost of something like $750 for the bike.
In the nicest way I can muster, those bikes weren’t worth $750. They weren’t worth $100… super old, super rusty… although, maybe I’m just not up with the bike trends. I guess if it is “in” to have an old, paint-chipped, rusty, falling apart bike, then yes, these are worth a ton. Or if you can recycle scrap metal at $25 per pound, then we’re getting closer.
We rode from our hotel, across the Kuhio Highway that spans the Wailua Beach, Wailua Beach Park, and the Wailua River. We saw decent sized waves crashing, some locals fishing, and some people surfing a bit further out.
Our ride took us to Hikinaakala Heiau, which are the foundation ruins of an ancient temple, so that’s pretty cool. We wound our way around Lydgate Beach Park and watched some families playing in the park and a graduation luau taking place in the park pavilion.
On our way out of Lydgate park, my bike chain popped off and I had to throw that back on there with fears that this rusty old thing was going to now cost me $750, we’d be late for the 6 PM bike curfew, and I’d get tetanus from the rust getting in the cuts in my hand. Luckily, it went back on fine and made it back to the hotel in time without further incident. To my knowledge, I don’t have tetanus.
Here’s a video of Caitlin dancing around on the bike and nearly lopping off her head via tree.
Doesn’t she look so happy?!
Pretty proud of my filming while riding talent so if any Hollywood directors need such skill, my price isn’t high.
After our bike ride, we went to the grocery store to get some water and snacks for our upcoming hike of the Na Pali coast the next day. After we got back to our hotel, we got the news that the shuttle service to take us to the hike was cancelled all shuttles for the next day because of severe weather in that area the next day, so we had to reschedule our hike to Wednesday, two days after our plan. Didn’t end up being a problem and everything worked out well.
Continued our 3rd Rock from the Sun episodes before bed and we were out.
Ready to read about the adventures of Part 3?
Check it out here: Day 3