Yesterday we had a driving day. We drove from Anahola, where we are staying, all the way around the island to Waimea and Polihale State Park, the furthest drivable point Northwest, when accessed from the south.
Kiddo was a dream in the car, thanks to the iPad.
Waimea Canyon was amazing. I wish we could take a hike in those parts, but we are just not up for that with our squirmy toddler. So we had to make to with amazing views from the top. She made some other tourists laugh because she walked up to the viewpoint and said, “Ooooooooooooh!” But maybe not all of them heard when she then turned around and went to climb up the stairs and said, “Oooooooooooooh big stairs!” Maybe it was just an “ooh!” kind of day.
Waimea, the town, was sort of a tourist trap. We drove through the first time without me believing that we had hit the town at all. But we had. On the second run through, it grew on me a bit. The people there aren’t the friendlist, but I guess with the steady stream of tourists, you sort of might get sick of us too!
After seeing the Canyon, Kiddo fell asleep and we got some lunch at the Shrimp Station. It was tasty while we were eating it and then we both regretted it. Greasy. We also bought a coconut to drink the water from. It was AMAZING! It was expensive, as expensive as buying a small carton of coconut water in Norway, but you don’t get fresher than that and you could taste the tree and the air and the sunshine, I swear!
We drove to Polihale Beach State Park next. It is at the end of the highway and then 4.5 miles down a dirt road. The road was super bumpy at the beginning, so much so that Kiddo woke up from her nap. Whoops! The beach itself was breathtaking. Fifteen miles of wide, sandy beach. Beach, in other words, as far as the eye can see. People were driving their Jeeps and tailgating out there. It was about all you could do, though, as it was windy and the waves were crashing high and constantly. So we sat on the sand and enjoyed the view for a few minutes and got back in the car for the 4.5 miles of teeth chattering bumps back to the highway.
It was then that we saw the dark clouds materialize, literally over our heads while we were driving. The whole island began to get rain in about 15 minutes from when we were sitting on the hot beach. It was crazy! We headed home, stopping for some Mexican food on the way at Verde.
The host at our cottage told us we had better not park down the driveway. Flash flooding was predicted for the night. Yikes!
We were in the car for over five hours, and saw about half the island, including one inland trek of almost ¾ the height of the island. We saw desert, jungle, valleys, canyons, and beaches. Not bad for a 12 hour day!