2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report Part 8: Poʻipū Beach and Spouting Horn

To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we took a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi (read the previous parts here). When last we left in Part 7, we had enjoyed a morning of great views and then lunch, but we were ready to hit the beach…

Saturday, July 7, 2018 (continued)

We then decided it was time to check out another beach to see if the swimming there was good. Because it was already the middle of the afternoon, we did not want to go all that far. So we decided to try Poʻipū Beach Park, which was only a mile or two from the Grand Hyatt. Finding a parking place was a little difficult, but we only had to circle the relatively small lot before we found a place. But parking was free, so we did not have anything to complain about.

We discovered that Poʻipū Beach Park was an actual park, with picnic areas and a playground, and of course a beach with lifeguards. It was also a place with lots of people. Much different from the beaches we had visited so far. The crowd was not overwhelming, however, so we decided to stay for a while.

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Welcome to Poʻipū Beach Park!
Welcome to Poʻipū Beach Park!
The view down the opposite direction, complete with lifeguard hut.
The view down the opposite direction, complete with lifeguard hut.

Before we got in the water, we noticed several people pointing at something in the water. We were not sure what it was at first, but then we saw that it was a large turtle swimming slowly by. Everyone stayed back out of the way of the turtle, and he swam up very close to the shore. He was over three feet long from his nose to his tail. Much larger than the small turtles we see in our yard back home. He did not seem to be bothered by the people at all. There were several people snorkeling in the water, and I am guessing that some of them had seen him coming. He swam off on his way, and everything returned to normal.

Waves at Poʻipū Beach
Waves at Poʻipū Beach

At one side of the beach, the waves were smaller than any that we had seen so far. However, the waves at the other side were large, just like what we had seen before. We ventured out to give it a try, mostly staying in the smaller wave area. The ground was a bit rocky underneath the sand, which was similar to what we had seen elsewhere, but we still enjoyed the water for a while.

More people than any of the other beaches we had visited.
More people than any of the other beaches we had visited.

Out away from the shore, there was a large rocky area, and some people were brave enough to swim out to it to walk around. We did not attempt that, because it looked like they were having to work hard to get out there and back. Still, it was interesting to see the waves crashing with big sprays on the rocks behind them. I was actually surprised by the number of people who were out there sometimes. Maybe getting out there was not quite as difficult as it looked, but we decided it was not for us.

I was fascinated by the waves that were bigger than the people!
I was fascinated by the waves that were bigger than the people!
One more view from Poʻipū Beach before leaving.
One more view from Poʻipū Beach before leaving.

We enjoyed our time there, even with all of the people that were there. But it was starting to get late in the afternoon, and we decided it was time to move on. But we thought we would visit one more landmark before heading back to our hotel.

One of the places we had seen signs for in the area was Spouting Horn Park. Laura checked the map and saw that it was very close to where we were. She also saw where some people had written reviews to say that there was not much to see there, but we thought we would check it out anyway.

We drove up, and there were several cars in the parking lot, so we thought that was a good sign. And then we saw that the walkway to the water was a series of covered tents. Inside were vendors selling crafts and such. We looked quickly as we were on our way, but we went on out to the water.

The Spouting Horn for which the park was named is a hole in the lava rocks of the shore. When the waves of the ocean hit the rocks below, water is forced through the hole in the rocks, shooting up in the air like a geyser. Maybe not interesting to see to some people, but we enjoyed it. The negative reviews were probably from someone seeking lots of thrills and high adventure. But for us it was fun! It was one of those fun little things of nature that excite us. Maybe we are easily impressed, but there were several others there being easily impressed with us.

The Spouting Horn spouts. We liked it.
The Spouting Horn spouts. We liked it.
The Spouting Horn spouts. We liked it.
The Spouting Horn spouts. We liked it.

While we were watching the Spouting Horn, we heard people pointing out a turtle, and we saw it, too. I wondered if it was the same turtle that we had seen down the way at Poʻipū. After all, this was the direction in which it had been swimming. It could very well have been another turtle because there are several in the area. But still, it was interesting to wonder if the same turtle could have been following us along the beach.

The view off to the side of the Spouting Horn. It was cool, too.
The view off to the side of the Spouting Horn. It was cool, too.

We watched the horn do its spouting for a while, and then it was time to move on. But before we did, we looked around at the different sellers in the tents. Most of them were trying to leave, but they also know not to pass up a sale. So we found a couple of things to purchase from some of the happy vendors before we all packed up and went our different ways.

Our way took us toward our hotel. We stopped at a park that had a statue, and we learned that it was the birthplace of Prince Kuhio. Kuhio was one of the last of the Hawaiian royals before their government was overthrown by American businessmen. But the park was closed and we could not go in. So instead of trespassing, we went across the street and enjoyed the ocean view for just a few moments before heading on back.

As close as we got to the birthplace of Prince Kuhio.
As close as we got to the birthplace of Prince Kuhio.
Checking out the view across the street.
Checking out the view across the street. I can see why Prince Kuhio was born near here.
Another across-the-street view. However, Prince Kuhio probably did not stay in that hotel.
Another across-the-street view. However, Prince Kuhio probably did not stay in that hotel.

When we got back to the hotel parking lot, I noticed something curious. We had already seen that all of the parking spaces were numbered, although we did not have one particular numbered spot to park in. But this time I saw something funny in the sequence of numbers on row D: D48, D49, D40, D51, D52. Apparently, the painting guys forgot to change out the 4 for a 5 in their stencil when they got to 50. Oops. At least the other rows were correct. We know, because we checked. We got a good laugh out of it. Once again, easily amused.

I guess no one parked there because they were confused about the number, too.
I guess no one parked there because they were confused about the number, too.

After we had changed clothes in our room, we decided to walk down to the beach and go back up on the rocks that we had climbed earlier in the day to enjoy the view of the sunset. However, we were not quite sure how good of a sunset it would be, because the sky was full of clouds. But we climbed up anyway.

A return trip to Shipwreck Beach, but fortunately not because we were shipwrecked.
A return trip to Shipwreck Beach, but fortunately not because we were shipwrecked.
Another evening beach view.
Another evening beach view.

As soon as we got up there, I knew that it must be a good place to be and a good time to get there because there was a small group there taking wedding photos. The group consisted of a bride and groom, along with a photographer and his assistant. I am not sure if they were an actual bride and groom or if they were just posing for some photos. Either way, they took lots and lots of photos. We tried our best to stay out of the background of their photos, but they were right where we had wanted to be. We got a few quick photos and moved on down the rocks away from the hotel to enjoy the view from there.

Water on the rocks. And I don't mean ice.
Water on the rocks. And I don’t mean ice.

There was another couple up there with us, but they climbed down some of the rocks to be closer to the water. We decided we were good right where we were. That spot was fine for us.

And what a view we had! As the sun was going down, even though we could not see much of the sun itself, we could see the clouds changing all sorts of colors. That sky, combined with the waves and the rocks and the blue water below made for a colorful view. We enjoyed seeing the ever-changing colors and the ever-changing waves. The wedding photo party eventually came over to where we were, and we moved over to where they had been. They then went on their way, as it was probably getting a little dark for the photos that they wanted, and that gave us more room to move around without worrying about being in the photos of others.

I always love the blue colors of the water.
I always love the blue colors of the water.

As we were about to start heading back to the hotel, there was a rainbow in the sky! That made the scene even better. It was a little difficult to pick it up in photos, but we definitely enjoyed the sight. The rainbow made the few raindrops that had fallen on us seem trivial in scope.

A lovely evening, even without the sun.
A lovely evening, even without the sun. You can see a similar photo (including the rainbow) in the earlier post Kauaʻi Sunset Above the Waves

But we did not want to be trapped out there in the dark, so we started walking back to the Grand Hyatt. I took several photos of the waves and the sky along the way, which meant that I kept having to catch back up with Laura, but that was okay. At least my knees were working a little better than they had been earlier in the day.

One more view as we made our way back
One more view as we made our way back

Back at the hotel, we decided we should go get some supper before it got to be too late. We decided on Italian food, just to have something different, and Laura found a place on her phone for us to go. We drove to ʻEleʻele, which was back in the direction that we had gone the previous day toward Waimea, although it was not nearly as far as we had driven the day before.

We soon arrived at our destination of Kauaʻi Pasta West in ʻEleʻele. The lights were dim, and there were not many people there. I was hoping they were not planning to close soon. After all, it was just after 8:00, and what we had seen on Google showed that they were open until 9:00. When we walked in, they were happy to seat us, as I figured they would be based on the small number of people that were there.

For our dinner, I decided on a pepperoni pizza, while Laura chose shrimp linguini Alfredo. While we were waiting for our food, I noticed that the restaurant did a pretty good carry-out business. At least, I would consider it good, because after 8:00 PM, there were three different carry-out customers. Not that bad, I would think. Our food came, and it was good. We enjoyed it well enough, and it filled us up just fine.

When we had finished and paid, we thanked our waitress and drove back to the Grand Hyatt for the night. It was a late night for us, relatively, since it was around 9:30 by the time we got back to our room. It had been another good day, even if we did not do quite as many exciting things as the day before. Once again, we did not have any trouble falling asleep that night.

Check back soon for more of this day from the 2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report!

2018 Kauai Trip Report

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Steve

Husband, father, photographer, webmaster, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography and stories through Burnsland.com.

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