Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hawaii Trip (Day Four) Our Stay at the Grand Hyatt Kuaui

Our room was beautiful and looked out over the grand gardens with a magnificent view of the ocean off in the distance.   The heating/cooling unit was in a closed area by the door and for the entire length of our stay we did not hear the typical droning of the a/c, what a treat that was as anyone who ever has stayed in a hotel knows how disruptive those units can be when trying to sleep.  The room decor was very well done with more pillows than we would ever use, the bed was made with high quality linens.  As we stepped out onto the lanai we saw beautiful gardens plus a swan who swam in a koi pond just below us.  A few hundred feet from the lanai we could see the trade winds gently blowing the palm trees and surfers playing in the ocean waves, ah pure bliss.

We had the afternoon to explore and it didn't take us long to drop our bags and freshen up in preparation for a tour around the grounds.   With some navigational skills we found our way back down to the main lobby and out into grounds for our first walk around the place.

At first the place seemed like a maze with so much to see and do, it took a few wrong turns before we found our way outside to the take in the wonderful gardens, also for some much needed sustenance.

The resort had a poolside eatery which we took advantage of, I ordered a fish taco, which for the price I didn't think would be a large portion, I was wrong.  The portion size was huge and certainly could have fed two people.  Thankfully I was hungry enough to make a sizable dent but in the end left the most of the pita behind and finished the grilled fish and salad, it was delish.  We sat in privacy throughout the meal with the exception of being watched closely by the koi, swans and other local bird life.

After lunch we meandered around the many pools and grottoes created by the lazy river.  The pool system was joined from the upper level adult pool to the lower general pools by a waterway that included a 150 foot water slide.  As the water made its way down to the lower swimming area it wove through many of the gardens creating private areas to swim without feeling like a fish in a fishbowl.  
The water slide was a very popular attraction with not only the younger crowd but the adults as well.  With at least three hot tubs you certainly could find a place to be alone without a problem, one hot tub was in the lower pool on a island in the middle of the pool surrounded by gardens and palm trees.  The biggest most open swimming area was a saltwater pond, the water is warmed by a recovered heat from the air condition system.  The salt water pond was a pool in that the base was lined with cement but the entire perimeter was surrounded by sand, there were small islands planted with trees and flowers in a few places in the middle making it look like a very natural setting.

 We finally made our way down to the shore only to find one of the local inhabitants lounging in the sun waiting for our arrival.  It was a Hawaiian Monk Seal that hauled out at some point during the afternoon and was deep asleep, dreaming about a missed catch.  We were so excited to be able to see this wonderful site and soon learned that a sentry was posted to keep people from posing with their children on the backs of the seals or just generally harassing the animal for no apparent reason.

We sat quietly on a piece of driftwood taking in the beauty of this magnificent shoreline with cliffs on each side of the beach, waves curling against the sand and surfers enjoying an afternoon ride. 

Soon we found ourselves wandering over to the trail head to our left to take in the view atop Makawehi point, it took no more than 10 minutes to reach the top of this limestone outcropping.  This is the beginning of the Mahaulepu Trail, I had been looking at this trail online and this is a must do on my list for the week.  From the top of the cliff you can see the anchors for fishing poles and a few tuffs of vegetation making an attempt to grow in the rock.  Off in the distance a fisherman is working the water hoping to catch his nightly meal.  Only a few people are here tonight and it is very peaceful.

The sun is slowly sliding down to the west as we make our way down the path back to the beach and across to the opposite side to catch the sunset.  The rocks here are mostly black lava and the path is lined with spurs here and there that go down to he various coves we pass by.  Off in the distance we see some type of radio tower or warning light on a bluff and decide to head toward that point.   The ground we were on was now more red dirt that we were told was high in iron and would stain clothing, for that reason we chose to sit on the base of the tower.

We sat alone for a few moments but not for long as this must be a popular hang out for the locals to watch the sun go down.  Soon we were deep in conversation with a couple who brought along binoculars they came not only came to see the sunset but to watch the whales breaching off the shoreline.  We learned that dusk was a very active time for the whales, it was hard to decide if we should be watching the sunset or the breaching of the whales off in the distance.  Magical is all I can say about our first few hours on this island, after only 4 hours we were already in awe of all that there was for us to do and see all within a few feet of our resort.

I also have to add these pictures of the sinks in the pool house bath. Maybe I need to get out more but I have yet to have entered a pool house bathroom without hoping for the ability no float over the floor and not have to touch anything. This experience was entirely different, imagine my shock when I stumbled upon this haven with details as lovely as this sink. Okay, yes I did go back to grab my camera with the purpose of snapping up a photo or two to share.

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