The Most Secluded Beach in Kauai: Day Two
That was the sound of rooster’s bringing in day two at Koke’e Campground. The campground we stayed at was beautiful, intimate, and not over crowded, which was nice. But I will warn you, bring some ear plugs or headphones, because rooster’s don’t just cock-a-doodle when the sun comes up. They did it all night long, and they were everywhere! Our morning started out early (around 6:30am) a little cloudy and cool as we packed up our tents. By the time we were finished, the sky cleared up, and it began to get a little warmer.
We didn’t know what to expect for breakfast, except that we probably would not be eating any. BUT, right next to the campground was Koke’e Lodge, which to our surprise had the cutest little restaurant/store inside which served breakfast. Obviously we stayed and ate, and it became one of the top places we ate at in Kauai, it was THAT good. (stay tuned for our top foods video coming soon) We came, we saw, we ate. Lucas and I shared the cornmeal pancakes with seasonal house preserves (which I believe was papaya) served with local honey, candied macadamia nuts and whipped cream. It was dessert for breakfast and so delicious. Nathan had the same thing, and then Richie got The Lodge, which had Portuguese sausage, two fried eggs, potatoes, peppers, cheese, and a house gravy on the side, which Lucas and I also shared as well. All in all Koke’e Lodge Restaurant, we gave a two thumbs up! The store inside had maps, souvenirs, stickers, you name it. So we spent some time (and money) before leaving.
After our lovely and unexpected breakfast, we made our way to Na Pali Kona Forest Reserve, where we hiked Pihea Trail. The lady at Koke’e Lodge suggested it, so of course we listened, because locals know the deets. The hike was beautiful, with views of the ocean from what is the Na Pali Coastline. The hike was short, easy, and a little strenuous at times, only because of the rocks you have to climb through at one point. You can go further to the end which I believe is about 2 miles, but we only went a mile in. There are several spots where you can get a clear and open view of the mountains surrounding you, as well as the ocean. Definitely worth it, and like I said, a pretty easy hike, a part from the last little bit.
After the hike, of course we were hungry again, so we made our way to Poipu for lunch and acai bowls, which was about an hour drive from where we were. We stopped at a little shopping center and went into Kukuiula Store, which had a market inside, as well as Makai Sushi and Anake’s Juice Bar. Makai Sushi, was a little hole in the wall sushi bar, with about 4 menu options, which all sounded DELICIOUS! We got a roll of sushi (Spicy Ahi Tuna Roll), and a poke bowl (Gorilla Poke), and man was it good. Probably some of the best sushi I have had, and I have had A LOT of sushi. We scarfed it down as fast as we could, only because we all remembered how hungry we were at that point. Afterwards we took a couple steps over to Anake’s Juice Bar and Lucas and I got Funky Monkey, which came with acai, strawberry, banana, peanut butter, honey, almond milk, and chunks of chocolate chips. It was a refreshing bite after the sushi, and after the hike we did. The nice thing is both places are in the same location, so if you want both, you’ve got them right there. :)
We had some time to kill before dinner, and heading to our next campsite, so we decided to hit the beach for a little bit. We spent some time looking for one near the market we ate at, and once we finally found a public beach access right near the Sheraton Hotel, we parked it at Kiahuna Beach and the boys did some swimming, while I ran in and back of the water as quick as a deer in headlights. I then spent the rest of the time taking photos. (I am not big on Pacific Coast waves, they freak me out) We spent probably about an hour or so on the beach, and then decided that we wanted to get to our campground to watch the sunset, so we had to get our butts moving, considering the drive was a little over an hour, and we had to stop for dinner. Notice a pattern? Yeah. We eat a lot.
On our drive to Polihale State Beach Park, we stopped at Bobbie’s Restaurant, in Hanapepe. Bobbie’s was a Korean BBQ place, and let me tell you what; the words Korean and BBQ may not sound like a good mix together, but this sure was. We were honestly not all that hungry, but we knew this would be our only food option, because the next campground was pretty secluded. So we forced ourselves to eat it in the car. Despite the forcing, it was some really good food. The portions were HUGE, so you could definitely share if you wanted to, but if you don’t want to that is okay too, we won’t judge. We all pretty much got the same thing, besides Lucas who had some fried shrimp in his dish instead of pulled pork. Richie, Nate, and I got the fried chicken with pulled pork and rice. OH. MY. GOSH. the fried chicken guys. Some of the best Korean fried chicken I have had. It was crispy, but tender, and just about perfect. The flavors were phenomenal, with a little bit of spice. The pulled pork was juicy and tasty as well. I wish I was more hungry when I ate it, but still definitely worth the money!
The road to Polihale…..is a treacherous one. First of all, make sure you have a good all wheel or four wheel drive vehicle. A truck, an SUV of some sort will probably be best. I WOULD NOT recommend coming in a sedan, or sporty two-door car. The likelihood of making it will not be likely! Second, this beach is kind of in the middle of no where. You pass a bunch of military sites, and there are no gas stations, no stores, no places to eat etc for miles. The road to the beach is full of pot holes, not paved, dusty, extremely bumpy, and four miles long. With all that to say, it is worth the uncomfortable four miles. There are several different locations of campsites, some that require you to drive on some sand, so another reason to need a vehicle that can handle this. Others still right off the dirt road. We drove a little ways in and got a great spot right on one of the sand dunes overlooking the beach and the ocean. There were a couple other people at our location, which you will get. You do need a permit, although I am sure many people come without one anyway. There are bathrooms and outdoor shower heads, but no actual showers to wash your body (we did this anyway though).
On the note of needing a proper car, we actually ended up having to help a couple move their car out of the sand because they got it stuck. Guess what kind of car it was? That’s right, a Sedan. We watched the sunset first, which was absolutely stunning. To the right of the beach started the Na Pali Coastline, and to the left was just more beach and ocean. There were some clouds in the sky to make for a beautiful sunset, so we enjoyed it, while also enjoying the nice cool breeze as well. Once we finished watching the sunset, we helped the lovely couple move their car. Well I supervised. :) The boys were able to get their car out of the sand, and the couple was planning on leaving after that disaster, but ended up staying, and I am sure they were glad they did, because camping on this beach was probably my favorite camping we did this whole trip.
The moon was full, so after we set up camp, Nathan, Lucas and I took a walk on the beach and just enjoyed the evening breeze, and the sound of the ocean in the background. It was about 9:30 by the time we got back to our tents, so we decided to go to bed for the night. I am sure everyone else slept fine, but my night ended with feeling like I was going to upchuck from horrible acid reflux and heartburn that Bobbie’s chicken had given me. TMI? Oh well. I spent about 4o minutes in the bathroom trying to throw up, but with no success, ended up going back to the tent, taking tums, and finally falling asleep to the sound of the ocean waves, while also starting to feel better. YAY ME!! What a way to end a great day!
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