On Our Way to Kauai

After very busy day I managed to complete my work, submit time report and be out of the office by 16:05. I ran to the Futakotamagawa train station, ran to change train in Jiyugaoka and ran 500 m to reach the Narita Express platform at the Musashi-Kosugi station 4 min before departure. Phew. That was close.

Chie join me on Narita Express from Shinagawa station. So now we are both on our way to Kauai.

Swimming with Dolphins

We’ve been away on an onsen vacation for almost a week. Today we ended it by snorkeling with Dolphins in Shimoda. It was a wonderful one hour with constant 3-4 dolphins grabbing our arms – “play with us, play with us!”

IMG_0005.JPG

Gyokuhokan

On the third day of our vacation we checked into Gyokuhokan ryokan. It was a 40 minutes or so ride from Tofuya ryokan.

It took as a while longer as we stopped at a waterfall, slowed down to watch some wasabi fields, and got dizzy in one of the strangest road constructions I’ve been rising in. A 720 degrees circular road to (from our perspective) descend about 75 meters (guess anyone coming from the other direction would not agree, they would probably say it was ascending 75 meters).

Gyokuhokan was a very nice place too. Just outside the entrance was a giant pump that pumped natural hot spring water, and made an whoozing noise while shying away in a haze of steam.

IMG_3568.JPG

The dinner was superb. There’s no other words for it. And I had the most expensive tea I ever had. But it was worth every yen.

Before and after the dinner we used both the public baths and the hot tub we had on the veranda to our room. Very relaxing.

Boat to Na Pali Coast

On Friday we made an impulsive decision to take a boat trip to the Na Pali coast. We picked the Blue Dolphins cruisers since we’ve been in contact with Naiya and Roy before, and they helped us get booked for a morning trip were Roy was captain.

So today we woke up early, got to. Port Allen and got on the boat. First we made a brief stop to snorkel. The water was clear and I did some dives to the bottom 6-10 meters below but had really big problems with my ears. Very painful. So I got out of the water and rested on the boat. Unfortunately for me was that as soon as I was out of the water a big sea turtle showed up. Chie could have a close look but I saw just a bunch of snorkelers from the boat 🙁

Halfway to the Na Pali coast we were joined by a large pod of spinner dolphins. The cruised along in front of the boat for a while and then left us. We all enjoyed their company a lot.


20140505-205507.jpg

On our way back from the Na Pali coast we saw something rare. A Hawaiian Monk Seal at the surface, eating an octopus. It is rare because there are only 1100 of them (one of the most endangered species on earth) and only about 35 of them around Kauai. And they are nocturnal. But not this one, or at least not today. We spent around 10 minutes watching him eat, and then we had to continue our trip back to Port Allen.


20140505-205442.jpg

Afterwards we went back to Kiahuna where we ended the day by relaxing on the beach and playing in the waves.

Halftime…

Today we got a note on our door, halftime cleaning 🙁 Not to the cleaning but to it already being halftime. Well, can’t be negative… Just enjoy the time here 🙂

Today we spent the morning at Salt Pond. For some reason it was cloudy, and somewhat windy. The temperature was a bit too cool to get into the water, but it was perfect for a nap. I slept deeply for an hour or so.


20140429-214900.jpg

At around 1:30 pm we drove to Kiahuna. There the sun was shining. We played in the waves (yeah, you can still play in the waves even at 45 and beyond).

In the evening we had crab cream sauce pasta at “home” and it was delicious.