Here's the archived corresepondance from before August, 1996, for you die-hard snoops.
If you have something to add, you can use my quick and easy Feedback Form or you can email me directly at MakaiGuy@iName.com.
My husband and I traveled to the beautiful shores in March of 1996. My first big trip ever. I've always been a tropical sort of person and never thought I'd see anything the but the snow of Vermont. I came home got depressed and determined to go back. The tour of the island on your homepage gave me hope. I can actually smell the air and almost...taste the papayas. My heart aches for the Hawaiian spirit again. Hopefully this March we will try again. Rick is an artist and looking for like minds to e-mail. Anyone you know? I would be interested in finding work options on kauai. Who knows what the future will bring.
Kathy & Rick
Congratulations on a beautiful site! You really summed up the North Shore perfectly. I felt like I was back on my honeymoon again - (2 weeks last June in a fabulous rental house just down the road from Tunnels). My husband and I only left the North Shore a couple of times during the trip; in my opinion there is no reason to go anywhere else on the island!! I think the highlight of our trip was the Na Pali hike (we did the whole thing), something I want to do again on every subsequent trip.
Anyhow, my question is this: I am planning a trip back this year, but won't be able to make it in the Summer season. I am tenatively planning to go October or November . Have you been there in the winter, and is it worth the trip- or should we wait until next Summer? I am not sure, weather-wise, what activities (hiking, snorkeling, etc) will be possible during that time of the year on that side of the Island. Any advice or info you have would be greatly appreciated- mahalo.
I do know that, in general, the surf shifts around to pound the North Shore in the winter, making the water much more treacherous and washing away the beaches along Na Pali. Just when this process begins, though, I don't know. I would expect, if it's too rough to "snork" on the North Shore, you might be ok down around Poipu, but that's just a guess on my part.
I'll see what I can find out from an electronic friend who lives there.
You are quite welcome to come back whenever you need your batteries
recharged - that's what I *still* use the site for, myself! <grin>
The 'electronic friend' mentioned above is Jim Pycha. You'll find links to his Emmalani Kai rental home and Kauai Real Estate Listings on my GETAWAYS travel page. Here's what Jim contributed on the subject:
You are quite welcome to come back whenever you need your batteries recharged - that's what I *still* use the site for, myself! <grin>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 14:45:50 -0700
From: John P. Shoosmith
Subject: Wow...very very nice!
We haven't had rain here in Tempe since January. While searching for some Lansat images, I came accross your page on the Webcrawler.
This is a BEAUTIFULLY presented page. Psychologically, there's quite an impact with the water in the background, lush (not brittle) vegetation, and mist all over the place. It is actually very inviting - I may in fact consider it a future vacation spot.
Well, I'll keep it bookmarked for those really hot 120 degree days that we have now and then. You're photos are excellent by the way.
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 21:01:51 -0400
From: Jason Robert Morris
Subject: Hiking Kauai
My name is Jason Morris and am from London, ONT Canada. I will be in Hawaii for the first time next week. Needless to say, I am looking forward to it tremendously. I was unaware until today that a permit is required even to hike in Kauai (I thought that a permit was just required to camp). I am panicing a bit because I will be unable to get a permit until I get there "on a fist come first serve basis". Do you have any suggestions? Is this a busy time of year? Have you ever heard of there not issuing a permit or reaching some sort of limit?
I greatly appreciate any info / experience that you may have...
Thanks in advance ... 'eh
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 1996 17:39:39 -0400
From: David Ritter
We are planning a trip to Hawaii--including Kauai--soon. I have been spending a lot of time gathering information from the Internet. I am impressed with what you have done here. I'll be taking along a copy of your tour guide when we make the trip to the North Shores. We'll be staying at the Outrigger Kauai Beach for three nights when we arrive.
Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 09:15:35 -0400
From: Richard Roisman, Oakland, CA
Thanks for your wonderful description of things to do on the North Shore. We will be visiting on June. But do you know of a place to rent bicycles and a place to rent mopeds. We will be staying at Annini Beach, and wonder if there is somewhere nearby.
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 16:59:11 -0400
From: Sara Dale
Your article was very interesting. My husband and I are planning to travel to Kauai in July. We spent one week in Poipu last summer at a guest cottage directly on the ocean. We are hoping to find something similiar this year. The cottage was not attached to the main estate but offered a one bedroom and kitchen. If you have any recommendations please let us know at your convenience. Thanks once again for the information.
Since we bought into a timeshare in Princeville several years ago we have not needed to explore the rental market. The only place I can recommend personally is Hanalei Colony Resort - as mentioned on my web site, it is unusually situated for the North Shore of Kauai in that it is down on the beach - everything else is on cliffs above the ocean. Back when we were staying there it was a great retreat, no phones or tv and we found that to be a nice change, although I suspect it's not for everyone. Having seen the construction going on from the outside, I know they underwent major renovation in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki, like virtually all the other resorts on the island.
You might find some good places to contact in the Hawaii section of my GETAWAYS travel page (http://members.toast.net/fdw/travel.htm) - there are a number of condo rental outfits listed. I've had some contact with Jim Pycha at Emmalani Kai (vacation rental home on the Makai Golf Course), and he seems as though he'd be a good person to deal with.
With a little effort you'll find lots of possibilities, the only problem is sorting them out. But planning is half the fun of a trip, isn't it?
That Makai Guy
Thank you so much for replying so quickly. I appreciate the information and will visit the other web sites. It seems that there is so much information out there. You are correct, half the fun is researching the trip. Well, thanks again for your help!
On Wed, 28 Feb 1996, Karen D. Scott wrote:
My husband and I read about your trip, sounds wonderful-we just celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary but we're not real keen on the idea of leaving the continental U.S. You may have persuaded us to try Hawaii.. We are very new at this E-Mail and Internet and saw where we could send you a note. We're not even sure you'll get this..
Count and Karen
Glad you enjoyed your virtual visit - I KNOW you'll love it if you do get over there. Just take lotsa $$$ ...
The Makai Guy
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 96 11:53:55 -0800
From: April Hutchens
I've heard of harrassment to non-residents by locals or local gangs on trails and remote areas on Kauai. Is this so? What should I be cautious of?
Thanks for your wonderful display of the tour. Very nice.
I have heard the occasional rumor myself, but have never run into anything but the friendliest of folks on any trail I have been on, and occasionally I do get out on a less-frequented trail or two I may have found in a guidebook or heard mentioned locally. I can't tell you nobody ever receives a bad time but I have never experienced it.
I guess some common sense prevails here - don't drag around valuables, and it probably is a good idea not to hike alone, although well over half of my own hiking is by myself ...
I guess it's like everywhere else - a few bad apples get all the attention.
That Makai Guy
On Tue, 19 Mar 1996, Tony Barca wrote:
My wife and I will be on Kauai for our third anniversary and our first trip to the Islands. Are there any more out of the way places to see that most tourists don't know about??? I'd appreciate any tips to make this the trip of a lifetime!
Most of the more spectacular and/or easily accessible places are well known, so there aren't all that many "secret spots". But you CAN find some of the less-frequented ones - generally any spot which requires walking more than 50 yards from your rental car <grin>. When you hit each island, make two stops: a bookstore and a dive shop. At the book store find a guide to the island that can tell you how to get to some of the more out-of-the-way spots. At the dive shop, ask about some of the lesser-known beaches. You can have beaches nearly to yourself on any of the islands - even on Oahu if you get away from Honolulu.
If you like to hike, pick up one of the hiking guides which are available for all the islands. Except for the Kalalau Trail on Kauai which does get a LOT of use (and deservedly so -- it is spectacular!) you can really get away from people on most of the trails, even in busy places like Kokee State Park (upper Waimea Canyon on Kauai).
Best wishes for your trip. It may be your first visit, but I can guarantee you won't want it to be your last.
On Mon, 19 Feb 1996, Peggy wrote:
I read your home page last night while vacationing on the net. My husband and I are planning our first visit to Kauai in 4/97 for our 25th anniversary. We're really looking forward to it--the only down side is having to wait another year! Thank you for all the information on your page. From past trips we've taken, we've found that it's much more helpful to obtain some information from people who've actually been there than to rely solely on tourist books. I certainly would have the rainbow photo on my living room wall, too. I imagine you also have some of the other photos on your walls--they're certainly beautiful pictures. Thanks again for the info! Peggy
On our first Hawaiian visit, we visited Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and Kauai and Kauai was the one we liked best. It's such a long trip from Ohio that when we do get there, we normally stay two weeks. One of those is always spent on Kauai, but sometimes we use the second one on Maui or the non-urban parts of Oahu. It's getting to be time for a return to Molokai and/or the Big Island too. We won't get back to our beloved Kauai until '97 ourselves. You'll beat us by a couple of months - my wife is a teacher, so we can only go in the summer.
Yes, it's nice to hear from those who have been there, but making discoveries on your own is nice too. Being the oldest island in the chain, Kauai has had a chance to weather into more interesting geological features than most, and there has been time for more soil to develop, so it can support an amazing variety of plant life. Although my web site is devoted to the North Shore, which I DO consider "the best of the best", there's lots to see and do on the whole island. Since this will be your first visit, you might seriously wish to consider taking a helicopter tour fairly early in your trip. They "ain't cheap", but Kauai's diversity means there is plenty to see from the air, and it is a terrific way to get a good overview and decide how you want to spend your remaining precious vacation days.
Who knows? Maybe you'll decide never to leave, and we'll run into you on Kauai when we visit in the summer of '97.
The following exchange with "Austin" was edited together from several messages in a thread beginning Fri Mar 29, 1996:
hi! your photos and descriptions have enabled me to pinpoint where i will trek in my first trip to hawaii. i am planning to come to kauai on july 4th weekend for 5 days, and have never been to hawaii. any info would be immensely appreciated, i.e. do i need to rent a car?, do i need a reservation or permit to camp?, etc. i was not planning on backpacking.
I would say a rental car is just short of a "must". If you were just going to Honolulu and staying put with all the visiting throngs, a car would get in the way, but sounds like you are more like me and want to get out and about.
I'm afraid my camping days are over -- somehow sleeping on the cold, hard ground seems to have lost its appeal as I've, er, "matured" <grin>. I'm sure some of the links in the Hawaii section of my travel page can answer your questions about reservations and permits - I know I've run across this information, but haven't made note of it. Permits ARE required if you wish to overnight on the NaPali, that much I DO know - and the office where you get them is supposed to be in Kauai's main town, Lihue (where the airport is). There is also a good sized camping area right on the beach at Anini Beach Park on the north shore. Kokee State Park, in the uplands surrounding Waimea Canyon, has cabins, but I'm not sure about camping (I'd imagine there are campsites there, though) -- I'd definitely expect reservations would be needed at Kokee.
The URL of my travel page is http://members.toast.net/fdw/travel.htm.
You'll generally find Kauai is pretty laid-back, but I suppose that's no guarantee that some Island Barney Fife won't be an officious [jerk]. The Anini Beach Park has a large grassy camping expanse, which to the casual observer didn't look as though it were divided into "official camp sites". My GUESS (and that's all it is) is that you can probably find a place to shoehorn in a small tent most of the time.
I wish you luck and good weather. I'd be really interested to hear from you afterwards as to how things worked out for you, and your impressions of my Favorite Place on Earth.
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996
From: Judith A. Yero
Subject: renting equipment on Kauai
Hi- Just read your very entertaining and informative page on the North Shore of Kauai. I was there last year and recognized much of what you described. My son and I are leaving Tuesday (9th) and have a permit to hike the Kalaulau trail and camp at Hanakoa. My question is-do you know of any places on the North Shore to rent backpacking equipment? I've searched the net and found one place, but as a fairly new traveler on the information highway, I forgot to mark the page and haven't been able to find it again. Dumb! Anyway, I'd appreciate any information you might have on equipment rental in Hanalei or Princeville. Thanks!
... just checked "Kayak Kauai Outbound" on the web, and they do make some mention of equipment rental (camping/packing stuff in addition to water stuff). You can get to them on my GETAWAYS travel page under "Hot Spots | Hawaii | Things to Do" (http://members.toast.net/fdw/travel.htm).
By the way - I have received numerous requests for info on how to obtain permits for camping/hiking. Since you've apparently already run that gauntlet, any information you can provide on this subject will be put to good use in helping others.
That Makai Guy
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 12:01:03 -0600
From: Judith A. Yero
Subject: Re: Info on Kauai
Hi Doug-Just a note to thank you for your response.
You asked about getting a permit. I must have gotten really lucky, because I only requested a permit about six weeks in advance of our travel. Of course, I was only asking for one night at Hanakoa for two people. The important thing is to send a copy of a picture ID for everyone in the group. State driver's licenses are fine if they have a picture. Also, you can only stay at each location for one night, with a total of five nights on the trail. That would be one night at Hanakapiaia, one at Hanakoa, one at Kalaulau, and the same in reverse. I would assume that the earlier you can send the request the better. It would also depend on the time of year and how busy they are.
Thanks again for your response and your very interesting info.
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 07:24:15 -1000
From: James G. Pycha (R)
Subject: Re: Emmalani Kai Vacation Rental
Aloha Doug . . .
Just a note of appreciation for linking to my pages . . .
You've done great job on your website. Really a terrific PR service for the entire island. Marianne Kusaka should pay you for your work!!
I've linked to your "photo-tour" of Kauai's North Shore as an extra reference for my "viewers."
From: Randy Gimenez
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 11:15:19 -1000
Subject: Great pages!
Nice pages, I didn't have enough time to do a proper cruise, I just sort of slowed down as I was on the hwy. I'll have to get back and do some exploration later.
I'm impressed with the quality, and again, thanks for putting a link to us in your pages. Be sure to let us know when you're going to be on Kauai again. Our office is adjacent to the main airport, so we're close enough for you just to stop by.
Air Kauai Helicopter Tours
Tel: (808) 246-4666 Fax: (808) 246-0101 Mainland: (800) 972-4666 Fax: (800) 905-2824 e-mail: email@example.com
On Sat, 17 Feb 1996, "strauss" wrote:
My family and I would like to thank you (((this))) much for sharing your wonderful experiences with us. Just by the tone of your presentation and the accompanying spectacular pictorial moments, it is the next best thing to being there. It has only been 20 years since our trip there, and we did not indulge in the many super splendid vistas and watering holes as you and your family have. You have us packing!!
Thank you so much for your wonderful note. It's nice to know the effort in assembling my site was worthwhile.
On Mon, 5 Feb 1996, Ricky J. Davis wrote:
When ever I am feeling a little down, or just need a pick-me-up, I download your page and just slip back into paradise.
On Wed, 31 Jan 1996, Carl M. Stepath/Teri Tico wrote:
hi--just checked out your web page--very nice. Maybe amend your "Hiking the Na Pali" to "Hiking Na Pali." "Na" in Hawaiian means "the" so if you say "the Na Pali" you are really saying "the the Pali."
Pres. Save Our Seas,
a Hawaii Non-profit organization dedicated to ending all ocean pollution and keeping our seas clean,
P.O. Box 598, Hanalei, Kauai, HI 96714.
Date: 07 Jan 1996 22:50:08 GMT
From: John Fonti
I thoroughly enjoyed your website on the North Shore. I was wondering if you could help me out with a May/June Kauai vacation I am planning. Accomodations are very important to us. Both for price and for amenities. Although if there is a tradeoff then amenities would be more important.
Would you have some tips on condo accomodations that would help us to book a great place to stay. I am afraid that the normal (commercial) channels will supply too much fluff and not enough truth. (The place I stay on Maui would generally not even be discovered under a normal search).
I just added a link to a bed & breakfast in Hanalei that sounded very interesting. It's in a historic building that housed the oldest Buddist Mission in the islands (or was it just oldest on Kauai?).
You might also try contacting several of the real estate outfits on the island to see what they have to offer. Another avenue that has worked for us is to scan the classified ads at the back of travel-related magazines. We subscribe to Hawaii Magazine and there are always lots of interesting sounding places. You can often save some $$ by dealing with the owners directly, but the element of risk does go up as well.
What they tell you about each island having its own distinct personality is true. We find Kauai to be more laid back and relaxing, with less of a tourist resort feeling and more of a visiting with friends feeling than Maui. But your mileage may vary.
If you are a golfer, I'd highly recommend one round at the Prince course, just east of Princeville. It is obscenely expensive, but is without a doubt both the most beautiful and challenging course we've ever played.
On Thu, 28 Dec 1995, Susan Hauer wrote:
I JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL WEB SITE ON THE "NORTH SHORE"... I THINK YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME THAT IN ALL HAWAII THAT IS THE PLACE TO GO FOR A NICE RELAXING, ENJOYABLE SIGHTSEEING OF NATURE.
Aside from the scenic wonders of the North, Kauai also has some fine sights around to the south, ranging from a sea cave where incoming waves spurt out a hole in the top with the appearance of a geyser (the Spouting Horn) to the magnficent Waimea Canyon.
I have spoken to friends who have gone to the north shore in February, and it does indeed sound as though they have had quite a bit more rain than we normally experience. One thing we HAVE learned is, if the rain doesn't clear up within an hour or two, just jump in your rental car and start driving around the island -- chances are you'll move out of it.
On Tue, 26 Dec 1995, Bill and Barbara Brown wrote:
Enjoyed your tour of the North Shore - we were there in 1994 and loved every minute of our stay. We could definetly have become hawaiian natives! Kauai was beyond belief and definelty a paradise....We're looking forward to our next trip to the beautiful island of Kauai! Have a great day and Happy New Year!
That Makai Guy
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 22:47:28 -0800 (PST)
From: Peter Reiners <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear fdw- I really like your Kauai page--I just found it tonight while surfing. Makes me want to go back. I also thought I'd let you know of my page which has some Kauai stuff on it too--I added a link to your page from it. here's mine: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~preiners/
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 95 13:17:47 -0800
From: Sean Marshall <email@example.com>
Look's great, we just returned from 4 weeks in Kauai and we miss it already, but it's nice to know we can visit by going to your site.
Keep up the good work!
Kingston Ontario Canada
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 95 02:17:20 0600
From: Tom Abbott
What a pleasure it was to netSURF and find myself at the beautiful North Shore again! Kauai is my favorite place on this planet.
Mahalo for the Memories.
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 95 11:43:16 -800
Your page without question is thee best on the net. You have done a wonderful job, and I'm letting it be known around my area in Burlington Ont Canada