The wife and I went to Kaua’i in January of 2017 to be married, just the two of us, and also to honeymoon all in one trip. After proposing to her on the Big Island and navigating the Big Island with a Jeep WITHOUT the help of Hawaii Revealed, I was super excited to find the Hawaii Revealed books to plan our Kaua’i trip. One of the recommendations that stuck out to me was that we should rent a Jeep for the island of Kaua’i to get off the beaten path and adventure! So after getting married on Tunnels Beach, 4×4-ing our way onto the sand at Polihale Beach, 4×4-ing some of the ridge roads near Waimea canyon and enjoying our honeymoon for a couple of days, our trip was winding down and we decided to do the Jungle Hike to the Jurassic Park gates. Kaua’i Revealed said that the best way to do the hike was to 4×4 our way out to the start of the trail deep in the jungle. This is where the real adventure begins.
We set out after breakfast and headed up the mountain on the paved road that then crossed a stream and turned into a dirt road. After a little bit on the dirt road we came to another stream and there was a family (2 parents, 3 kids, grandma and grandpa) who had parked their minivan on the side of the dirt road and where crossing the stream on foot. We stopped and chatted and discovered that they were going to do the Jungle Hike too so we offered them a ride since the trailhead was so far up the road. The 4-door Jeep could hold 5 comfortably in the seats so 2 of the kids and the grandpa got into the cargo area of the way back and we loaded everyone in and took off down the dirt road. At this point the 4×4-ing is quite tame because it was still a relatively graded dirt road. Next we came upon a deeper stream to cross and behold a minivan stuck in the middle of the stream because they tried to ford it and stalled and got stuck. Our Jeep was already full of people (me, my wife, 2 parents, 2 grandparents, 3 kids) so we couldn’t give these people a ride at all but my wife and I promised to stop on our way back after dropping off the family and offer assistance. We blasted through the river and all the kids let out yelps of excitement. Now the road started getting more rutted and I began using all of my 4×4 skills to keep the ride as smooth as possible. We came upon a deeply mud puddled section and I didn’t want to get stuck so I built up some speed and hit the mud puddle which sent mud up over the windshield, roof, side windows, everywhere and once again the kids let out a yelp and even the adults were enjoying themselves. Kaua’i Revealed led us down the dirt “road” all the way to the Jungle Hike Trailhead and the posts where the Jurassic Park gates scene had been filmed. The wife and I were going to do the hike but since there was another family stuck in a river, we decided to cancel our hike plans and go help them. We dropped off this family at the Trailhead, took some photos with them, took some photos of the Jurassic Park gates and head back down the trail.
We got back to the minivan in the river to find out that the husband in the group had walked back down the road to a construction site, way back where the road switched from asphalt to dirt, to try to get a rope/chain to tow the minivan out of the river. A construction worker offered some serious aloha by driving the husband back to the minivan but he couldn’t tow the minivan because of liability reasons in the construction truck, so I stepped in and said I would do it. We pulled the minivan out of the river in reverse, got it turned around, attached onto the front of the minivan and then started slowly pulling the minivan back to civilization since it wouldn’t start. We figured the electronics of the engine had gotten to wet but hoped the engine hadn’t sucked in river water. We slowly towed the minivan back past the construction site, onto the asphalt road, past a whole bunch of tourists in minivans that were going to attempt hikes that day, and eventually found a spot in a clearing on the side of the road to drop the minivan. I think our towing of the minivan past many onlookers served as a warning to others not to try to ford the rivers up the road. We took the chain back to the construction workers at the site and said mahalo! Now at this point the new family already felt so indebted to us that they didn’t want to take anymore of our time, but my wife and I were in the aloha spirit and we offered to drive them all the way back to town. We popped the hood on the minivan since it was in a sunny spot and hoped that it would dry out. We packed all of their stuff into our Jeep and took them back to LIH and to the car rental spots so they could rent a new minivan and figure out what to do with the broken minivan. We didn’t expect anything in return and just said we were in the aloha spirit but the husband pulled $300 out of his wallet and insisted that we take for all the help that we offered. Mahalos and alohas were exchanged and we parted ways.
This story up to this point is great but this is where the aloha and mahalo gets even better. Earlier in the week when we first arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn Kapaa, because they were so booked up, I had had to reserve several different rooms in order to stay there for the whole trip, but it would have required switching rooms several times. The front desk agent being incredibly aloha, kind, gracious, knowing we were getting married/honeymooning AND most importantly since there were “Cabin” rooms available (standalone villas, not on the beach but separate from the main hotel) upgraded us to the cabin to prevent us from having to move rooms during our stay! I looked later on and found that had we booked that room initially, it would have cost over $2K for the week we were there! After our 4×4 rescue adventure we were flush with $300 in cash and although we had already resolved on tipping the front desk agent that upgraded us, now we had even more money to do so. We found our front desk agent and gave her the money as tip, both for saving us a ton of money on the cabin, but also for making us feel like ohana right from the moment we arrived on the island.
It was good karma, great aloha and a ton of mahalos that all came full circle between booking a great hotel in a great location, great food, great adventures, a great wedding, a great honeymoon and really getting to know the island of Kaua’i and its people! Kaua’i Revealed certainly helped make the trip even better and we probably wouldn’t have this story to tell had we not had the book along with us! We just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Maui and I’ll give you a hint which guidebook + app we used to get the most out of Maui experience… Maui Revealed! Thank you so much Hawaii Revealed for the awesome memories on several islands! Next up in Sept. 2018, we’re off to Oahu for a friends wedding and even though I’ve been to Oahu several times, I’ve never been armed with the Oahu Revealed knowledge; this time though, I’m expecting to get the most out of any of our Oahu trips ever! Mahalo!