Kauai on the Cheap

Cauai on the Cheap

No shortage of well healed tourists lying around the marble foyer of the Princeville Hotel in Tommy Bahama, a silk resort of the silk brand. But Kauai is by nature a relaxed, uninhibited island with toes in the sand. Kauai travel on a budget. As Poipu is a tourist town, you plan to spend MUCH more on food than in Lihue or Kapaa. The Kauai is an excellent island for cheap food.

The ultimate guide to cheap meals in Kauai

When we were in Kauai, we were looking for the best places to dine on a reasonable diet. Of grocery lorries, grocery stores and a gap in the walls of restaurants, we found a selection of stock items with a headline under $10 per capita. Kauai stores are an alternative for those who have a reasonable income.

Several large retail outlets such as Costco, Walmart and Safeway, all in Lihue. When you want to find natural foods, Papaya's Natural Foods is the best choice, situated in Kapa'a.

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There is a farmers' fair somewhere on the islands every Sunday of the working days (see realkauai.com/FarmersMarkets). Luhi Hwy, Tuesday at 2 pm Legend has it that Hurricane Iniki in 1992 liberated several hundred cocks and cows. All over Kauai they began to breed with unpunished fertility.

As they have no beasts of prey (Kauai is the only hawaiian without mongooses), cocks now roaming around, even on the most beautiful greens. With more than 40 sandy whitewashed shores, you'll never have to battle for a place. Simply look for a group of vehicles that will be stopped on the motorway - a sandy shore is probably there.

You can purchase a copy of the Kauai Underground Guide (explorekauai.com, $13) for description, itineraries, and security information. It is the non-official arts capitol of the isle and, as a motorway shield, KAUAI'S BIGGEST LITTLE AOWN. As a noteworthy feature for the western side of Kauai, there is some fine veggie nourishment at the Hanapepe Café (3830 Hanapepe Rd., 808/335-5011; bookings substantial for Friday supper, entrance fees of $16), well followed by icecream at the primal position of locals favourite Lappert (1-3555 Kaumualii Hwy. 808/ 335-6121, $3. 35 for a scoop).

The Waimea Sugar Mill Company estate - on the dozy western side of Kauai - became a haven in 1983. In the Waimea Canyon after a day or a hike along the near Na Pali coast, the resort's shady hammocks are the best of all. Notice: The breakers at the sandy beaches of the hotels are too harsh for a swim.

No wonder Kauai is preferred by filmmakers when they need a deputy for an alien Asia traveler or a ghostly camp in the jungles. With so many movies filmed here, there is a five-hour mini-bus trip to places in the South Pacific, Jurassic Park, Honeymoon in Vegas, Blue Hawaii and other movies.

Princeville Resort's renowned views of crescent-shaped Hanalei Bay (with the Bali Shark Coastline in a green background ) are available for $9 - the cost of a May Tai in the Living Room, Princeville's Indoor/Outdoor Laobby Ball. Kauai's main draw is the 15 mile long Na Pali coastline, a tragic route in the rugged northwestern part of the isle.

Located in the city of Waimea, Na Pali Explorer takes a five-hour trip on a 48-foot zodiac small enough to manoeuvre into marine caverns and secluded snorkelling inlets. Warimea Canyon, 3,567 feet in depth, was amazing enough for the widely travelled Twain to be called "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific". "Irresistible tourists can stop at any of the viewpoints along Hwy 550, but the alternate austere and luxuriant scenery is best discovered on the many paths in Kokee State Park.

Starting early enough, head to the end of the street to take a look at the Kalalau Valley and the Na Pali coast. At Hanalei, the simple mixed plate is a kind of hippie-fied dish, with bay paddy rices and frieze soup in addition to the salted and fry starters the Hawaiians like ((5-5190 Kuhio Hwy., 808/826-7888).

Kilauea Point lighthouse from 1913 is the most northern point of the entire length of the archipelago and the first view of shore for vessels arriving from Asia. Cake, the adjacent shop, may be the only place in Kauai where fashionists can really enjoy themselves (808/828-6412). There are many huge resort and hotel chains on the southern side of the islands, but 65 per cent of returning tourists move back to holiday homes or condominiums.

A lot of visitors try to realize their endless summer fantasy by taking two-hour classes at relaxed Poipu Beach (Kauai Surf School, 808/651-6032, kauaisurfschool.com; $75, including board rental). "Most importantly, you don't make a fool of yourself," she says at the beginning of the class at Anini Beach on the North Shore, which has a flat, sand bottom and a constant breeze.

The whole group jumps gently across the cove two hour later, while Harvel walks around with her hound Kahili, who rides on her plank with a scattergun (Windsurf Kauai, 808/828-6838, $85, including gear rental). It' not possible to get a name like Garden Island without a lot of sun. Seafood cooked with chicken--spoken po-keh-- is a manifestation for anyone who thinks that Hwaiian foods start with acid peanut (fermented puree taro) and end with dried, salted kaluahog.

This means "cut" in Hispanic, which is similar to seveniche, which consists of uncooked seafood blended with marinades and herbs. 4-484 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, 808/822-0600, $11 Debbie Erickson, a resettled Brooklynite, who trades fruits and vegetables at the Hanalei Farmers' Square on Tuesdays, is also a masseuse.

She will perform an exquisite 60-minute massaging in your room or apartment that blends with the classic Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi massages, a low and gradual applying of compression at specific points on your skull. While the Kona area on the Great Island receives all the publicity, there is also good espresso cultivated on the Garden Island.

Located on the Kauai River, the crisp, earthen Java Kai mountain range has four sites on the islands (and several in California). It has proven so successful that their second harvest sells out within two month that they have roasted Kona-grown coffees until their new load of dried green coffees is finished this year.

The comment alone is definitely a worthwhile stop, although their lavish, intoxicating coffees are the best on the Isle. For a closer look at the mythical Na Pali coast, take a walk along the Kalalau Trail, which starts at Kee Beach, at the end of the Kuhio Highway at the North Shore.

A full 11-mile journey is only recommendable for very advanced walkers - the Sierra Club considers the route 9, with 10 of the most challenging - but the two mile journey to the remote Hanakapiai Bay is not as tough. However, the unspoilt beaches are flooded with inexorable ripples, so avoid the impulse to div.

This is the basic idea behind the Mermaid Cafe in Kapaa, a small outside dining area with a few desks and an unbelievable meal that draws enthusiasts from all over the Isle. 808/821-2026, $9. 4 hour kayak trip and walking across the Wailua River is not relaxing:

People who come to Kauai for body-conscious Hollywood, dining in Kapaa's exclusive Blossoming Lotus vegetarian merge place, where they can select from several "live food" meals - nothing is over 116°C - and eating up in a separate room. Faithful to Cauai's responsive character, the meal is also biological and kozer ("and quite delicious").

Garden Isle lettuce, covered with cucumber and served with sliced sweet almond toast, is of course best served with Green Goddess dressings ($8). Apart from the completely secured route in Kapaa, Kauai's dozy motorways are a vision for stuck commuteers. Out of all the major streets on the isle, the best leading into Kokee State Park parallel to Waimea Canyon is Hwy 550.

There is a gape of open canyons to the south, a dark sea and sugar cane canes to the right, with narrow, sharp serpentines and soft, wavy S-curves.

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