Hawaii Trip – Part 6 – Honolulu Oahu to Lihue Kauai
I hopped on the 9am bus and arrived at the airport around 10, to catch my Island Air flight to Lihue. I looked at the airline checked luggage signs and learned that Island air had a 16 lb luggage limit for carry-ons. This was a lot smaller than Hawaiian Airlines 25 lb limit. Looks like while I was flight shopping, I forgot to double check the carry-on weight limits. After paying a $15 checked baggage fee, I passed through the security lines. A forgotten nickel in my pocket set of the security body scans.
One of the nicer things about traveling on smaller airlines is the check-in line and security lines are shorter. Island Air and Go Airlines leave from a separate smaller part of the airport. The only food options is quiznos where you can get a sub for $10.95 or a cocktail at the cocktail lounge. Other than that, not much to do. No free internet, however you can pay $8.95 to get 2 hours. I killed the time by organizing photos. The flight was a short 30 minute one. After collecting my checked luggage at Lihue airport, I tried to figure out how to get to kapaa town. The visitor desk said it was a 2 step process involving taking the ‘airport shuttle;’ to Walmart and then switching to another bus to kapaa. Oddly, both vehicles look exactly the same. Why don’t they just call them both buses?
Anyways, to give you an idea of just how small the island is, the buses are actually small shuttle buses similar to the ones car companies use between airports and their car lots. These shuttles probably fit 20 people max. A girl from Germany was almost refused because she had a huge 62” luggage. Long story short, she was able to go on but had to stand. Had the bus been busier, she definitely would not have been allowed.
At the bus stop and on the ride to Kapaa, a few locals talked to me and thought I was a native Hawaiian visiting from Oahu or Honolulu. This is the first time I’m mistaken for a local, even after I start speaking. Generally when I travel, people can tell from my accent or language use that I’m not from around their area.
After a 1.5 hour journey, I arrived at my destination tired and hungry. I checked in my belongings and explored the town a bit before diving into my brochures and internet to research my options.
There’s a few people having dinner who I ask for recommendations or options. One of them is the 11 mile hike across the Napali coast which requires a night of camping. I decided against that because of time and lack of camp gear. Oddly enough I ran into someone I had already met in Honolulu and just didn’t know it yet. I ended up tagging along his plans since I didn’t have any yet and was still I in ‘debate’ mode. Kapaa has quite a few restaurants nearby and grocery stores. I grabbed some beers and wasabi peas to ease the burden of research. The more I researched, the more these options were becoming tough. Many of the boat excursions to Napali coast were $100-$150. Kayak tours were $40-$80, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. Many of the departure points for these tours were not easily accessible by bus or required an earlier departure than the regular bus schedule.