Swimming? Check. Surfing lesson? Check. Scuba dive? Scheduled. Snorkeling? Sounds perfect!
With the unseasonably high surf that weekend in Kauai, it was imperative that we find a secluded spot for snorkeling. We were looking for a place with decent visibility where we couldn’t get tossed around. After a brief internet search, we decided to explore nearby Mahaulepu beach.
The directions to Mahaulepu beach seemed simple enough. Travel east until you reach the end of Poipu Road, then continue on the dirt road for two miles. You’ll pass a security shack with a sign posting the beach hours. Go on from here to a dirt parking lot and walk down the path through the woods to the beach.
After about a mile down the dirt road, we came to a fork. But wait — our directions hadn’t mentioned anything about a fork in the road! We paused a few moments, trying to decide how to proceed. To the right, according to a sign in front of us, were the CJM Stables. To the left, an open gate with signs that said something about “no trespassing.”
We took the right fork, passed the stables, then came to — a road? It resembled a road, but then it also resembled the side of a rocky mountain.
Eric began to drive cautiously downhill, our Jeep bouncing around as I clung to my seat. When we reached the bottom, we found ourselves facing a grassy field, the ocean far in the distance. This wasn’t right at all.
Carefully, Eric turned the Jeep around and maneuvered it back up the hill. Once again, we were thrown all over the car. I was afraid we might flip over, but we survived unscathed. Somehow.
We returned to the fork to take another look. On closer inspection (that is, upon actually reading the signs), we realized that the signs said “no trespassing after hours.” It was 2PM. Considering the gates had been left unlocked, we assumed we were fine. We turned toward the left fork and continued on.
We continued despite our worries and, after another mile, came upon the promised security shack. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were surprised to see only three other cars parked there. It was July 3rd, and the island was otherwise packed with people. Why was no one at this supposedly picturesque cove?
So we jumped back into our Jeep and headed back. We would have some fun adventures in Kauai, but, unfortunately, snorkeling at Mahaulepu beach wouldn’t be one of them.