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shapp

[TR] Hawaii and Kauai - across the pacific 3/15/2014

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Trip: Hawaii and Kauai - across the pacific

 

Date: 3/15/2014

 

Trip Report:

March 15 to 22, Hawaii (Big Island) in WV camper van and couch surfing

March 22 to 30, Kauai various couch surfing

 

2 week trip to celebrate the 15 year anniversary

 

Most memorable, snorking at Tunnels Beach, 12' tiger shark chases monk seal onto beach while I am snorking about 100 yards away oblivious. I was excited because I saw a 7' reef shark, I was more excited when I came in and the wife related the tiger shark story.

 

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Edited by shapp

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We were on the Big Island a year ago right now with the camper van per your recommendation...our three-year-old keeps asking when we are going back! Great pics thanks for sharing.

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congrats - celebrated my 14th tonight in far more humble style w/ sushi n' kids - so...how ya get a sweet camper to a rather remote island? :)

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I believe they can be rented on the island. great pictures and good inspiration.

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http://happycampershawaii.com/

 

Be advised the county of Hawaii (all of the Big Island) changed camping fees at county parks (most of the places available to camp "legally"). Fees for non-resident (without HI identification) is now $20 per night per person, which is outrageously expensive as all of the camping parks have few ammenities. HI residents still pay $5 per person. The theory is that the facilities are run down and they need to raise money to fix them up. But who is going to pay $20 a night per person to camp with run down facilities. Luckily there are many places that a discrete VW pop top can camp that kick ass that are free.

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Great photos! Having dealt with the Hawaiian parks department on Kauai I'd say they are the type of institution that gives government bureaucracies a bad name. Incredible shame how poor they are maintaining and protecting some beautiful beautiful areas. Certainly quite good at fleecing travelers for cash.

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Totally agree that the parks dept is pretty poorly run and leaves a lot to be desired but as for fleecing travelers for cash...not so sure about that. I'd say the opposite is true in that they make it difficult to even give them your money in the first place. I've spent about 75 days camping at parks in Kauai over 4 different trips since 1999 and I've paid them a total of about $25 to camp (other than for the Kalalau Trail). I haven't been there in about 5 years but historically the only way to even pay them is to drive to the city, find the government office, wait in line, fill out paperwork and then give them money. Then they won't even take more than 5 days worth of reservations for any campground even though most folks are there for weeks at a time. There is like only that one dude on the entire island I think that actually goes around to the campgrounds to check permits and collect money on-site and he comes around like once every two weeks. There isn't even a drop box to leave money. I've tried to pay them more money for an extended stay and they won't take it and I'll be damned if I'm going to drive or hitchhike halfway around the island to get another permit. If they made it easier to give them money they'd certainly have more. Basically it seems like the accepted status quo is to pay for a few nights and then stay for a month.

 

I'd say $5 a night for beachside camping in Hawaii with running water, cold shower, and a flush toilet has been ridiculously cheap. yeah, it's run down a bit and they could do a better job but it's a steal for a tropical vacation.

Edited by hydroman

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I dig the report a lot! very nice pictures.

 

if I may piggy-back a question or two as it appears there are some folks familiar with hawaii here.. I injured my foot req. surgery earlier this year so climbing and backpacking are out for the summer--wife and I are planning our first trip to hawaii for fall (sept-oct).

 

looking for nice beaches to relax on/swim at and snorkeling. Maybe a pretty drive? Probably won't do much in the way of any hikes almost on account of the foot, though who knows how close to 100% I am by then. Accommodations can be basic. don't need top star eateries though places to get breakfast or basic meals, we'll cook a few nights if we can wherever we stay. Have been told kauai is our style and been told the big island is 'neat'. Maui seems to come up for beaches but we sure as hell dont want to do any 'shopping' on vacation or any of the upsell/upscale experience.. thoughts?

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Camping fees were only outrageous at county parks on the Big Island (i.e. Hawaii County). Each island is its own county

 

I have been to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii (the Big island). We like the Big Island and Kauai the best but each for different reasons. The Big Island is well "big" and very diverse. Chances are you can find someplace with good weather to do just about any activity. Kauai has is pretty amazing and totally different than the Big Island. Oahu and Maui are also really fun, but we like Kauai and The Big Island the best of those 4. Water, do a little research and if you settle on visiting Kauai or the Big Island, send me a PM and I will give you some details on some good beachs spots.

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