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Kauai, Paradise on Earth: Day 5

Slip sliding away.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42427255@N00/sets/72157626505265871/with/5678180350/

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Feeling lazy from too much laying around, and suffering from a tad of excess sun, we decided it would be a good day to try our hand at kayaking along the Wailua River. We would get some exercise hiking back to a distant waterfall and it would keep us in the shade for most of the day.

We got a late start after enjoying some leisure time at the house and headed south, toward Kapa'a and Wailua. Our first stop was at breathtaking Kealia beach.

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It was nearing lunchtime, so we stopped off at Scotty's Beachside BBQ in Kapa'a. The view at this place alone is worth stopping for.

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So are the mai tais. Oh my. They are quite potent. After drinking the weak $14 mai tais at the Hyatt, I was not prepared for the punch the Scotty's top shelf mai tai delivered.

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POW! Right in the kisser. The BBQ was also good. I think. I'm pretty sure. That could have been the mai tai talking, though.

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We decided to get a kayak from the Kamokila Hawaiian Village since we had gotten such a late start and its location significantly reduces the time required to paddle to the falls trailhead. We were given a map and sent on our way. Just the way we like it. No hassle, no fuss.

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We launched and made it to the trailhead in about 10 minutes. It was pretty obvious where to get out because there were quite a few kayaks pulled up onto shore.

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We walked through trees and vegetation that looked positively prehistoric, giant structures towering above us draped with vines as big around as my arm and covered with leaves as big as a serving platter.

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It seemed an easy enough walk, a stroll through the woods really....... and then we reached the stream crossing. The water was rushing pretty good, but there was a rope strung across to help you keep your balance. Like idiots, we were wearing flip flops. We had not done a lot of homework and were prepared for a "woods stroll" not a proper hike, but we are adaptable, so we simply took our shoes off and made the crossing barefoot.

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As we reached the other side and started to put our flip flops back on, a couple was coming from the opposite direction, headed back out. They stopped, mud up to their knees, and handed us their walking sticks.

"You're going to need these," they said, "It's really muddy."

And that, my friends, is when the real fun began.

We spent the next 40 minutes or so walking barefoot through deep, slippery, ooey, gooey mud. I loved it.

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I felt like a kid with the mud squishing up between my toes and slipping its way up my legs. It conjured up images of mud fights and mud pies, long afternoons when mom would let us throw on our swimsuits and run outside to play in the rain.

In front of me, I could hear Matt's grunts and "ughs" of displeasure. Apparently, the mud did not hold the same level of whimsy for him that it did for me.

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We squished and sloshed our way back to the falls. We had to cross several streams, climb a few steep rocks, and had to wade through miles of mud, but we finally made it.

Despite the name, "Secret Falls," it's not much of a secret as several tour groups tromp back and forth daily. When we arrived, however, the group ahead of us was leaving and within minutes, we had the place to ourselves. We were able to enjoy it in solitary bliss for a while before another tour group arrived.

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Having enjoyed our "secret Hawaii jungle waterfall and pool experience," we left it for the next folks, and made our way back through the mud toward our kayak. Back at the village, we wandered around for a bit and enjoyed the beautiful plants, the reproductions of old Hawaiian structures, and these guys:

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He kept shaking all of his tail feathers at me. I am not sure if he was trying to make me his girlfriend or if he was about to peck out my eyes, but it was breathtaking all the same.

Once we were mud-free, the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing at Secret Cove.

We went to dinner at BarAcuda in Hanalei that night. A great little tapas place, the interior was warm and glowing with soft candlelight when we arrived. We glanced over the menu and ordered several small plates: a mushroom pizzetta, pork shoulder with potatoes, a fresh tomato salad, and chorizo with grilled apples. Paired with a bottle of wine, it was more than we could finish and absolutely delicious. There is no food porn, however, because Matt was afraid Pierce Brosnan might come in that night and Matt didn't want to be sitting at the table with "that girl with the giant camera."

No doubt, we were fast asleep before 10 p.m.

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Posted by vicki_h 07:43 Archived in USA

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