Travel Journal

Kalalau trail and Na Pali coast (Hawaii)

(Thursday 21 June 2012) by Lynda
"Forget Eden, and explore the North Shore's quilted green slopes and valleys, the seemingly untouched landscape, the most pristine part of the island, an unassuming treasure that is the island within the island."

Kalalau trail
Kalalau trail
If a guidebook is this lyric about a place it's worth to check it out. We based ourselves on 'Anini Beach Park and camped for 2 nights.....didn't go camping since Mongolia and that was ages ago.......but Hawaii is so expensive that it does make sense to go budget for a couple of days and to be honest; camping on Hawaii is a special event. The Beach Park is full of local families doing the bbq-thing, homeless people waiting for a change in luck and some tourists. We pitched our tent right at the beach and enjoyed a gorgious sunset with a nice Californian wine (in a proper brown bag because alcohol on the beach is a big no-no in America) and lovely and moving songs from Luke, our new friend who's a great singer/songwriter but isn't too sure about that himself. A great and relaxing night in paradise!
Hanakapi'ai falls
Hanakapi'ai falls

Next morning we geared up for the Kalalau trail. Winding along the cliffs that offers glimpses of some of the most pristine, extreme views from which to behold its deep, riveting pleats. The trail is without doubt the best way to connect directly with the elements, but the full 22-mile round-trip into the valley is a steep rough hike and definately not for sissies! The trekking is an overnight affair so you need to carry all your food and equipment with you....... too much hassle for us so we opted for the shorter trekking to Hanakapa'ai falls. The first part of the trail goes along the shoreline over the cliffs and that means going up and down for a crueling 2 miles that tested our surefootedness because the cliffs are high and steep. The next 2 miles took us deeper in the forest with an increasingly sublime riverscape until we reached the pool of Hanakapi'ai falls. The clear ice cold water ready to revive your senses and makes you feel alive until your feet go numb; the perfect reward for a long hike and also the best preparation for another trip........ all the way back!!!!! It was a long and hot day but the amazing views, the constantly changing landscape, the sounds of the river and the waterfall, the swim fiesta in the cold water of the waterfall and ofcourse the best hiking mates, Koen and Luke, made this trip a highlight of the visit to Kaua'i.

Na Pali coast
Na Pali coast
We couldn't get enough of the rugged Na Pali coast and after exploring the cliffs from the land we went aboard a catamaran to see the cliffs from the sea. A rough boatride along the coast took us to the dolphines playground; swimming around the boat and juming out of the water while spinning, giving us a private show like they had been waiting for us.
Spinner dolphins at Na Pali coast
Spinner dolphins at Na Pali coast

The cliffs are an amazing sight from the sea, rugged, ancient and breathtakingly beautiful. What a great place this island is, where nothing is standard, everything is a bit over the top and there are simply not enough superlatives to describe all the things around you. The only thing that really works is to hold on to that special feeling you get when you are surrounded and submerged in this paradise, true happiness! Kaua'i was great and I'm so glad we switched from Oahu to here; and this was only the second island we visited. Maui, the honeymoon island is waiting for us ........

 


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