Day 3, the saga continues.
So after our zip line adventure, we returned home to the hotel to shower and change. Dale and I had nothing planned for the afternoon so we decided to travel up the east side of the island to the north side of the island to see what we could find. I have learned that in Hawaii, some of the best adventures occur when you have nothing planned. Like what happened next.
Before we left, a friend loaned me this book to help us find things to do. As I was looking for stuff to see on our drive, the book recommended we stop at Wailua Falls which is located on the east side of the island. It's a beautiful sight, and is higher than Niagara at 173 feet. Long ago, many men died jumping off these falls trying to prove their manhood.
Here's I pic I took from the scenic lookout:
Anyway, the book I had said that there was a steep trail down to the bottom of the falls that the state keeps blocking off for liability reasons. The locals keep tying ropes to help guide people down but the state keeps cutting them. When we get there, I start looking around and see no sign of a trail. Then we see this way way sketchy looking local guy who was watching the bottom of the falls with a pair of binoculars. He starts talking to us about the wild boars he has killed with his knife and Dale notices that he has a tear drop tattoo right below his eye. Nice. But he seems friendly enough and I figure Dale could take him if the guy is only packing a knife (yes, that's my logic. It's bad, I know) so I ask him if he knows of a way to get down to the bottom of the falls. He says "There sure is!" and is more than happy to show us the way. At this point I'm thinking "Yeah, so you can break into our car while we are down there." We follow him and he points to the place and shows us that we just have to go around this chain link fence. That sounds legal. Dale says he doesn't want to do it. Of course I do. But his sanity prevails and we start to walk back to our car. Then sanity quickly leaves again and Dale agrees to try it. By this time the sketchy local is gone so we turn around and head to the trail. Dale and I begin the descent and we soon realize that we were very ill prepared! I am wearing a skirt and flip flops and Dale is also in flip flops. But not a skirt.
Here is a pic of the start which wasn't too bad at first but then turns very steep and slippery right away.
There are some ropes at the start but they soon disappear and it is up to our own navigation skills to scale our way down. Scale isn't even the right word. More like slide, crash, and careen our way down. I decide I get better traction barefooted and remove my sandals and Dale does the same. We were soon up to our knees in red clay mud and sticks. This was the one and only time in my life where I wished I had those fruity river sandals.
So at this point there is no trail. I realized from this experience and a few others, a "trail" in Hawaii is really just a barely visible suggestion of where you should go.
At one point I turned back to snap a shot of a spot we had just come down:
Dale makes sure to remind me that this was my idea and he will hold me solely responsible if this ends in disaster. I then remind him that he's the one who's gonna have to fight teardrop guy and that evens the score. I'm not worried, Dale could totally take him.
But regardless, neither of us need to fear because eventually we make it down to the bottom safely. And are treated to one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. I come out from the trees and to my left is a humongous and very loud 173 foot waterfall!
We have to cross a stream and a meadow to get closer to it. Note the mud buns. Those were brand new shorts too, dang it!
There goes the pedicure too!
We cross the meadow and we are right directly in front of the falls. The sound of the water crashing is so loud and the mist feels so refreshing! I was having a great time until I looked up and our new best friend was watching us with his binoculars. Creepy! At least now I know he's up there and not following us down!
The best seat in the house:
Dale goes out for a swim.
We thought is was best not to get directly under it as we aren't the best swimmers and who knows what kind of force that water has. At least we are that smart.
It was COLD!!!
We splashed around and relaxed for a bit and then we decided it was time to go. On our way out I noticed this cool rock wall. Dale is doing a suave pose in front of it for you.
Up was way worse than down but we were so anxious to get out of there because of creepy guy so we got out surprisingly fast. We didn't even try to find the trail this time. We clawed our way up using roots and vines.
We get to the top and emerge out of the forest sweaty and covered with mud. All the tourists at the scenic lookout stare at us like we are aliens. Our friend is nowhere to be seen but our car is in tact and we are in tact and all is well. Another awesome adventure!
We get in the car and try our best to wipe of the mud with towels but it doesn't make much difference. We are filthy! Which is exactly what I'm sure the drive thru guy thought at the Taco Bell we then went to.
After a cheap delicious lunch, we continue our journey up to the North side of the island. It was the most beautiful drive.
After a while, the road got small and curvy. I kept shouting at Dale to look at stuff I saw out the window and he kept saying "I can't, I'm driving!"
We traveled past Hanalei Bay which is the place mentioned in the Puff the Magic Dragon song. We all know what that song is really about and that town is filled with people who also know it and obviously live that hippie lifestyle.
There are lots of one lane bridges along the way. This one was in Hanalei Valley. A beautiful place.
We stopped in a place called the Dry Caves.
The cave was under this mountain. Amazing how water has carved a huge hole out of the rock.
Across from the cave is the Ha'ena Beach. This beach had huge waves. We stood there awhile amazed at the awesomeness of it.
Finally, we pulled up to Ke'e Beach.
The last beach on the north shore before the rugged Na Pali coastline starts on the west side. We park the car and as we walk to the sand, two hippies get out their wood flutes and begin to serenade all us beach goers with a lovely new age tune. It was all I could do to not laugh. Dale just rolled his eyes.
At Ke'e Beach, there is also a trail head to a hike that I really wanted to do. It is 11 miles and tried as as I might, we just couldn't find time for it in our short stay!
I heard its a real doozy. If I ever go back, I'm doing that trail!
Anyway, we make our way out to the shore and lay our towels down and take a seat. I was told by my friend who loaned me the book that this was the best place to watch the sunset in Kauai and I think it truly is. Not that I was in Kauai long enough to see the sunset in many places but I can't imagine it better than this!
We took some pics while waiting for the show:
I heart Dale:
Our weary mud/sand covered feet.
Dale finds time for a siesta.
This and one other nap were the only ones he got on the whole trip. Poor guy, his wife wanted to go go go from sun up to sun down. Sleep was a waste of time in my book!
The sun started to set and we snuggled together while we watched. And of course while I took 8 thousand pictures.
Those mountains in the distance is the start of the famous Na Pali Coast. So many movies have used scenery from this coastline.
It was pretty cloudy but still breathtaking!
I told Dale, I truly think we found paradise. I imagined how the sun has been setting in this way in this beautiful spot all of my life and I didn't know about it. Can't believe it took me so long to find it!