Sigh, the last day.... I am still mourning the fact that our beautiful vacation is over. Till we meet again, Hawaii.
Well our trip did go out with a bang. Our flight home left late Friday night which meant we still had all of the day time on Friday to play before we had to go to the airport. We maximized our time with some really fun stuff.
First on the docket was kayaking down the Wailua River. It's supposed to be a beautiful kayak trip down the river and when you get to the end, you hike to Secret Falls. This was what wanted to do on day 2 of our trip before the flash flood warnings made us change our plans. This time, we managed to find the rental place with out humiliating slash terrifying any innocent women in gas station bathrooms.
We rented our two person kayak, got a map and headed toward the river. Dale did all the hard work while I took pictures of it.
Here's where we entered:
As we were getting in our kayak, I told Dale, "Let's make sure this doesn't end up anything like Deliverance." Then I started to sing dueling banjos. If you haven't seen the movie, never mind. I saw it on TV once but gladly, no ill fated trips for us. We had a lovely time. Except for the fact that when we started paddling we quickly realized that we were rowing into the wind. Ugh. At least for Dale. Not for me. I was too busy taking pictures. Besides, who needs to row when you have this giant powerhouse behind you?
Actually, that's not true. I did my fair share of rowing and it was HARD WORK. I think Dale kept getting irritated with me though because I kept putting my oar down to take pics. Wonderful pics like these:
That's my cheesy "I'm on a kayak" smile. We did veer off into the side of the river bank a time or two due to my lack of attention but the scenery was so beautiful I couldn't help but take pictures of it all.
Lush greenness everywhere! After about an hour of rowing into the wind (ugh) we found the place to leave our kayak and started hiking.
We had to cross some muddy and rocky streams at first to get to the trail and I guess this would be the second time in my life that I wished I had those fruity river sandals. But that's it. Anyways, I just ended up taking my shoes off and crossing barefoot. Child's play after our insane hike on Wednesday.
Once again we have a small bit of trouble finding our way on the trail. The map was vague, the trail was vague but Dale and I have a pretty good sense of direction and we ended up getting there just fine. And the hike a long the way was so beautiful. The forest in Hawaii is amazing. Once again, my pictures didn't do it justice.
The beautiful canopy:
Moss grows on everything!
These little guys were all over the place. I was told they weren't venomous. Let's hope so!
I have never seen so much life in one forest!
It was almost like things were growing right before our eyes.
If you look closely, you will see that the tree roots do crazy things. They don't know about growing deep into the ground. They are all over the place. Up, down, and sideways. They even grow right into each other.
They twist around each other to get to the top:
Kind of ruthless, those roots.
Here's Dale, flexing his muscles. Showing the trees who is boss.
There were many mini-water falls we had to cross along the way. To me, these looked so beautiful, they almost looked unreal.
We felt like the luckiest people on earth getting to see these things.
We didn't hike for very long until we reached Secret Falls:
For a minute we were the only people there and until some other hikers came along, it felt like we were the only two people on earth.
We did dip into the water and it was frigid to say the least.
I couldn't get a shot of the whole waterfall so I took 3 separate shots and put them together:
We hiked back out and settled into our kayak once again. We agreed that it would be an easy trip back because we thought we would be going with the current this time but au contraire! There is a little thing in Kauai called the trade winds. And they happened to trade while we were hiking. So once again, we rowed along into the wind, against the current, muscles aching. We made it to shore eventually and returned our kayak and went on our way to get some lunch.
Then we decided to head over and check out the secluded beaches we saw from our horseback ride earlier in the week.
As we rode along the dirt road to the ocean, I got a little sad knowing this would be our last thing we did before heading home. But I'm glad we saved it for last. Being on these beautiful beaches was a great way to say goodbye to Hawaii.
These beaches are called the Maha'ulepu Beaches. There are 3 separate areas and the first two you can drive right up to but the third can only be reached by walking to it from second beach.
We laid out on the first beach for a bit before checking out the others.
You know your trip is winding down when the sunscreen is almost gone.
After a bit, we got up and drove to the second beach. Not as sandy but the views were unbelievable! There are many cliffs made of lithified sand. We stood on a cool ledge that hung out over the ocean until we looked down and saw all the cracks in it! We quickly retreated!
The water spraying the hardened sand is what makes it turn jagged and spiky.
Then we started to walk to the 3rd beach. The scenery was incredible to see, it was really almost humbling to be there and take it all in.
I can't get over the color of that water!
Every time the water crashed on these rocks, we could see a rainbow in the sea spray:
This picture looks like nothing but it really is a cool vent that Dale found. It goes all the way through the rock down to the water. Every time a wave came in, a huge gust of air would come up though it and shoot out at us!
The view on the way to the 3rd beach:
This the place that I mentioned in and earliar post where they are supposed to be shooting Pirates of the Carribian. Sorry ladies, no Johnny sightings this time either.
The rocky ledge culred over and shaded the sand at this beach. We sat under the overhang for a while.
We reluctantly decided we'd better go if we wanted time to clean up and eat dinner before our flight left. We began our slow walk back to where we parked. I may or may not have had tears in my eyes as we were heading to the car. I'm silly, I know.
Here's another sad moment, the putting on of the watch. One thing I LOVED about Hawaii was running on island time. It never mattered what hour it was. There was no such thing as early or late. You got there when you got there. I can't remember one time that we were in a rush. I wish I could live like that at home.
Here are some of my other favorite things about our trip:
I loved waking up every morning before the sun came up. Crazy, I know. At home when I have to wake up before the sunrise, I'm the most miserable person on earth. But every morning we would wake up super early and head down to breakfast. We would sit on the porch and watch the sunrise while we ate the most delicious breakfast buffet in the whole wide world. The hotel would always be playing Jack Johnson music softly in the background too. It seems like a lovely and perfect dream now.
Here's a picture I took of our view while we were eating one morning:
Another thing I loved about Hawaii was that every where you looked was a picture. I took so many while looking out the car window:
Another favorite were these beautiful trees covered in red flowers:
But the thing I loved the very most about Hawaii was sharing it with this guy:
Thank you so much baby for earning this trip for us and taking me away to paradise! I love you!