Trip of a Lifetime: Day 10 – Hike for our lives on Kauai’s North Shore

Today is the massive hike we had been preparing for the past 2 months or (by preparing, I mean a lot of internet research and a couple of long testing walks around Richmond Park). 

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Gorgeous views on the way in.  There was a bit of traffic but pretty smooth sailing

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You always feel so close to the clouds in Kauai as they

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The Hike is the Hanakap’ai Hike – an 11 mile roundtrip (we weren’t doing the 22 mile camping one) to a beach and waterfalls.  We set off about 6am to get to the north side of the island as was recommended.  I thinking we were trying to be optimistic as it had rained very heavily the night before and when we got to the trailhead at Ke’e beach, our worst fears were confirmed the trail would be closed for the rest of the day. 

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Exactly what we DIDN’T want to see!

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Consoling ourselves with a selfie by Ke’e beach

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On the walk back tot he car we spied this cool looking cave

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The faceless man…

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A more normal selfie

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My brother and wife met us on the north shore a bit later and we had a quick breakfast together then Bae and I had heard about another hike nearby. Determined to do some sort of hike today so as not to feel like pussies (I had even brought a hiking pole!) we headed to this hike trailhead.

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This hike, while a lot shorter was rated 9/10 on some hiking site which is strenuous – I could definitely see that as this hike was entirely uphill- I mean we basically walked up a mountain which tested our bodies and relationship but was ultimately worth it for the view, plus there was a nice bench at the top to soak in the sun and the amazing vantage of Hanalei Bay.

Downhill was a pleasure after that 2 mile climb although face planting was a constant worry!

We decided to drive to Queens Pond, as the photos looked epic!  Sadly it was high tide, and there was no way you could swim in it without being swept away (seriously, they had a sign showing about 25 people had died there so far!)  This place is definitely worth the wait.  The parking lot is super small; about 8 spots total so there is a bit of a wait. Luckily people don’t spend the whole day here so after about 20 minutes of waiting, we got to park and head down a short (but moderately strenuous downhill) hike (flip flops no Bueno for this terrain).  The hike down, while a bit difficult, is really beautiful.  The trees were reminiscent of something from a dinosaur movie and almost all the way down; we encountered a lovely waterfall set against some dense green lush vegetation.  Then the vegetation stops and you are at the coast, replete with volcanic rocks over which to clamber, hop and jump.  We stayed out there watching the waves crash into the tidal pool and spotted dolphins and lots of giant turtles frolicking in the rocky waves.

After we had had our fill, we were in need of some nourishment.  My brother and wife had checked into the St Regis for their stay post wedding so we met them at the swanky hotel pool. The drinks they had were amazing and we scarfed down our sandwiches brought from some random café in the morning (we like to keep it classy in these establishments you know)

It was the last time we would see them for a while so we hung out by the pool and chatted about the beauty of Kauai.  My brother and I went down to the beach to have a quiet moment for our father, who had sadly passed away a couple of months before.  My brother wasn’t there when he was cremated so I brought some of dad’s ashes so we could do a little remembrance and send off.  My plan is to take his ashes with me all over the world and spread them around – just like he was a world traveller, I think and hope he would appreciate being spread around the world.

Tired and satisfied, we started our longish drive down to the South Shore. As we were driving through Kapa’a I got peckish (what’s new) and spied a couple of food trucks on the side.  We bought a couple of tacos and sat by the beech on a piece of driftwood to enjoy the Hawaiian sea one more time.  I must add that these tacos were amazeballs as well.

Tune in Tomorrow!

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