Kauai and Hanakapiai Falls
Kauai was the perfect place to get used to using my land legs again - I had been underwater for the previous four weeks, so I welcomed gravity back as an old friend. I was also welcoming my adventurous (human) friend, who was stopping by on the first leg of her world tour. Together, we had some serious exploring to do.
For most of the week we were in Kauai we were travelling to every nook of the island accessible in our Jeep Wrangler. This included coffee plantations, The Enchanted Forest and Waimea Canyon. Some accidental off-road navigation led us into a missile facility. All was part of our intrepid journey, but the standout was Hanakapiai Falls.
TripAdvisor describes the walk to Hanakapiai Falls as a ‘moderate 4-5 hour hike’. So with the word 'moderate' in mind, off we went in our Jeep Wrangler, up the East coast and towards the Northern tip of Hanalei Bay. There we were greeted by lush greenery and a quaint colonial village with stalls boasting handmade crystal jewellery and fresh fruit smoothies. Then we began the hike.
Mother Nature seems to have her own way of reminding you of your mortality and just how vulnerable you are in her arms. On the walk to Hanakapiai Falls we waded through knee-deep mud up a 45 degree mountain, while dodging overhanging logs and fanning away vampire-ish mosquitoes for three hours straight. We clung desperately to the words of all returning hikers repeating “Its worth it, trust me.”
To say the juice was worth the squeeze would be an understatement. The waterfall towered 300 feet above us and her roar silenced the entire valley. Suddenly our mud-drenched shoes, mosquito welts and sunburn were (temporarily) forgotten. We stood in awe for a while, took a few photos then made the two hour journey back to base, more than deserving of a few Pina Coladas.
Photography by Amber Jones