Flew to Kauai last Friday with a group of friends. Had been planning our big hike on the Kalalau Trail for a few weeks. The trail is on the north shore of Kauai and is famous for its rugged terrain and it's length (11 miles each way). These are not 11 flat miles, that's for sure! Here is a website I found about the trail if you want to check it out: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dsp/NaPali/na_pali.htm
We arrived in Lihue early in the evening, and checked into the cottage in Kapa'a that we reserved from a posting on craig's list. Cute cottage surrounded by lush rainforest. All of us commented on how much more green Kauai was compared to parts of Maui. Very beautiful all over the island.
We got a late start Saturday a.m. due to a few beers the night before and a few last minute purchases. We really didn't know what we were up against at that point or we would have gone to bed early and started at sunrise. We really goofed by not starting the trail until 10 am! We hiked 8 hours (including about 45 minutes exploring on the first beach we came to 2 miles in). We calculated that we were only moving about a mile an hour due to having to climb and follow continuous switchbacks on narrow trials. Our packs were heavier than they should have been even though we were all careful to pack as lightly as possible. You just have no idea how tough this hike is until you complete it!
We camped out about 8 miles in, and finished the trail Sunday morning. There was a super scary section around the 9 1/2 mile mark that really challenged us psychologically and physically. You had to watch your step on a very narrow trail on a ledge that seemed to go on forever! We finally arrived at our destination at the Kaulalau beach and set up camp. We relaxed for a bit, checked out the scenery which included a really nice waterfall to shower in. We needed it badly!
We hiked a 2 miles to some pools through a beautiful forrest because the 11 miles in weren't enough of a challenge (yeah, right). It was nice even though the water was really cold!!
The next morning a few of us boated out (a new experience with views we wouldn't have seen otherwise) and a few of us hiked out. We took a bunch of weight out of our friends backpacks so that the hike out was much easier.
Dan and I drove around Kauai a bit after we got to shore. I was so looking forward to a fresh bottle of water!! (we had to put iodine pills in the water we drank from the streams on the trail and it was yucky). We check out a lighthouse and bird sanctuary.. the link to this place is:
http://www.hawaiiweb.com/Kauai/html/sites/kilauea_lighthouse.html . I will post pictures soon but just wanted to go ahead and post this since it's been 2 weeks already!! Aloha. :) Susie