Wainiha, Kauai – There are only two ways to see Kauai’s gorgeous, undeveloped Nā Pali Coast – by helicopter or on foot. We are not helicopter people. (I have never been in a helicopter but I feel safe writing that.) So we opted for the latter and it was a-maz-ing.
The famous Kalalau Trail runs for 11 miles along Kauai’s northwest coastline (making it 22 miles roundtrip), a rugged hike that requires camping overnight. Or – for a bit less adventure – the first two miles from Ke’e Beach to Hanakapiai Beach offer a moderately strenuous but still spectacular hiking opportunity. We opted for the shorter hike, obviously. (We also decided to skip the tempting detour to Hanakapiai Falls, when I read about a woman who slipped on wet rocks and drowned in the rushing river.)
This was a fantastic way to kick off our week of adventure. It was also the first time hiking that Daddio and I could not keep up with the twins. (Ah yes, everyone is getting older!) Even in recent years – on our pandemic field trips – V usually lost interest hiking and lagged behind. Not so on the Kalalau Trail!
It was somewhat disconcerting to lose sight of the children, as they scampered over the rocks and forged ahead without us. But there was nowhere for them to go but forward – or perhaps over the side of the cliff, but that seemed unlikely.
Me to hikers coming in the opposite direction: Did you happen to pass an 11-year-old kid with a blue T-shirt and a pony tail?
Hikers: Oh yes, he’s about 5/10/15 minutes ahead of you.
Daddio: What are you going to do when somebody answers “No”?
Fortunately, that never happened.