Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail... The experience is one that I will never, ever forget. It just so happens that the Kalalau Trail was the second hike I had every done in my life (that I can remember). The views are breath-taking and simply indescribable. I would definitely say that the Kalalau Trail is a bucket-list-worthy type of deal where you are rewarded with the most incredible views in the world. At the end of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail is Kalalau Beach where people camp for the night. Since we only had one day left in Kauai, we hiked half of the Kalalau trail to Hanakapiai Falls and then turned around for a total of 13 miles.

In terms of physical fitness level required, I wouldn't say more than average is needed, though you obviously have to be able to hike 11 miles before the sun goes down if you want to get to the finish line at Kalalau Beach. The actual trail isn't too strenuous. It's just plain dangerous haha. Sheer cliffs with long drops, very narrow paths (at several points, you could only put one foot in front of the other), loose rocks and pebbles, slippery logs, etc. I almost lost my boyfriend twice because he lost his footing and fell!

The trail is also very intimate, which I really liked. We probably saw a handful of other people during the duration of our hike. Most of the time, it really felt like it was just the two of us out there. At Hanakapiai Falls, it was me, Ignas, and nature in the purest state I've seen it. The trail was so overgrown that I felt like we were just forging our own (someone had left pink ribbon markers but still, the trail was invisible). At the falls, there was not a single sign of civilization. Just spiders, frogs (both alive and dead), and the waterfall, which was absolutely beautiful. Since the waterfall was so tall, we couldn't get a good picture but check this one out that I found online.

Yup, gorgeous. From Alexo Photography: http://www.alexo-photography.com/Best_of/Best_of_Foto_Hawaii_ALLE.html
By the end of the day, I was deliriously exhausted. A warning: as much as you might be tempted to wash off at the neighboring Tunnels Beach, don't. The waves there are mean and I was so physically fatigued that one of the waves picked me up and slammed me on the sand, lower back first and my head on the ricochet. I was completely immobilized and I thought I would die when the next wave came but my Superman Ignas saved me. He literally saw me in distress, ran to me, picked me up and carried me away. <3 Looking back, it was romantic but at the time, he was convinced that I had suffered a concussion and I threw up shortly after...

The Kalalau Trail left me feeling very humbled and blessed. I felt so fortunate to have seen such untouched natural beauty and thankful to have been able to revel in all of it in solitude. I would definitely recommend some sort of training prior to taking on the trail and make sure to bring enough water! The Kalalau Trail is a MUST and it's free (unless you pay the permit fee to camp at Kalalau Beach).

Click here to see more pictures from our Kalalau Trail trek.

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