Yesterday, Husband, Joana, and I went on the “Secret Falls” kayak and hike tour — a 5 hour journey via kayaking the Wailua River and hiking through gorgeous rainforest to reach a beautiful waterfall where Hawai’ian royalty used to bathe.
Spoiler: It’s not so secret anymore.
People were crawling all over this business! We had to take an alternate route via kayak because the go-to parking area was full. This turned out to be an advantage, however, as it was this little, one lane waterway wrought with big green plants that really gave you a rainforest experience.
Our tour guide was Mike, a seasoned guide who went on an 18-mile oceanside kayak tour the day before. He says he does that one every other day, and something less rigorous on his off day for a “semi rest.” In other words, he’s a BAMF.
He was incredibly knowledgeable about the history, plants, and animals on the island, and I attempted to absorb as much information as I could. Let me see what I can recall:
- Many of the rocks were intentionally placed by the ancient peoples of Hawai’i and have only shifted slightly due to land movement. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures below.
- There are two boars for every person on Kauai, and they dig for roots at night and make the landscape all f***y.
- You had to be born in this particular area of the island in order to be royalty.
- The taro root can be broken off, replanted, and regrown. The picture I got is of one root a pig nibbled on, but then it re-rooted itself and started to grow again.
- The hala tree, or “walking tree,” will extend its roots underground up to 20 feet in search of water, and the tree will literally move closer to water sources.
- Awapuhi, or Hawaiian ginger, is a pretty little flower with an amazing fragrance. You ever use Paul Mitchell awapuhi shampoo? This is it. And I’m buying some ASAP.
- According to Hawai’ian legend, Mother Earth and Father Sky had a stillborn son named Haloa. After they buried him, the grieving mother’s tears flowed down onto the grave, and it was from this that the taro plant was born. Then, they had a second son and also named him Haloa, and told him that if you take care of your older brother, he’ll take care of you. This is why the taro root is the sacred crop of Hawai’i and is considered the root of life.
- A lot of the roads in Kauai are thought to be cursed, because the rocks that were used to form them were originally from religious areas, but some of these areas were destroyed by colonists and the rocks repurposed. This is why some of them are difficult to maintain.
The more you knooooow!
So we kayaked first for about 30 minutes, then landed our boats and hiked the remainder of the way to the falls. Have some imagery!
My phone is being a stubborn bitch, so I’ll be sure to get more pics on here as soon as I can.
We jumped in the water, which was chilly at first but became cool and refreshing, then had lunch on the shore of preordered sandwiches, Maui onion chips, and mac nut cookies, and of course plenty of water and some delicious Hawai’ian juices.
While we were eating, there was suddenly a commotion in a nearby group. A 15-foot, waterlogged tree branch fell from high above and clobbered someone on the head. Joana, being a nurse, immediately went to the scene and took care of him. He had a red, baseball-sized wound near the top of his head. He said he almost lost consciousness but didn’t, and he was speaking coherently. Joana worked her nursing magic and returned to us. “That’s gonna seriously suck tomorrow morning,” she said. “I hope he goes to the hospital.”
As a reward for her medic skillz, the guide from that group gave her a wedge of pineapple that was expertly cut. I got a couple slices of that sweet juiciness, and man oh man! Best pineapple I’ve ever had, which, duh. It’s Hawai’i. I’d expect nothing less. But it’s seriously several cuts above what you can get in the contiguous 48. Out of this world.
After lunch we made the trek back without incident, got some gas, and returned to the hale. By the time we returned it was almost 8PM, and I was wiped. I socialized for a hot minute with “The Griswolds,” our fond nickname for my dad, stepmom, and half brothers, who went on a reef guides lunch tour and saw sea turtles. I didn’t sign up for this activity because I was tapped out for cash, but they said it was so worth it that Husband and I are gonna try to do it on Friday. When he wakes I’m gonna coerce him into getting that arranged.
Today we have the dinner cruise, which will parallel the beautiful, untouched shores of Kauai, and apparently is some of the most picturesque sights in the world. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Mahalo for reading, my dear bloggy-McBloggers. Until tomorrow. Aloha!
Next, in Claire’s Kauai Adventures: Kauai Day 5: Hideaway Beach, Clairodactyls, & a Hint of Philosophy
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