Love & Light and everything bright...

Aug 14-17, 2012

Updated Aug 21, 2012 - Our annual pilgrimage to major Hawaiian islands continues - adds Surviving Kalalau Trail - Video

From Kai to Mauka to Makai in Three Days

Exploring Hawaii's oldest island - Kauai - the "Green Isle"



From Kai to Mauka to Makai in Three Days

Exploring Hawaii's oldest island - Kauai - the "Green Isle"

(Kai = Ocean; Mauka = Mountain; Makai = Beach)

HAIKU, Maui, Aug 20 -  Our second full day in Kauai was designated as a Mauka Day - a day in the mountains. We planned to pursue various land-based activities, culminating in a tough hike on the famous Kalalau Trail.  A part of it anyway.  We started with a visit to a bird sanctuary at the Kilauea Lighthouse on the north shore of Kauai.

Kauai Mauka 2012: Visit to Kilauea Lighthouse (Aug 16)


Photo Album from Kauai Mauka Day - Kilauea Lighthouse (Aug 16)

After that, we drove on to Princeville and Hanalei Bay.  The latter has always been our favorite spot on a beautiful Green Isle of Kauai.  Just as with Na Pali coast, there is certain magic about Hanalei Bay. But while Na Pali is rugged and it feels masculine energetically, Hanalei Bay exudes feminine, swaying gently with the wind like a Hula dancer.  Check it out...

Kauai Mauka 2012: Enchanting Hanalei Bay (Aug 16)


Photo Album from Kauai Mauka Day - Hanalei Bay (Aug 16)

Surviving Kalalau Trail

After a gentle respite at Hanalei Bay, we drove on to Ke'e Beach, where the Kalalau Trailhead is located. The 11-mile long Kalalau Trail is without a doubt one of the toughest and the most dangerous in all of the U.S.  Here's what an Examiner newspaper review said about it in its opening paragraphs:

While there are many easy and moderate hiking trails on Kauai, the Kalalau Trail is not one of them.  If you want to hike the Kalalau Trail, you should be prepared.  For starters, you should know the Sierra Club gives it a “strenuous” difficulty rating; it rates a nine on a scale that tops out at ten, in fact.

To be honest, a high percentage of people justifiably question whether the word “trail” is an exaggeration.  Quibbling aside, it’s important to remember there are spots where straying off the trail or whatever you want to call it will most definitely equate to sudden death.

And if anyone needs further elaboration on what Kalalau Trail is about, check out the movie "Perfect Getaway."  It opened in theaters nationwide exactly three years ago. Elizabeth and I saw it in late 2009, just before our first trip to Kauai. Rather than deter us, the physical challenge and the danger made us want to do it even more.

Of course, we did not do the full 11 miles. Even for the fittest of hikers that would have taken a full day.  And then a night of camping on Kalalau Beach before going back.  We just did the two miles (four miles roundtrip).  It took over three hours.  Which was more than enough to exhaust us both.

Yet, you'd never know it if you looked at these pictures of Elizabeth "before" and "after."  But once you see this video, you may get a better idea what Kalalau Trail is all about. Keep in mind that what we did was the "easy" part. :-)

Kauai Mauka 2012: Kalalau Trail


Photo Album from Kauai Mauka Day - Kalalau Trail (Aug 16)

More to come from Mauka and Makai parts of this trip...


Also check out Hawaii 2012 or Hawaii 2011 or Hawaii 2010  or to Hawaii 2009 or All Hawaii TOC

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