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Travel Blog #85 - Paddling to "Secret Falls" with Wailua River Guides


I had an idea of what we were getting into when I showed up at the headquarters of the Wailua River Guides in Kapaa, but I had no idea how much I was going to really enjoy the kayak and the hike up the river that we did today with Wailua River Guides. The story actually starts before I got to the headquarters when I was getting ready to leave my house. I was having one of those mornings where it was just taking me forever to get everything ready. Then, because I was already behind, I started feeling pressured for time and lost my rhythm. This resulted in a feeling that I needed to be constantly double checking to make sure that I had all my photo equipment (which there is a lot of in my bag). Lets just say, when I got there I was still feeling little bit of lingering anxiety from earlier in the morning. Once I got on the boat and got wet, then paddled for a few minutes and got my blood pumping it felt like the rocky start to the day had never even happened.

When we got up the river to the trail head I opened up the dry-bag that the Wailua River Guides provided and gathered together my camera gear for the hike. It was a slippery hike, but at no point was I worried enough that I was going to fall enough to want to put my DSLR camera back in its pelican case that I had in my backpack. As we traveled through the jungle our guide shared many interesting facts about the plants and areas that we passed along the way. We learned about the "Hala" tree that was used by the ancient Hawaiians to create the thatch roofs that were common in their buildings. We also learned about many of the farming techniques of old as we passed through ancient agricultural terraces on the way to the waterfall.

When we got up the river to the trail head I opened up the dry-bag that the Wailua River Guides provided and gathered together my camera gear for the hike. It was a slippery hike, but at no point was I worried enough that I was going to fall enough to want to put my DSLR camera back in its pelican case that I had in my backpack. As we traveled through the jungle our guide shared many interesting facts about the plants and areas that we passed along the way. We learned about the "Hala" tree that was used by the ancient Hawaiians to create the thatch roofs that were common in their buildings. We also learned about many of the farming techniques of old as we passed through ancient agricultural terraces on the way to the waterfall.

The waterfall was well over a hundred feet tall and had a rather large pool that was calm enough to swim in. It was shallow at the edges and much deeper towards the center. The stones at the edges were loose and slippery which made it difficult to get in and out, but I managed to make it unscathed by staying on all fours and getting low. It is dangerous to swim under any waterfall because it is possible for rocks or even pebbles to fall with the water with enough force to cause injury to anyone in their path. I felt it was worth the risk and went for a shower under the falls, it was amazing!

On the hike back we took a different path that led us next to a small pool that the guide said was man made by ancient people as a private bath. After further investigation, experts now think that it was meant for the exclusive use of royalty. It was an absolutely beautiful place. At first when he said it was man made I was a little skeptical. He continued explaining and pointed out that all of the stones in the waterfall were standing strait up vertically, which is opposite from how nature arranges them. This observation made complete sense and my mind could not help but to imagine what life was like for the people that created this amazing water feature.

The paddle back was a very leisurely one, my friend Chris and I finally got our timing down and ended up making it back in a bit less time then it took us to paddle up the river. We pulled up next to a dock in front of one of the houses and talked with one of the residents that was sitting at the end of his dock drinking a beer out of a green bottle. He was an entertaining guy and we were kinda sad when the rest of the group caught up and we had to say "bye" to him.

After going on the paddle up the river I was in such a good mood. The exercise and the mellowness of the paddle of the river completely erased the rough start to the day. I was already smiling as we were driving home, and then my smile got even wider when I saw a woman on the side of the road selling Ahi. We stopped and picked up an 8lb Yellowfin Tuna for $25 and then went home and spent the rest of the day eating sushi hand rolls and giant sashimi platters. It was a perfect ending to an amazing day!




Travel Blog - Articles #80 to #89

This morning I woke up to very wet and rainy weather at my house in Lihue. My girlfriend had to work and I really wanted to do something more exciting then messing around inside on my computer all day.

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I remember the first time I stood up on a wave. It was a sunny day at a break near Oluwalu on Maui. It was in the middle of one of the summertime adventures with my uncle Dennis that were commonplace during my childhood.

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Today we had something happen that was slightly out of the ordinary. We were on an air tour around Kauai with Airventures Air Tours, when out of the depths of the ocean underneath us appeared a pod of massive Humpback Whales.

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I love the sunset sails on Kauai. I really appreciate that with these sails, there is an actual destination to the whole adventure. You get to sail all the way to the Napali coast while you watch the sun go down.

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I remember passing by the sign for Kauai Photo Tours in Kapaa when I first came over to Kauai in January and thinking to myself how much I was looking forward to going on that trip.

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Today we went out with Aloha Kauai Tours on their Kauai Backroads 4x4 Tour. We met the group at the Kilohana Plantation where we parked my truck and jumped in their customized 4x4 van.

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As we checked in at the Blue Dolphin store in the shopping village of Port Allen I looked up at the grey threatening looking sky and thought to myself:

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We showed up at the Outfitters Kauai office in Poipu at just before 6AM to check in for their downhill bike trip. The ride goes down the road along the rim of the Waimea Canyon.

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When I was a kid, my family lived in Kihei on the island of Maui. During the 1990s when I was growing up, Kihei was one of the fastest growing towns in the nation.

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Related Information

If you would like to get out in nature when you're in Hawaii then you should definitely consider adding a hiking tour to your vacation's itinerary. While many of the trails in Hawaii are publicly accessible, many are not and are located on private lands.

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If you're physically capable of doing a kayaking tour while you're here in Hawaii then you defiantly should. We have different kayaking excursions that are suited for all levels so no matter what kind of kayaking experience you have we should be able to pair you with some kind of an excursion that suites you.

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