Friday, May 04, 2012

A short little hike

So today was the last full day on Kauai, and the last hike of the trip. It was a short, 3 mile loop up to Makaleha Falls, a large waterfall pretty close to where we were staying east of Kapaa. We had heard the hike was very tough terrain, but we had been told that the Kalalau Trail and the Nu'alolo Ridge were also tough, and we knocked them off pretty easily, so we figured this one would be similar.

Not so much.

Makaleha was probably the toughest terrain I have ever hiked across. The "trail" was marked by a series of disconnected pink ribbons, rock cairns and macheted out gouges in tree branches. It took us across the waist-deep river on a large, slick boulders, up through a thick grove of bamboo on a slick mud-covered hillside, through thick vines, thorn bushes and other scrub and through and onto the sloppy, moss-covered limbs of a large number of hau trees. In particular, the jungle gym of hau tree limbs was a truly difficult and gnarly trail experience. 

And it was totally awesome!!!!

It did take us about 4 hours to hike 3 miles, and we got fairly beaten up and eaten alive by mosquitos. And we didn't exactly get to the waterfall ... we may have passed by it by taking the far right stream when we should have taken the left one, but we did see them from a little distance and they were spectacular. 

After we got back and showered up, we ended our time on Kauai with a trip to the South Coast, exploring the Spouting Horn and having dinner at the Beachhouse, an excellent restaurant right on the beach. The calamari and my ebbe in a fish broth with miso and shitakes were superb, as were Aviva's aioli covered scallops. 

All in all, Kauai treated us very well and I felt like we returned the favor. A fantastic trip all around. 

Aviva crossing Makeleha stream early in the hike .

Up the muddy, slippery hillside through the bamboo grove.

The trail continues straight ahead. 

The "wall" where the trail got ... difficult.

Through the jungle. 

Follow the pink ribbons. 

At the stream junction, you can see Makelaha falls in the distance.

A close up of the falls.

Sunset on the south shore.

South Shore tidepools.

Spouting horn blowhole. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the pictures and description of your adventure!

And for not understating the difficulty. Did it Sunday last with five others, including a leader who had been there before and it was brutal, but worthwhile.

BTW, those thorns you thought you encountered were likely monster Mosquitos. There are no native, thorned plants on Kauai :-).

Best wishes