I got to go on the most amazing trip to Hawaii this summer. I backpacked on the Napali Coast on Kauai. It was a first in many ways for me. It was the first trip to Hawaii, the first time to be away from my kids for a week, the first time I'd been away from my kids and husband at the same time, and my first time to go on an overnight backpacking hike. For anyone thinking this sounds fun, It was, however, I would never recommend this hike to someone as inexperienced as myself.
This pic is our group at the beginning of the hike. Still feeling good and excited. From left to right they are Laurel (to become my sister in law in October), Robby (my little brother), My mom, Jen (my little sister and trip organizer), Paula (my sister in law), Janice (friend of Jen), Me, and Marilyn (my mom's little sister). Not shown is Phill (a friend of Jen) who was a great photographer and an expert hiker besides adding another great personality to the group.
This is me in front of our first view of the coast we were hiking. It looked impossible. All those little bumps sticking out into the water are what we hiked over, around, and up to get to the amazing beach at the end.This is me looking down off the cliff at the water below. A large portion of the hike was done on skinny trails along the edge of cliffs. Not a hike for the clumsy! I can't believe I made it!!
Two miles into the hike was a small beach that looked like a great place to play in the water, but before we got there we saw this sign. Apparently it's not a good beach to play in the water at.
We took a side trail on the first day so that we could go see this beautiful waterfall. It was a great spot! But while we were there it started raining and it didn't stop until after dark. The funny thing to me was that being wet didn't mean we were cold. It Did get uncomfortable by the end of the day though.
This is Paula going to use the deluxe toilet facilities. They were absolutely disgusting, but when you only see one every 4 or 5 miles at best, you take what you can get.
After a long first day of hiking in the rain on scary trails we were very relieved to get to this little covered table where we could get out of the rain and cook a hot meal. After which we climbed in our tents and slept well. The next morning we were very happy to see the sunshine, and looked forward to a few hours on the beach before dark if we hiked fast.
The scenery along the way was amazing. This is my mom and I stopping to enjoy the scenery. It was unbelievable!!!
There were plenty of places along the trail that seemed better suited to goats than hikers. This is a picture of Robby and Laurel in one of those spots. The switchbacks made it possible to hike but they weren't easy! And that water in the background is a LONG way down!
Finally we arrived at the beach! It was so neat!! It was a big beach with very few people. And it was spotless! No trash, no sticks, most of it didn't even have rocks. It was just clean smooth sand with this amazing backdrop!!!
All of our stuff was still soaked from hiking in the rain the day before (and falling in a few rivers). So we picked this nice area of the beach that had some low bushes and unpacked. Within a few hours everything was nice and dry again. In one corner of the beach was a waterfall that hikers use to shower. It even had a soapdish carved into the rock. We didn't soap up, but the water sure felt great!!
Of corse to Jen, enjoying the beauty of it from the bottom wasn't enough. She had to scale the cliff in bare feet and a swim suit to see what was at the top.
At one end of the beach was this big cave. It wasn't super deep, but we enjoyed exploring it. This pic is looking out to the beach from in the cave.This is my favorite picture of the beach because it shows how peaceful and clean and perfect it was.
On the third day we hiked back out to the cars. It was a long and hard day but amazingly uneventful. All of us came out safe and healthy. Then we had two more days to see what else the island had to offer. First we went to Waimea Canyon. It's a lot like the grand canyon but green. There are hikes to do there, but we had had enough hiking, so we were happy with the view point.
On the way back to the condo, we stopped to see this light house. Look close it's just over my shoulder on the left side of the picture.That night we enjoyed a very energetic game of spoons. There was actually biting at one point!
On our last day we went snorkling. Or at least some of us did. I tried hard, but it is not my thing. But I did like standing in the water and having the fish swim around me. And there were two seals out on a little sand bar, not far out at all. So I enjoyed watching them. I also managed to get the worst sunburn of my life! All in all it was a great day at the beach.Then we finished the week with a Luau at a very nice resort hotel. Thats when Robby finally proposed to Laurel. When the luau was over we went straight to the airport and spent the night flying home.
It was an unforgettable week!!! But I was very happy to see Stew and the kids again!!