Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kayaking and Hiking

Our last full day on the island, we decided to rough it a little with a kayaking and hiking tour. We had a wonderful guide named Lisa and there were only the four of us so it was like our own personal tour. We did a three mile kayak trip up a river which turned out to be a lot of fun due to the wonderful instruction we got before we left. Of course, the wind pushing us along was a perfect foil to the belief in how hard we were working.

We pulled ashore and proceeded to hike for about an hour to get to an astounding waterfall. Did I mention that the hike was through Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge which meant the path through the tropical jungle was through muddy, slippery covered trails that our guide was chopping the foliage as we followed her? It was a very Indiana Jones experience which Gerry especially enjoyed. As it turns out, our guide was from Connecticut with a degree in Environmental Science which was really helpful since she was able to point out so much of the natural vegetation.

After our hike downhill, we got to a tremendous waterfall where the water was cool in the pool below it and we all took a dip. Gerry actually climbed on to the rocks under the waterfall which was very powerful and after watching him, the rest of us decided to just cool off in the pool and swim as close as we could to the falls.

We then dried off for a bit and made the trek uphill back close to where we grounded the kayaks and had a lunch provided by the tour company. I had a turkey and cheese sandwich served on a wonderful locally made organic whole grain bread which was
delicious along with the usual bag of chips. Our tour guide had brought along several avocados from her garden to supplement our lunch along with some passion fruit which I had never tasted before.

We also got to sample strawberry guava which grow along the trail which were superb. The most unique thing we tasted at the beginning of our tour was Verbain which are little purple flowers that are nicknamed mushroom flowers. The flowers taste sweet when you first put them in your mouth but then leave you with the lingering flavor of mushrooms. It was a very unique experience. The tour ended with a van to return us to our car so that we didn't have to hike or kayak back to our starting point. The entire tour took about five hours.

We ended our day by soaking in one of the hot tubs at our resort before going out to dinner. None of us wanted to do something elaborate after our full day, so we decided to walk to the local restaurant that we went to when we first got here, Brennecke's. We walked to the restaurant and ended our stay at the island with yet another wonderful meal. Before getting ready to go to Brennecke's however, we watched a beautiful sunset on the beach.

I had the grilled Ahi Tuna Steak served over Portobello stuffed Ravioli with a Pesto Cream Sauce and once again it was superb!

It saddens me to see this trip come to an end. We need to check out of our condo unit by 10:00 on Sunday morning. Our plan is to check out by 10:00 and spend a couple of hours on the beach before changing and heading to the airport in the early afternoon. We have a 3:40 flight out of Kauai to Honolulu before boarding our 6 something flight back to Dallas from which we will land at 7:15 a.m. on Halloween day. I wonder if we will be up late enough to see any trick or treaters?

Kauai has been the perfect blend of having everything you need and want while still maintaining the island feel without too much commercialization. It is a true gem!

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