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Day 17: "Dr Livingstone I Presume"

rain 28 °C
View Hawaii on weary_feet's travel map.

Weary and Conductor spent the day paddling and then crawling through the "deepest, darkest places of Kauai" today.

We began the day the same as every other day by taking to our motor vehicle and heading out to discover the unknown. Well today, it was to discover the outer reaches of the Wailua River. We started by checking out another lookout that looks over the Wailua Waterfall.. I have to admit that waterfalls start to get a little bit "ho hum" when you've seen the qty that we have in the last few weeks. I mean Hawaii seems to be covered in waterfalls so it gets a little bit mundane once you've seen a few!

We then headed to the local Hindu temple to have a squizz. Somehow the Hindu monks have over 350 acres of prime rainforest land here in Kauai! We had a quick look around the 1 acre that is open to the public and then took off to chart the Wailua!

We started by hiring a kayak at the river for a couple of hours and were given a fairly rudimentary map of the river itself. We both managed to get in and out of the Kayak safely and even managed to paddle the kayak without to many "smashing of oars". Conductor somehow conned me into sitting in the front which meant break time for Conductor whenever he felt like it.. unfortunately for him my hearing is pretty good so he regularly earned a reprimand for not paddling.. Conductor claimed he was steering, however, he somehow managed to steer me into a branch of a tree so I'm not sure how much "steering" was going on.

We arrived at our first port of call, a two mile hike to a "secret waterfall". Which is not secret at all because everyone who paddles on the Wailua ends up there! The walk thru the jungle is probably one that won't be forgotten quickly. We received a tropical downpour about 10mins before we set out for our kayak, so by the time we made landfall the path was muddy to say the least. We left our kayak and started tramping thru head high grassy stuff (which was pretty iky if you ask me). I'm sure you can imagine.. I'm back in my red-riding hood outfit (Conductor is emulating a smurf) and we are almost hacking our way through head high grass with water pouring from the heavens.. Looking back on it, if I had've walked passed us I would have been out of breath from laughing so hard! (The look on my face would have been priceless!)

We arrived at the first of 3 creek crossings. Conductor had left his tevas here at Joan's and had decided to take his walking shoes along.. No sooner do we walk about 500m and we come to a major creek crossing. So down sits blue smurf and off come his hiking shoes and socks, across we go thru the creek and down sits blue smurf again and puts his shoes back on (wiping his feet as he goes on his blue coat). The trail continues and we leave the head high grass for tall trees and knee high mud.. To say that Conductor and I were dirty is the grossest of understatements. I don't think i've ever had so much mud on me when I haven't paid for it! In fact I had to keep reminding myself that I pay big money to have someone slather me in mud to cleanse the toxins from my skin and that this mud bath was free. Thank god that Kauai doesn't have leaches because we would have been covered in them if it did! Kauai may not have leaches but it sure has mozzies... I swear I have at least a dozen mozzie bights on my legs alone.

We finally reached the secret falls and Conductor got in for a swim.. I got to my hips before deciding it was just too cold. The amazing thing is the amount of wind the waterfall itself makes as the water hits the pool. It was blowing a gale! We found a drier and less dirty way back so we got back to our kayak in probably half the time it took us to get there (even allowing for the shoes off and on that Conductor had to keep doing).

We continued our paddling into the unknown and ended up at the Fern Grotto. This is a cave that is covered in ferns. The walk was far less strenuous, because its all concrete paths. It is actually a landing place for big tourist boats and isn't really designed for kayaks. We arrive to find that the only real way for us to get out of our kayaks and up to the grotto is to pull up at this dirt bank and try to climb our way out. Meanwhile another couple arrive back at the bank to take their kayak back out. The guy walks down the bank to his kayak, loses his grip and ends up face planting into the river and tries to save his backpack with his camera... pretty funny site!! After he and his wife finally get going (after being soaked) its our turn to get up the bank (to go to the grotto). I nimbly climbed my way out but poor old Conductor took a few attempts to get out of the river. Eventually he made it up the bank to roars of applause from the onlookers on the tourist boat.. Embarrassing!!! No sooner had we arrived than we left (the walk around the grotto would be lucky to be 100m) and we had to navigate back down the bank to our kayak. Again I went first and got down fine (thanks to my tevas), Conductor took a little longer but also made it back down safely. No face planting from us.

By this time we were both incredibly filthy and sick of getting v wet feet and legs so decided to call it a day and come back to Joans. Back at the ranch we cooked Joan and her friend Henry a lamb and steak skewer bbq with salad. Dinner was great with brownies for dessert. Spent the evening debating politics, religion and conspiracy theories (aren't they topics that you should never discuss at dinner?)

Helicoptering and more swimming tomorrow before we catch a flight back to Oahu for a few days. Last day on Kauai tomorrow.

Posted by weary_feet 01:14 Archived in USA

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