Tag Archives: Beach

Friendship, Lessons, and Community in Cape Town, South Africa

December 13, 2012

Camps Bay BeachToday was our final day in Cape Town and the only day we hadn’t booked a full day of activities.  We attempted to sleep in, but still woke up around 6:00am, so we went to breakfast and got an early jump on the day.

After breakfast we set out to explore Cape Town on foot one more time.  The first day we walked around Cape Town we were a bit delirious from the preceding 36 hours of travel.  Having been here a few days now, we were able to absorb much more during this second go-round.

We’d hoped to do some final gift shopping so we made our way down to Long Street.  By this time, we’d showered and had a very leisurely breakfast, so we were surprised the shops weren’t open yet. I glanced down at my watch – it was only 8:00am – that explained it.

We continued to wander as we waited for the shops to open and came across a collaborative bucket list project, “Before I Die”.  A wall outside of a business was covered with chalkboard paint and the words “Before I die I want to…” were written  next to numerous blank lines.  They have chalk inside the shop so that everyone can finish the sentence in their own words.

Before I Die

We were, of course, too early – the shop with chalk hadn’t opened yet – so we read the wishes of others. Some were quite funny and others were truly touching. I was filled with gratitude, reading the community bucket list.  One of the things I wanted to do before I die is travel to Africa. Simultaneously reading and fulfilling a bucket list, I smiled and gave thanks.

By the time the shops opened, our attention spans for shopping had diminished. We popped in and out of some stores quickly, eventually deciding to go down to the beach instead. As we were walking back to the hotel we came across a protest in front of the courthouse.

Social Justice Coalition Protest

I spoke with some of the protesters to find out what was going on. They explained that an independent commission of inquiry had been established to investigate crimes and potential law enforcement corruption in some of the most densely populated townships.

“I don’t feel safe at home,” one young woman told me. “The commission of inquiry gave me hope that I’d be protected and things would get better, but the Minister of Police is trying to stop the commission’s work.  There’s a court hearing right now,” she added. We watched as the crowd grew and their chanting got louder. As we turned to head back to the hotel, busloads of people were arriving, hoping their voices would make a difference.

Tomorrow we leave for safari at Kruger National Park which means there was much organizing and re-packing to do today. I went back to the room and packed, thankful that I had purchased another duffle bag the day we arrived in Cape Town.

Cold water Camps BayNext I headed to Camps Bay beach for a couple hours.  It’s summer so the beaches are quite busy, but the water is cold.  It was somewhat deceptive as I equate crystal clear waters such as those of Camps Bay with warmth.  I walked into the waves for a minute so that my body and mind would believe what everyone had told me about how cold the water is here.

After the beach, I met up with some friends who live in Cape Town.  I initially met Maureen and Adrian during a really special trip to Alaska in 2010.  We’d each been selected in a lottery to visit McNeil River, a protected park that has the highest concentration of brown bears in the world.

During our four days at McNeil, Maureen, Adrian and I would talk about travel, life, coffee, and wine. It’s no wonder we became friends. “If you’re ever in Cape Town, give us a call! We’d love to show you around,” they said when our time at McNeil came to a close.

It was so nice to be reunited with Maureen and Adrian on yet another special trip. They brought me up to their home and we caught up over wine, while overlooking the windswept beach. I hadn’t mentioned this to them, but two things I was sorry I didn’t do while in Cape Town were go to Signal Hill and eat sushi.

“Shall we go get a bite to eat?” Adrian asked.  And then, as if reading my mind, “Do you like sushi?”

When we got in the car Adrian asked if I’d been up to Signal Hill. “No… that’s one thing we didn’t have time to do,”  I replied.  Within 7 minutes, we were atop Signal Hill and Adrian was pointing out some of the city’s landmarks.  The views at Signal Hill are spectacular.  As we looked down at the stadium, built initially to host the World Cup, Adrian and Maureen shared additional history about the development of Cape Town and possible plans for the stadium moving forward.

Spending time with Maureen and Adrian made South Africa feel like home.

View from Signal Hill

When they dropped me back at More Quarters following dinner, it didn’t feel sad – it felt exciting. We talked about where in the world we may see each other next. Perhaps we’d all meet in Alaska again.  Of course I’ll reach out the next time I’m in South Africa.  We might reunite in London. . . or on a trip to see the polar bears in Churchill. Maybe they’ll come visit me. . . or perhaps we’ll meet somewhere none of us has been yet.

Traveling around the world is what I enjoy most. My time in Cape Town offered further reinforcement as to the importance of doing so. Traveling broadens perspectives, opens minds, allows us to form friendships with people we otherwise may not meet. Travel allows us to witness, first-hand, how others respond to global and local challenges – environmental, political, and social. New solutions can emerge from listening to, learning from, and collaborating with other cultures. Understanding and compassion increase as experience reminds us that we are not alone, that people on the other side of the world want the same basic things we do, and that everybody has something they’d like to do before they die.

Time for sleep.  Tomorrow is a big day as we head into the second portion of our journey – safari.

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Journey Along Cape Point Route, South Africa

12/12/12

Cape Point DriveMonday we enjoyed a self-guided, aimless, walking tour of Cape Town.  Yesterday we embarked on a drinking tour of South Africa. Today we set out to discover the beauty of South Africa by driving along the pristine Cape Point Route. There’s been no time for jetlag – and little time for sleep – we’re intent on making the most of every moment we have here in Cape Town.

On the recommendation of a friend of a friend, we connected with a phenomenal guide named Marion Ellis.  As with all the amazing people we’ve encountered in South Africa, Marion is more than a guide – she’s a friend and a tremendous host.

Marion met us in the lobby at More Quarters and suggested we go back to our rooms to gather hats and jackets. It’s summer in South Africa and Marion wanted to ensure we had everything we needed to protect us from the scorching sun and high winds.

As Marion led us along the gorgeous coasts of Cape Town, she shared history and insights about the development of each area.  We made our way through Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches, Hout Bay, Noordhoek, the gorgeous Chapman’s Peak Drive, Scarborough, and the Cape of Good Hope, before stopping for a picnic lunch (champagne included).

beach view We absorbed Marion’s verbal history of each point along the route as we stood outside, taking in the views. This was a very impressive and impactful way to learn more about South Africa.  Marion was born and raised here. She has experienced the development of these regions first-hand and has vast knowledge and wonderful stories to share.

We learned about some of the informal settlements and how the government and people are working to provide infrastructure and public services to those communities. One of the things that struck me most was the sight of thousands of shacks adjacent to some exceptionally nice homes in well-off neighborhoods.  In many places, in other countries, the poor often reside in certain neighborhoods, generally out of sight of the extremely wealthy.  It makes it easier to ignore the issues when you can’t see them.

In parts of South Africa, however, there’s no escaping it. Day in and day out, the hilltop views of some of the country’s wealthiest, those who have running water and numerous luxuries, are obstructed by shacks that appear to be barely standing. The issues here can’t be ignored and it was extremely interesting listening to Marion’s accounts of how they’re trying to tackle these challenges.

ElandWe also learned why there are two lighthouses at the Cape of Good Hope, what the city is doing to manage the baboons, and the vast ecosystems of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans which intersect here.  As we were leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Marion pointed out two eland.  Eland, the largest antelope, are shy animals so we were quite lucky to see them.  Marion suggested we journey to see the old bushmen cave paintings of eland the next time we come to South Africa. “The bushmen revered the eland,” she noted.

During a coffee stop earlier in the day, the kind man who’d been driving us around all day shared some of his personal history with us. I’m witholding his name in case he’d like some anonymity. The man was from an area called District Six. His grandfather had worked hard and built a house in the area, where our driver and his family lived. Beginning in the late 1960’s, under the apartheid regime, the 60,000+ residents of District Six were forced to leave, their homes bulldozed.

The apartheid regime then declared District Six a “whites-only” area and relocated the former inhabitants to poor, gang ridden communities. At the age of 19, this man was uprooted from his home, separated from his family, and forced to leave behind the life he knew and loved. The home his grandfather worked so hard for had been destroyed.

He had tears in his eyes when he finished telling the story. “Did you ever consider leaving South Africa?” we asked him. “No. I love my country,” he replied with honor and grace.

Boulders Beach PenguinsAfter lunch, we headed to Boulders Beach to see the penguin colony.  The penguins settled on the beach, in a residential neighborhood, in 1982, much to the dismay of the human residents. The penguins are protected, however, and Boulders Beach is a great place to view them in  their natural habitat. We did notice some entrepreneurial  human residents who had converted their garages into mini businesses to capitalize on this relatively recent tourist destination.

Penguin ReflectionOne of the things I’ve come to appreciate about South Africa is that the animals appear to have the right of way.  There seems to be an awareness and respect that we – people – are the visitors in the animals’ habitat. I’m often upset by the removal of wild animals from “suburban” areas in Los Angeles.  Where are the animals supposed to go as we continue to build on their land and force them out of their natural habitat? It’s inspiring to witness some of the fair, respectful, wildlife policies in South Africa.

We watched the penguins for a while and I was blown away by how they communicate.  It’s one thing to watch National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.  It’s another thing to stand 5 feet from penguins and observe their behavior.  We watched penguins approach one another and cock their heads as they squawked at each other, in animated conversation.  We saw two babies hounding their mom for food and watched several penguins swim and emerge from the ocean.

Next we headed to Kalk Bay where the brown sands of the Indian Ocean were present.  We learned that from atop Table Mountain, you can tell which ocean you’re looking at based on the color of the sand.  The Atlantic’s fine white beaches are a sharp contrast to the rust-colored sands of the Indian Ocean. Marion took us to a great gallery and shop in Kalk Bay so we could see the work of some local artisans.

As happened during yesterday’s wine excursion, we were not ready for our tour to end. On our way back to More Quarters Marion called Table Mountain Park.  “Is the mountain open?” she inquired.  Due to high winds, the mountain is often closed, so it’s important to check in advance before venturing to this landmark. “It’s open.  You should seize the moment and go up Table Mountain for sunset! It  may be closed tomorrow, so go while you can,” Marion suggested.

Table Mountain SunsetWe were exhausted, but we’re in Africa and we didn’t come here to sleep.  So, we dropped off our stuff at the hotel and took the cable car up Table Mountain. It was extremely crowded as a result of discounted prices after 6pm. Rather than fight the crowds for a spot at the edge of the mountain, we purchased some Pinotage, found a quiet table, and watched the sunset peacefully.

The cable ride car back down the mountain was spectacular and something I hadn’t expected.  With the sun now below the horizon, Cape Town was lit up beautifully against the night sky.

Before heading to bed, we popped into a great bar near More Quarters, Asoka, for a nightcap. There, we were introduced to one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had – vanilla vodka, shaken with fresh passion fruit, passion fruit puree and vanilla sugar. They serve it straight up, with a shot of champagne on the side. Two of those and it’s time to call it a night.

Tomorrow is our last day in Cape Town.  We don’t have any scheduled activities, just time to explore and enjoy the city. I have some friends who live here I’m going to attempt to connect with. I can’t wait to share my adventures with them and to hear and learn from their perspectives as well.

If you plan to visit Cape Town, I highly recommend you connect with Marion Ellis at Cape Insights.  She will make sure you get the most out of your time in South Africa, taking you on amazing custom tours and adventures. You’ll learn a lot and have a wonderful time!

Cape Insights
+27(0)21 424 0018 (GMT+2)
info@capeinsights.com

Kauai: Through The Eyes Of An Adventurer and A Local

September 17 – September 22, 2009

Where have I been?! The lack of updates here has not been for a lack of travel.  However, all of my travel this year has been within the Contiguous United States, much of it surrounding live music events.  I’ve been to Austin for SXSW, New Orleans for JazzFest, Michigan for Rothbury Festival, Santa Barbara for Nine Inch Nails – you get the picture.  As a result of all of this “music travel” and my desire to write frequently, I started an additional blog:  Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend.  While not chronicling my travel tales, I have been blogging about my live music experiences.

Also, last year’s epic trip to visit the polar bears in Churchill is a hard one to follow-up! Little jaunts to San Diego, Palm Springs, and Seattle seem trite compared to that adventure.  (I am highly considering a return visit to Churchill this year, so stay tuned for that.)   However, last week I made a journey to Kauai that was so unique it felt like I traveled to another country.

Kalalau Valley

Kalalau Valley

Perhaps this trip won’t be considered all that unique for some people, but it was definitely different for me.  During previous trips to Kauai, I was always accompanied by my parents, and a bit too young to appreciate all the intrinsic beauty and the “joy of doing nothing.” Well, all of that’s since changed!

I’ve been to Oahu and Maui as an adult several times.  They’re nice of course, but they feel a bit commercialized.  In fact, during my last trip to Maui, we weren’t able to visit the waterfalls unless we paid for an escorted tour.  I asked a local about this, “C’mon – you know where there are waterfalls we can explore on our own. . . ”  To my surprise the local man responded, “No, actually, the waterfalls here are on private property.  The only people with keys to the properties are the property owners and tour operators.  My friends and I tend to march to our own beat which can make group tours a bit of a challenge, so we skipped waterfalls during the Maui trip a few years back.  We made up for it this time!

We also hit up some secluded beaches.  So secluded that sometimes we were the only ones there.  In addition to the absence of my parents, what made this trip unique is that I was guided by a local and both of us are quite adventurous.  By “adventurous” I mean: if my parents would have advised against it, we did it.  I’m not talking about jumping out of planes (although, that’s already on the itinerary for the next visit), but we did climb fences, traverse unkempt trails barefoot, and ignore “Danger” signs.  All with great reward. . .

Sunset over Hanalei

Sunset over Hanalei

I landed late Thursday afternoon and after a quick stop for lunch we headed straight to the beach.  The first beach we hit up was Hanalei, home of Puff The Magic Dragon.  The water was calm and warm, and the clouds looming above exacerbated the magical feeling that overtook us.  We ended up swimming in Hanalei until just after sunset.  Next, we enjoyed a relaxed dinner outside, at a nice restaurant on the North Shore.  We went to bed fairly early (although it was 3-hours later by my Pacific Time) so that we would be ready for Friday’s adventures.

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Sitting on the edge of a beautiful world

Friday: We got an early start, loaded the tent and sleeping bags in the truck, and headed for Small Tall Town Coffee, a great local shop in Kapaa. In addition to making the perfect Mocha, they also had delicious fresh honey spreads.  We picked up the recommended toasted almond & honey spread – the first item in the cooler for our upcoming night of beach camping.

After coffee, we went to a great local’s diner and had eggs and their signature Tropical Shorty pancakes with coconut syrup.  Yummmm! The places we ventured were not crowded, not your typical tourist stops, and in some cases unmarked or difficult to find – all of which made this trip even more spectacular.  We dined, hiked, and swam with the locals, never waiting more than a few minutes for any experience.  I’ve been asked not to post the names nor locations of some of the places we went, since part of their allure is that they are well-kept secrets and among the few places locals can visit to escape the hustle of tourists.

After breakfast we picked up food, firewood, and supplies for what would become a night of mystical beach camping.  With all our gear loaded in the truck, we headed south so we could get a view of Kalalau.  Originally, we discussed hiking the 11-mile trail some describe as treacherous and camping out at Kalalau.  However, there weren’t enough days during this vacation to work that in, so we decided to appreciate the magnificence of Kalalau from above.

Sitting on the edge of the Earth, way above the Ocean

Sitting on the edge of the Earth, way above the Ocean

We spent a while taking in the views.  I found it interesting that the designated “viewing areas” were well gated and secured, but if you continued to the end of the road, you could walk down a path and literally dangle your legs off the edge of the earth.  People watched us do it as if it were no big thing. . . until they got closer to the edge and saw the vertical drop.  Then, without fail, after an audible gasp, the men on the path would tease their wives and travel companions by getting as close to the edge as possible.

Entrance to Polihale

Entrance to Polihale

Next, we began the journey to Polihale. Polihale is one of those local gems, but you need to have 4-wheel drive and be willing to drive at least 5 miles over rocky, ditch-ridden, unpaved roads in order to get there.  I never saw any signs or arrows pointing to this beach and in fact, several of the roads we were on were unnamed (or rather, their names are not designated by signs). Important to note – you can camp on the beach at Polihale.  But you can also drive on the beach at Polihale.  So if you plan on camping on the sand, be sure to make yourself visible by building a camp fire or making a compound around your tent.  We saw several huge trucks traversing the sand throughout the night (mostly used to get from one side of the beach to the other than obnoxious joy riding).

Sunset at Polihale

Sunset at Polihale

Polihale means “House of the Po”, and Po is the Hawaiian afterworld. It is believed that this is the place spirits come before they “move on” by jumping into the sea.  Whether or not this is true or Hawaiian lore, there is definitely something mystical about Polihale.

We arrived just prior to sunset and waited for the sun to sink below the horizon before we set up our tent.  Once the sun set, we built a campfire to provide light while we got situated.  There were approximately six other groups of people camping on the beach, but everybody was substantially spread out.  Aside from the flickers of light bouncing off one of the campfires, all you could see were stars.  And because there were no obstructions (buildings or lights), the stars appeared visible from the ground behind us, all the way to the horizon.

What’s there to do with a campfire, but make S’mores?!  We perfected and ate S’mores, listened to one group of campers have a sing-off (which sometimes morphed into a sing-a-long), wished upon shooting stars, and drifted off to sleep. While sleeping under the stars at Polihale I experienced some of the most magical dreams yet.  They felt larger than life and exceptionally colorful – a bit like being in a fairytale.  When I awoke it almost felt like I never went to sleep because my dreams were so active and the “characters” so unique.

Saturday: We watched the sunrise at Polihale, packed up our gear and decided to head back to the North side of the island for more adventures.  But first – breakfast, of course.  I don’t remember the name of that diner either, but it was a really cute place with its own bakery (which made for an exceptional breakfast croissant).  We sat outside, leisurely sipping our coffee and discussing the day’s plans.

The thing about Kauai is that “plans” are extremely loose.  Conversations go something like: “Should we go to a waterfall, take a nap, or go swim in the ocean?”  While it’s entirely possible to accomplish all of those things in one day (and we did), there’s no need to commit to a “plan” in Kauai.  You can truly just go with the day and see how you feel, which leaves more room for spontaneity and adventure.

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

On the way back from breakfast, my friend took a sharp left off the main road toward Wailua Falls.  As with most things that are worth seeing in Kauai, you must first journey along a narrow, winding road.  I got used to the drives pretty quickly — anything was easier than that road to Polihale. We arrived at one of the Wailua lookouts and viewed this 80 foot waterfall from above.  It was spectacular, but what really caught my eyes was the beautiful body of water and river below.  The waterfall came thundering down into the most peaceful pool of water, and nobody was in it!  “You used to be able to climb above the waterfall,” my friend explained, “but people have fallen and died, so they closed it.”  Sure enough, there were gates and huge “DANGER” signs posted all along the perimeter.

“I don’t care about going above it,” I replied, “I want to go down there – I’d like to get IN it!”

My friend explained that this wasn’t possible.  There’s no way down. When I later recounted this story to another friend she said, “Wow. . . Ali must have forgotten who she was with.  You always find a way. . .” Ignoring Ali’s suggestion that a trek to the base of the waterfall was not possible, I began surveying the area closely.  Within minutes I saw people with inexplicably muddy feet and wet clothing.

“Look at them!!” I said to Ali.  “They’ve been somewhere wet and muddy – they’ve been down to that waterfall!”

“Maybe they came from somewhere else.  Look – there’s no way down,” Ali said, pointing all around us.

We continued walking up the road and ran into a local, Phill, whom Ali knew.  Phil was selling handmade wooden instruments at the top of Wailua Falls.  We chatted with him for a bit, played around on the instruments and then I pointed to the bottom of the falls and asked, “is there a way to get down there?”

“YES!” Phil’s face lit up as he explained, “If there’s one thing I tell people to do in Kauai, it’s hike down to the bottom of this waterfall.  You can even go behind it.”

“Great! How do we get down there?” I inquired.

“Follow this road around the bend.  You’ll see a place where people have pushed down the fence.  Go over the fence and start walking down the path until you get there.”

“Can we wear these shoes?” I asked, pointing to our flip flops.

Phil chuckled. “Don’t wear any shoes,” he offered helpfully.  “It’s really muddy and slippery down there and shoes get stuck and break.  There are a lot of broken shoes down there.  Go barefoot and grip the rocks and dirt with your feet.” And with that, we walked back to the car to ditch our shoes.

You've been warned

You've been warned

[Now, as with all adventures recounted in this blog, these are my personal stories, not my recommendations for you.  While I find these experiences extremely rewarding, I’m not suggesting that you go beyond your comfort-level, trespass, or endanger yourself in anyway.]

We took off our shoes, drank some water, and headed barefoot back down the road toward the man-made “entrance”.  We were greeted by a Danger. Keep Out sign and a lot of mud.  We stepped over the portion of fence that had been pushed down and carefully began to navigate our way down the hill.  The no-shoe suggestion was very helpful! Tree roots became the make-shift “steps” down the hill as we wound our way over and under branches, trees and bushes.  Some locals have put rope along the way which helps mark “the path” and can be used for additional stability when you’re making your way to the waterfall.

“Getting back up there is going to be interesting,” Ali said, after we had been walking for a little while.  Having not thought about that previously, I looked up at the steep, muddy hill behind us.  “So that’s what the rope is for! That’s going to be even more useful on the way up,” I replied.

We continued down the way until we arrived here:

We made it to the bottom!

We made it to the bottom!

Yes, it was worth it.  And extremely gratifying.

We swam around freely in the pool beneath the waterfall.  At one point, I floated on my back and looked up at the forceful stream of water pounding down beside me.  If only I had a waterproof camera – it was one of the most spectacular sights I’ve seen.  There are few things more humbling than swimming around waterfalls.  There were two people heading out when we arrived so we had the falls to ourselves for a while.  Then, gradually, a few more people tentatively made their way down to the falls.

Standing at the base of the falls

Standing at the base of the falls

After soaking it all in for a while, we decided it was time for the next adventure.  The ropes tied between the trees were essential to scaling the mountain on the way back up.  It was also helpful to just look where your feet were stepping, one step at a time, rather than look up. . . or down! When we got back to the road we paused for a moment of gratitude, thanked Paul for his guidance, and walked back to our car.

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. . . "

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. . . "

Ali didn’t tell me where we were headed next.  Actually, she did rattle off the names of 4 different beaches, but none of them were familiar to me.  “Ok – it’ll be a surprise,” Ali said as she navigated us back to the main road.  We drove for a while longer, made another sharp left turn (again unmarked) and ended up on a residential street.  We parked the car and walked along the road until we could access the beach.  And there we were – at the site where the first couple episodes of Gilligan’s Island were filmed (November 19 -22, 1963), Moloaa Bay. The water was pristine and the sand was fine and soft.  We swam around in the crystal blue bay for a while and napped on the sand.

Not so sure being stuck on Gilligan's Island was a bad thing!

Not so sure being stuck on Gilligan's Island was a bad thing!

I honestly don’t remember what happened after that.  I think we may have headed home, showered, and then went to a friend’s house for dinner.  I do know that I slept exceptionally well on Saturday night.

Sunday: By this point, we had adventured, camped outside on the beach, swam in waterfalls, and enjoyed some good meals.  Now was the time to do what I can only do in a place like Kauai – truly slow down.  Stop even. We spent most of Sunday lying around the house, napping, catching up.  We eventually made it out to a beach and went swimming at sunset and then picked up some dinner and went back to sleep.  I got more sleep Sunday than I do cumulatively during a typical week.

Monday: Our day of rest behind us, it was time for more waterfalls.  First, we walked to breakfast at a little local bakery.  As usual, we sat outside, leisurely sipped our coffee, and considered our options for the day.  We initially planned on snorkeling, but we checked the surf report and the water was going to be too rough for snorkeling.  In fact, it was advised that people stay out of the water on the North Shore altogether on Monday (that of course doesn’t apply to the world class surfers who live for days like this).

So instead of snorkeling, we went on another waterfall adventure.  Ali explained that there was a bit of a hike involved, but it would be worth it.  I actually enjoy hiking so that was part of the fun for me, although I don’t typically hike in that kind of heat and humidity.  I’d imagine the hike is a couple miles (1-3) each way.

First, you walk down this path for a long time:

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Then, you climb over this gate:

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Next, you walk along this winding and hilly path for a considerable time:

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The scenery on this path changes drastically as you make your way along.  At times it feels like you’re in the rain forest, other times it feels like you’re in the jungle, and due to the heat, sometimes it feels like you’re in the desert.

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Eventually you get here and you see the first sign of water moving down a stream to your left:

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And then, you arrive here:

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Next thing you know, you’re here:

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The waterfall swimming was amazing and once again, we were the only people there.  One thing to remember about these falls is: after you get out, you still have the long, hilly, hot walk back.  Even so (or especially so), it’s worth it!

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Once we made our way back from the waterfalls, we stopped by the lighthouse and wild bird sanctuary. The view – as I became accustomed to – was spectacular.

We wound down the evening and brought dinner home.  I threw my wet clothes in the dryer and began packing.

Tuesday: At 4:30am the alarm went off. If you have to leave Kauai, I recommend you do it while it’s still dark out.