Tag Archives: Waterfall

Victoria Falls

December 19, 2012

Today is our last full day in Africa. We’ve experienced so much – from wine tours to scenic drives to leopard, giraffe, lion, rhino, and elephant encounters – that it feels like we’ve been here for a lifetime. Yet, it’s been so magical that it feels as if no time has passed at all.Leopard

We’ve been completely present here in Africa – no email, no Facebook, no cell phones. This is the longest period of time I’ve been “unplugged” and yet, I feel entirely connected. Monkey babies

We began our day with an excursion to Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The width, in conjunction with the height, of Victoria Falls forms the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The spray from the falls often rises more than 1,300 feet. We’ve been able to see the spray from miles away since we’ve  been in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls

The falls truly are spectacular. We walked about a mile and saw the continuous flow of water the entire length of our walk. In some places it felt like the water was pouring uncontrollably over the edge. In other places, the flow felt more controlled, more consistent. Victoria Falls

Feeding into the falls is the Zambezi River, which looks like a huge, still, flat, body of water. . . until it reaches the edge and forms Victoria Falls. Vic Falls Zambezi

We saw a surprising number of people tempting fate, ignoring the danger warnings, and hanging near the edge of the viewing points. I didn’t experience any fear, but I do have great respect for the power of nature. Watching an elephant knock down a tree directly in front of us and hearing a lion’s roar from nearly 8 kilometers away – all in less than 24 hours – gave me an even greater reverence for nature. IMG_2950

Vic Falls Warning Sign and People

We spent a decent amount of time at Victoria Falls. I found myself spontaneously meditating several times. The sound of the water, along with the balance of beauty and strength, absorbed me. The quietness of my mind was punctuated by the sound of water crashing into the river below.

We learned about geographic changes to the falls in the past, as well as some forthcoming. Each time an island or piece of land falls down with the force of the falls, it changes the landscape and flow patterns of the water. It can take many lifetimes for this to occur, but as our guide described the developments, it was easy to look out at the falls and clearly see what he was describing.

After getting sufficiently soaked from the spray of the falls, we turned to head back to the lodge. On our way out of Victoria Falls park, we came across a large troop of Baboons. We didn’t seen any of the infamous, mischievous Baboons when we were in Cape Town and those we saw during our stay at Lion Sands were not in direct contact with humans. The baboons at Victoria Falls park have a lot of contact with humans and therefore can be quite. . . interesting.

We hadn’t expected to see the baboons, so I was surprised to turn the corner and see a gigantic male, lying spread eagle, with a smile on his face, taking care of some sexual urges, adjacent to the sidewalk. As I turned my head, I saw we were surrounded by baboons. Some of them jumped from tree to tree as we walked by, others approached us on the sidewalk. One baboon was not happy about having his picture taken and jumped out of a tree toward the head of the woman who had a camera in his face.  IMG_9987 IMG_9993 IMG_9998

We left the baboons and boarded our van back to the lodge. As usual, my friend and I weren’t ready to go back to the hotel, so we asked the driver to drop us off at the artists village. The moment we stepped off the van, we were surrounded by artists showing us their works.

I met a man named J.J. who carved a beautiful bird statue out of stone. The man next to him had made various stone sculptures including elephants, leopards, figurines. I wanted to purchase dozens of them. Speaking to the artists and seeing the results of their hard work was amazing. I envisioned carrying my luggage, which had already increased by one duffle bag, during the remaining three flights. Unfortunately, I had to be selective with my purchases.JJ Stone Birds

I bought two stone statues and then went inside a building where dozens of women were selling goods. Some locals had advised us to support the women as much as possible because “they’re the ones who take care of and feed the children.” We took their advice to heart and spent a great deal of time with the women.Wood spoons

I ended up purchasing several sets of carved wooden serving spoons, some wood dishes, stone dishes, and necklaces. Necklaces

At one point, I looked over at my friend and laughed. She had at least 20 handmade bags draped from her arms and was surrounded by women holding up dozens more bags. “Make a decision!” one of the women commanded, jokingly. My friend’s “decision” ended up including 11 bags and several other items she purchased as gifts.

With our hands and our bags full, and our wallets empty, we caught a ride back to the lodge. We laughed as we spread out all of our purchases on our beds. How will we get all of this home?!?dish

Spoons

As most of our days on this trip have been, today was jam packed with activities. Fortunately, we had time to grab a quick bite and a cocktail prior to our sunset river cruise on the Zambezi. We’ve made some good friends on this trip and it was fun to be reunited with them during the river cruise. Everyone was in a celebratory mood, enjoying every last moment of our time in Africa.

When we boarded the boat, we light-heartedly asked for clarification about which direction we’d be traveling. Earlier today, we witnessed the force of the Zambezi River as it rushed over Victoria Falls, we reminded our captains. They quickly soothed us with unlimited cocktails and some appetizers.

As we cruised around the Zambezi, we saw a baby crocodile lounging on the river bank. We were able to pull the boat fairly close to shore so we could observe the little croc for a while. Baby Crocodile

As we continued up the river, we came across several hippos. Our guides informed us that we couldn’t get quite as close to the hippos. They reinforced what we learned at Lion Sands – hippos are very territorial and can become aggressive if you enter their territory.  We watched the hippos from a safe distance and then cruised around the river some more.Hippo

We also saw impala prancing along the river banks and some birds we hadn’t previously seen. Impala

Bird

By the time our river cruise concluded, everybody on board had more than enough drinks. Our next activity was to take part in a special dinner, featuring traditional African food, dance, and drumming. Rather than get dropped off at our rooms, we asked the driver to take us all directly to the Boma, where our dinner would take place.

We were the first ones to arrive at the Boma, so there was only one thing to do – have some drinks at the bar, while we waited for the restaurant to open. The remainder of the night was exceptionally entertaining. We sat at a large table, with the friends we made on the trip. At the instruction of our server, we blindly drank the most disgusting drink any of us had ever tried. We laughed at our ignorance afterwards. “We should have known it wouldn’t be good when he said, ‘don’t smell it’,” our new friend, Ben, reminded us.

We ended up turning the disgusting drink into a phenomenal people-watching game. Each time people sat down to dinner, we watched their faces as they too blindly drank the disgusting drink. It was hysterical to witness the domino effect of their expressions as, one-by-one, they tasted the drink.

The food was served buffet style and there was plenty of it. There were meats and stews that were new to us. Having been adventurous with the drink, some of us were a bit more reserved with the food, veering away from things like the worms. Nonetheless, there was great variety and we were sufficiently fed and hydrated.

As we neared the end of our meal, a group of drummers and dancers came out and performed in the center of the room. Boma Drummers IMG_3162

When we finished our meal, they handed everyone in the restaurant a drum. Have you ever walked into Guitar Center on a Saturday afternoon? Imagine a couple hundred people banging on drums at the same time.

It sounds as if it could be painful, but it was hysterical and a lot of fun. It was amazing to witness how everyone – no matter their age – became a child when they had the drum on their lap. Nobody waited for instruction nor a “go” signal. Everyone just started banging away. Eventually, the leaders reigned us in and had everyone in the restaurant drumming at their command. It was a blast.

When we got back to the room, we looked at our luggage, alongside our numerous additional bags of gifts, and laughed again. We’ll pack up tomorrow. It’s time to get a good night’s sleep. We have 48 hours of travel ahead of us and tonight is the last time we’ll be able to lie in a bed until we get back to Los Angeles.

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Traveling To Zimbabwe: Lessons Learned From The Animal Kingdom

12/18/12 

male lion Leaving Lion Sands was exceptionally difficult. Our time in the bush was remarkable and enlightening. Being among the animals, observing their behavior in their natural habitat, with a knowledgable guide, was a spectacular way to continue to learn about and appreciate the animal kingdom.

There seems to be a lot of order in the bush. Everything these animals do and consume has an important purpose and is paramount to the survival of their species and others. There is no waste.

Things “work” in the bush. We learned about various animal calls that signal a predator is in the area. The waterbuck call we heard alerted waterbuck – as well as other animals that could be in danger – that there was likely a leopard in the area. Birds and monkeys also have sounds they make when they encounter other animals. There are many layers of communication in the bush, each working together as a system that feels more sophisticated than the internet.

Elephant CrossingThings appear to be more organized than we humans are used to. I inquired about the elephants: “Why does it seem like they have a predetermined plan that they’re all aware of and on board with?”

“Because they do,” Landon replied, shortly before explaining how elephants communicate utilizing various frequencies that we cannot hear.

The magnitude of the experiences we had in the bush makes it feel as though we should be able to overcome any challenges we face. If people begin to tune in more to each other and their environment, to communicate and cooperate the way these animals do, the world will be much better off. That’s something I think many of us know intuitively, but witnessing the potential every day helped solidify it.

Big elephant lookEvery now and then today, somebody would exclaim, “We saw an elephant knock down a tree!” – ensuring we all remember the mind-blowing experiences we shared. As we ventured into the city of Johannesburg last night, we wanted to make sure we didn’t forget our time in the bush. We’ve been supporting each other in this mission to remember the feelings, the lessons, the beauty, the grace, and the strength we’ve witnessed during the past few days.

We didn’t have to think about anything when we were at Lion Sands. All meals and drinks were included. We were told when we needed to show up for meals and game drives, and had plenty of time to relax in between.

The bustle of the airport, buzzing with holiday travel, lugging our bags around, standing in long lines. . . It was quite overwhelming. Our night in Johannesburg was a shock to the system. We weren’t ready to be in a city again and we couldn’t wait to leave.

This morning we boarded a flight to Zimbabwe. We’re starting to feel the impact of taking 9 flights in 14 days. Smart carts, customs, baggage weighing stations, passport check points, transfers from airports to hotels. . . It’s exciting at first, but as we near the end of the trip, there are times it feels exhausting.

“I’m so happy you’re here!” I’d say to my bags any time I felt the weight of carrying them around. I’m truly grateful that none of our luggage has been lost during all the shuffling. It’s been a good reminder that any discomfort we’ve faced has been the result of something good. Another flight equals another mind-blowing destination. Less sleep equals more adventures. I continue to remind myself of this until I’m once again overcome with the excitement of day one.

We arrived in Zimbabwe around 1:00 pm and checked in at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. The lodge is very nice, overlooking an active watering hole. We were still a bit rattled from spending last night in a big city and found it harder to settle in here.

After lunch and a cocktail we decided to embark on another adventure. We visited the activities desk at the lodge to get a sense of our options. We chose to take a “sunset wine train” excursion to the Victoria Falls bridge. It turns out this was a fantastic decision.

We had a wonderful time, as the train leisurely took us through a rainforest, while guides pointed out monkeys and warthogs. We watched artists carving wood and stone along the side of the train tracks. Warthog Zimbabwe

When we got to the top of the Victoria Falls Bridge, we learned a bit about its history. The bridge was part of Cecil Rhodes’s plan to build a railway from the Cape to Cairo. The railway never made it that far, but the bridge still stands, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia. IMG_9838

As sunset neared, our wine train hosts opened a gigantic bottle of champagne and poured unlimited refills. With our champagne in hand, we watched the sunset on one side of  the bridge as a rainbow formed above the falls on the other side of the bridge. It was one of those moments that felt like a fairytale. Champagne at The Bridge

Rainbow Falls

rainbow fall

Sunset

We marveled at the fact that we drank champagne in “no man’s land” – the patch of land between Zimbabwe and Zambia. We smiled each time we walked back and forth along the bridge, venturing in and out of two countries, while watching the sunset and rainbow over Victoria Falls.

We’ve been in three countries today – South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Not bad considering we only took one flight. Countries IMG_9854

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.