Day 51: Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls

We resolved to make our last day on Kauai just as good as the first two, so we started strong with a lovely French breakfast at Art Cafe Hemingway. I ate all the bread (and our breakfasts came with like, six kinds of bread) and we had delicious iced coffee and Bloody Marys and smoked salmon and it was just delightful.

We decided to take a kayak trip before heading back to Oahu, but we found out the hard way that almost nobody rents out kayaks on Sundays. Womp womp. We’re not really people who take “no” for an answer, so we did some furious Googling on our phones and found a wonderful place called Kamokila Hawaiian Village that was open and renting to the public. Kamokila had everything we could have wanted–peacocks, chickens, cats, kayaks, and a secret waterfall.

It took us a pretty significant amount of time to get set up with our two-person kayak. Partially because there was an older pair of women trying to rent canoes at the same time and the one woman just couldn’t gather all her things. We sat around and waited for her to find her phone, her bag, her water bottle, etc. before we were given what I will affectionately call Hawaiian directions to “paddle down river and tie off your kayak at the first landing spot–you can’t miss it.” Fortunately for us there were already a few other kayaks tied off there, so we really couldn’t miss it.

We spent a solid 10 minutes hiking in the wrong direction before we realized we weren’t even on a trail. Whoopsie. We doubled back and hiked through grass that was taller than us before hitting the main trail. The trail was ALL MUD, which is the second time on this trip I was glad we bought water shoes. We hiked for quite a while–in the mud, across a river that was deep and swift enough to necessitate a guide rope, past myriad mini-falls–until we finally came upon the secret falls.

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When we got there, there was only one other couple hanging out. They left not long after we got there so we had maybe five minutes to ourselves before the next group of hikers showed up. Mike convinced me to go under the waterfall where the force of the water literally blew my right contact out. We swam around in the surprisingly cold pool below the falls and hung out with the chickens on the rocks. We hiked and kayaked back–with me half-blind and hanging on to Mike for dear life.

After I replaced my missing contact out of the trunk of our rental car, we headed to Koloa Rum Company, which was supposed to be having its last tour of the day but, as luck would have it, the website we visited had the tour times wrong and we were half an hour too late.

We headed to Mariachi’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine to lick our wounds (and some margarita salt). Our waiter was awesome and regaled us with stories about being deported and then becoming a citizen. We still had a little time to kill before our flight so we checked out Duke’s Kauai for hula pie and mai tais in celebration of our seventh wedding anniversary.

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It rained while we were there, but all the kids who were playing in the ocean didn’t seem to mind. The band played under umbrellas and the whole ambience was quintessential Hawaii as I have experienced it: relaxed, happy, and accepting of whatever nature throws our way. I could not have asked for a better last weekend on my favorite archipelago.

 

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