Nathan is a real home-body. I just plan things and drag him along with us, knowing that he always has a good time once we are there. Michael surprised me with his special request this year, "I want to go horseback riding." Now, I love horses and love to ride, but I wasn't thrilled about spending the money on a slow moving trail ride. I hoped after we got to Kauai he would lose interest with all the other things to do. Nope! Every few days he would say, "don't forget about the horseback riding." Finally, after 2 weeks on the island, it was clear that dream wasn't going to die so I booked a 90 minute ride with Silver Falls Ranch. (Keep in mind, this wasn't begging. I had told him months ago he could do this. I now had to honor my word.)
We decided just Michael and I would go. Nathan didn't want to go and Mike decided to stay home to explore Princeville some more and take pictures.
The drive out to Silver Falls Ranch is beautiful! The properties on this road scream money. The landscaping is gorgeous and surrounding area is stunning. I would love to get a look at what's behind some of those gates. SFR is just as lovely and the horses are visibly well cared for. Once we got checked in, our guide for the day, Greg, introduced us to our horses. I had a well-mannered mare and Michael was assigned to Shadow, a rather slow horse who took every opportunity to take advantage of Michael's inexperience. Shadow managed to have quite a few snacks along the way!
Even though this was a very slow ride, Greg made our trip enjoyable. This man is a wealth of information! There were only 2 other people in our group so it was almost like we had personal guide.
|Michael's trusty stead, Shadow. Match made in heaven, they both like to snack a lot!|
|Greg was turned around like this almost the whole time while he shared information with us. Great guide!|
|The horses are beautiful and VERY well behaved!|
|This guy came over to say goodbye to us.|
We finished our ride just as a rain shower hits. Perfect timing. The rest of the day is a day of relaxing. I even went home and took a short nap.
We decided to have a late lunch and drove out to Mediterranean Gourmet. We each had a different wrap, the fish, the chicken and Gyros. Very good. I substituted a salad for fries and it was perfect. And NO ranch dressing! Haha No pictures this day, I wasn't feeling it.
On our drive back to Princeville, we did a quick stop at Lumiha'i Beach. The parking here is crazy! Be careful as you round the corners at mile post 5. We lucked out on a spot and walked down to the beach. Beautiful beach, hot sand, lots of jumping off the rocks.
Before returning to the condo, we made a quick stop at Foodland to pick up a few groceries. Then back to the condo for our nightly sunset viewing. However, the sunset wasn't the star tonight. We ended up being entertained by a flock of Nene.
|The hills are alive with the sound of Nene!|
|All is well until something ticked off the one on the left! He proceeded to run after the other Nene, giving them all a lecture about something!|
|"I'm not going to tell you again, stay off the golf greens!!"|
|Ahhh, harmony again!|
I fore warned you, we are easily entertained.
Day 19 ~ The Kalalau Trail
If I'm counting correctly, Day 19 is Sunday. Even though it's a weekend and it may be more crowded, we decide to hike Kalulau Trail. We planed to hike the first 2 miles to Hanakapi'ai Beach then play it by ear to see if we want to continue 2 more miles to Hanakapi'ai Falls. Well, we decided to go all the way to the falls.
We reached to trailhead by 8:30 a.m. to begin our hike. Mike and I LOVED this hike. Michael and Nathan were a bit cranky this day and didn't like all the stops we were making so we sent them on ahead. (This is why you won't see them in any pics.)
Words can not describe the beauty. Everything you read about the difficulty level is true! I would NOT do this hike in rainy conditions. No way! Nor would I do them in flip-flops. Wear what ever shoes are most comfortable for you that have good traction and stability. Mike wore a trail tennis shoe and I prefer Teva sandals. We had walking sticks, but ended up not using them. Also, take double the amount of water you think you need.
I think we made it to the beach in 45 minutes. Then I lost track of time. All I know is we completed the hike at 2:30 p.m.
This is by far my favorite hike when it comes to scenery! Around every turn there is a new obstacle and a change of scenery. I could go on and on, but I will stop and let the pictures tell the story.
This first set of photos is starting at the trailhead to the beach.
|Obviously at the beginning of our hike. We still look fresh.|
|This cute kitty was so focused on something in the rocks the whole time we were there. She didn't even look up when people walked by. I hope she got what she was after.|
The next set of photos are from the beach to the falls. We didn't take a lot of pictures of the trail between the beach and the falls. This portion was a lot more difficult than I expected. There are about 3 stream stream crossings and I wasn't expecting some rocky areas we had to climb over. Also, look for the the pink ribbons. They will help keep you stay on the correct path. A BIG thank you to the person that place them on the trees!
The next set of pics are shots from our return hike so there may be a few duplicates. They were just taken at a different time of day.
|Obstacles along the way|
|Another spot where solid shoes are important|
|I believe there were a total of 4 stream different stream crossings.|
|Oh, how I love these pink ribbons!|
|Awapuhi - ginger plant flourishes in this location|
|Walked right under a couple of these mountain apple trees.|
As I was walking along minding my own business, I heard a large cracking noise and looked up just in time to see this tree falling down about 20 feet in front of me! Wow, that was close and it happened in seconds. Mike removed it from the trail. When we later told this story to the boys, Michael informed me that these trees are called, "widow makers". Or, in our case, "widower maker"!
When we were finished I really wanted to go dive in the ocean and relax under a tree, but we were out of food & drinks. Plus, everyone was exhausted and I really needed to ice my knee. Surprisingly, the next day my knee didn't hurt at all.
Later that evening, Mike and I drove into Hanalei to have dinner at Tahiti Nui. We ordered a couple of pizzas. One to eat there while we listened to the music and have some drinks and the other to take home for the boys. I personally did not care for the pizza at all! It had almost no sauce, very skimpy toppings (except for the onions), and little flavor. However, the one we brought home for the boys was slightly better.
After dinner, we drove down to Hanalei Bay just in time to see the sun set.
If you took the time to read this blog entry, thank you! My hope is to help others who may be considering this hike. My final advice; know your limitations, but above all else, go with a positive attitude!
The next two days are going to be relaxing beach days.