Napali Coast/Kalalau Trail (Day 2)

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Our second day on the Napali coast was full of exploration.  From the amazing beach to mysterious sea caves , there were so many amazing things to see during our stay.  We felt like little kids rediscovering the world for the first time.

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The beginning of the day was a bit rough. We were all pretty sore from the previous day’s hike in.  We had not seen any bit of our campsite yet since we had to set everything up in the dark. However, I must admit that upon awaking, we were all pleasantly surprised by our campsite. As each person woke up, we all slowly began to unpack our gear to look for food and snacks.
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We all began carbo-loading to make up for all the energy we had expended.  We brought lots of food and snacks. It’s very important to pack nutritious foods on such adventures, but if I could share one piece of advice it would be to also bring along sweets.  I brought starbursts, small m&m and skittles packs.  This may seem silly, but it sure helps boost morale.Napali coast Kalalau trail beach camp toilets

I figured this would be a good time to show the facilities that were at our disposal while we were there.  Some people in the group felt that using toilets was cheating and that it was going to cheapen their experience. So they proceeded to take smelly dumps a few clicks away from our campsite in the bushes. However, I had no problems using the toilets.  You should remember to bring your own paper though.  The toilets didn’t flush but luckily they had some sort black magic voodoo wood chips in them that somehow eliminated all the smells.

Napali coast Kalalau trail camping waterfall showers pvc pipe Kauai Hawaii

Here is what is available in terms of showering.  I guess you could also just go in the ocean for a rinse, but I was actually really stoked at the idea showering in a waterfall (like you see in movies). It was definitely cool, so I would recommend taking showers earlier in the day so that you can dry yourself in warm up under the toasty sunshine.

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Now are models will demonstrate the various forms and variants of proper showering techniques while at the Kalalau camp sites.

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The first one is known as the noob-tube and requires the use the pipe to divert the water from the falls into a steady stream which can be oriented in any direction. This method is used to rinse you body of soaps and suds with great precision and accuracy.

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The second most popular showering technique was originally developed by hippies 1000 years ago.  These bohemians did not want to expose their bodies to the harmful effects of water which had been passed through a non-vegan, non-glutten-free, GMO filled PVC pipes.  Basically they just put their entire body under the rushing water.  This style does provide extensive rinsing with high efficiency.

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After exploring the campsite and all the luxuries it had to offer, we decided to embark on our first expedition out of the camp to explore the coast we had traveled so far to see.

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As you walk down the beach you can see the waterfall/shower.  On a side note: the shower is the main source of water for all the campers.  It is not only used for showering, but also for brushing teeth, drinking and cooking water (many freeze dried meals require boiling water). Be mindful when showering to try and push all your soap out of the little pond at the base, so others who come to fill their water bottles aren’t drinking your soap scum.

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As we continued down the coast we passed a plethora of sea caves and interesting rock formations.

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We had never seen so many sea caves. We all started running around and climbing through them like little kids.

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Some caves were full of water, others were pitch black and still some possessed multiple entrances.

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The caves were astonishingly  big. We felt extremely lucky to get to walk through them, since certain times of year they are completely submerged and battered by the raging surf.

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These stacked rock shrines were probably one of the most mysterious but intriguing things we saw in some of the caves. There seemed to literally be hundreds of them of all different sizes and intricacy levels.Kalalau Napali coast trail camp beach rock structure construction shrine Kauai hawaii

We never found out if these rock structures symbolized something or if they were purely esthetic.

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They continued until they faded into the darkness.

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We could not help ourselves. All these peculiar geological features triggered an uncontrollable urge to climb all over them.  We were so lucky. I’ve been back to the this area earlier in the season and found that this rock was about 20-30 yards out in the ocean.  The following year, when I returned to the Napali Coast, waves were crashing all the way over the surface of this rock.

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Everything was so cool and beautiful. We had no idea how far the beach went, so we just continued to trek along.Napali coast cliff beach Kalalau mountain trail hike Kauai Hawaii

We finally arrived to a bend where we could walk no further. Without hesitation, we dove in and began swimming to reach the next beach or perhaps more sea caves.  Coming around the corner we became dwarfed by an immense cliff face, which easily towered more than 1000 feet above us.  We admired it in complete awe of its imposing massiveness.  We thought that out of all the rock climbing cliffs in the world, this one would be the most beautiful.  It seems like it would easily take over a day to climb up, but the views from up there had to be one of a kind.

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However, what we did not expect to find was this gaping arch in the cliff side.

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We quickly celebrated our arrival on shore. Our bodies might have normally wanted to rest after such a swim, but we were too stoked about the gorgeous beach we had just found.

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Energized purely by excitement and adrenaline, we quickly ran across the beach and up the huge, mountain sized, sand dune that sat at the base of the cliff.

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The view was totally sick and completely overwhelming. How could such a place exist and yet not be completely overrun by tourist. We were literally the only people on this entire stretch of coast.

IMG_0507We began walking towards the arch.  We knew it was big, but had no idea how big.  The closer we got the bigger it became.

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The girls posed for a quick photo.  We were a bit perplexed by the water sitting at the base of the arch. We did notice that a little water was dripping from the arch itself (we don’t know where from because it had been incredibly dry), but we had to push on to find the source of the water.

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As you can see the water appeared to be come from a source a bit more substantial than a simple trickle.

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We were pleasantly surprised once more to find another waterfall, this one even bigger than the one near our campsite.  This amazing place was full of surprises and other very interesting and beautiful scenery. I still can’t believe such a place is real or that it has never appeared in any movies I’ve seen.  My only hope is that everyone else who decides to go to the Napali Coast will be equally blessed by its fantasy-like beauty.

We did do our trip around mid-August (when the waves were at there absolute flattest).  This side of the island is basically a part of Kauai’s nortshore.  This means that in the winter time, waves here can get scary big.  Even though waves might peak in height during the winter, swells start building in the fall and are still declining in the spring.  I did this hike once in May and some late swells were still pounding the shoreline; they lasted the entire week and made it impossible to venture any further down the coast, as the waves were easily in the double to triple overhead range.  As a reminder, these beaches have no lifeguards.  If you see someone drowning, there are “lifeguarding floats” placed on stands across the beach so that whoever is closest can run out and save the victim.  If you are struggling or drowning, stay calm but try to call for help from someone ashore.  Honestly, if there were any waves I would not even attempt to swim to the last beach with the arch, simply because unseen rip currents could form and sweep you out to see.

This is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, do not miss a chance to adventure there.

 

 

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