Saturday, March 31, 2007

Our Greatest Adventure Yet

Saturday was our last full day on the island, so we decided to get out there and really explore all that Kauai has to offer.

We somehow managed to secure three spots on the Kipu Falls Ziplining Safari thanks to whoever canceled at the last minute. So at 8:15 we checked in at their office in the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, loaded our stuff into dry bags, and off we went to enjoy nature.

Our first excursion of the day was a 2 mile kayak trip up a jungle stream. It was remarkably fun and easy, and our nervousness was squelched as soon as we found our left, right, left, right groove.

Jennie got paired up with a solo traveler. Casey and I were a team, and even though we worked well together, we were the last boat in the group. One of the tour guides, Spot, hung back with us the whole hour and fed us compliments and encouraging sentiments along the way.

Next we tied our kayaks and met up with Gary - a rather dry Howlie local who narrated our hike through the jungle. He pointed out a lot of the plants and flowers and explained how the native Hawaiians used them in their daily lives.

He led us to a small waterfall with a natural pool and rope swing. We all had an opportunity to take a dip, but only a few of us did. Jennie, Casey, and myself chose to stay dry and loaded up on the bug spray instead.

After our hike ended we hopped on a covered wagon, pulled by a tractor, and got a tour of the Kipu Ranch. They took us to a porta-potty, too, which I was ever so grateful for. We snacked on macadamia nut cookies and chatted with the rest of the people in our group. Surprisingly half of them live in Hawaii. They're not taking their home for granted, that's for sure.

Our ride dropped us off at another trail, and we hiked some more. This time we ended at Kamapua'a Falls where we had a picnic lunch and the opportunity to zipline across the stream.

Being the wuss that I am, I passed. But Jennie and Casey buckled up like it was nothing and off they went. Unfortunately as soon as Devon opened the gates for them it started to pour down rain. It didn't matter to them, though. Check it out ...

We left the ziplining to go on yet another hike. Spot stayed there to help the other groups, so we snapped this picture of him on our way out. He was a lot of fun, and is planning to open his own snorkel tour company, so if you're ever in Kauai, look him up.

Hang Loose Spot!

So where was I? Oh yeah, back to hiking. This time our trail led us to Kipu Falls, a mother of a waterfall. People were swimming, cliffdiving, and jumping off the rope swing.

Casey had fallen at the picnic area and scratched her knee up pretty good, so we couldn't get in the water here, which made us very sad. But it finally stopped raining, so we got to hang out by the waterfall and watch all of the fools try to break their necks before heading back to the tractor for another Kipu Ranch tour.

We saw wild boar

And cows

And of course ...


Our tractor, after almost tipping over a hillside, dropped us off at our last hike of the day, then a motorized canoe carried our tired bodies back to Nawiliwili Harbor and the Outfitter's office.

We were gone for 7.5 hours when it was all over and were dirtier than we have ever been in our adult lives. OH what a day!

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