Sunday after breakfast we headed down to Kayak Kauai in Hanalei and rented a double kayak for the day. We paddled up the river as far as we could go (Doug wanted to go farther but I wasn't about to paddle into jungle that was obviously past where the guy that launched us said not to go) and then back around and out to the ocean. We stopped for lunch on a beach in the bay and the paddled out to the ocean. Getting bumped by the little waves while they crashed on the shore was fun. I think this is something we may start doing when we get home. We had so much fun! After about 4 hours we finally got in sync with each other and were paddeling back at a pretty good clip. And I had figured out how to watch for the little currents in the river that would pull us one way or the other making it a little harder to go. We got back to Kayak Kauai about 5 hours after we left. It was a great time. We were both a little sunburned in odd spots (the inside of my left knee and right ankle and Doug's ankles were burned) from missing spots with the sunscreen and we were hot but it was a fantastic time. I know we are both looking forward to doing it again.
The highlight of our trip so far was to Queen's Bath. It's located at the edge of Princeville, a very ritzy resort town full of estate homes, posh vacation rentals, perfectly manicured palm trees and ocean views. Queen's Bath has gained so much popularity over the years that they put in a little parking area to keep the tourists off the lawns. Because we had gotten a "late" start (it was almost 11 by the time we got there) the parking lot was full. Because of my impatience we almost missed this magnificent spot. At Doug's insistance we waited in the parking lot for someone to come out and took their spot. It was worth all 10 minutes we waited! ;-)
We did climb all over the rocks. My fear of heights and typical aversion to ledges and high places was temporarily susupended by my apparent adventerous side (yeah I didn't know I had one either ) and desire to get a great picture. It did pay off in a big way for us though. There was a spot where I climbed down and looked out over the edge to watch the waves crash and saw about 15 giant sea turtles. They were HUGE! I'm pretty sure they were bigger than my first apartment. They were swimming around and getting tossed by the massive currents and waves that were flowing into the little cove. It was so amazing to sit and watch. It wasn't easy to get pictures of them since they would only surface for a moment and then get tossed back under. It was definitely a testiment to the unpredictability of nature. While the waves crashed and tossed them about they continued to move that seemed, to me, a fluid calm. No matter the strength of the wave they continuted on with grace and beauty. It was beautiful to watch.
When we finally got over to the pool that is Queen's Bath we decided not to clammer down into it and take a swim. It was slightly crowded. Easy to do with it being a small pool in the lava rocks to begin with. I was surprised to find the pool populated by not only tourists but locals out for a swim. There was a group of boys out testing each other's bravado by jumping from the ledge into the pool some 35 feet or so below! No matter how brave I was feeling that day I don't think I could have made that jump!
The hike back out was exhausting! We took it at a fairly fast clip as I wasn't sure if I lost the momentum that Doug wouldn't be carrying me out. We were both breathless and sweating by the time we reached the parking lot again. I don't feel bad since it was by no means an easy hike for someone in much better shape than we are. And it did feel good to get the blood flowing.
I guess I should get going. Doug is waiting patiently to hit the beach. No adventures today. Just the morning on the beach listening to the waves crash and reading a book. Time to relax a bit. We're heading to a luau tonight. I'll try to update more in a day or so!