Our second day in Kaua’i, and final day of the cruise, began with an early breakfast in the Aloha Cafe buffet. We prefer to have breakfast in the Skyline Restaurant, but they do not upon until 7am, and we had to be on the pier by 7:15am for our excursion.
Today was a legit rainforest hike with our guides Ernesto and Evan. We met them at the terminal for a short drive to the eastern side of Kaua’i.
We learned that Evan has lived on Kaua’i his entire life and Ernesto has been here for the last four years.
The hike consisted to two trails that wound their way through the rainforest toward the center of the island, which is the wettest place on earth. Evan dropped us off at the trailhead, and drove the van to the end point. Ernesto lead us through the first part of the hike on the Maolepe trail. Even though we didn’t have any rain today, the hike was quite slick and muddy. This made a lot of sense knowing that Kaua’i gets so much rain.
The views during the hike were incredible. We saw the beautiful Makalena Mountains during the first mile of the hike as we steadily climbed to the top of a ridge. The terrain changed frequently. In some places the trail was very wide with little vegetation near us. In other places, the vegetation was touching us on both sides.
At about the halfway point we met up with Evan who had hiked from the other direction to meet us. Shortly after meeting up with him we encountered some really steep, muddy, and slick downhills, and it was hard to maintain footing. A few folks in the group took some tumbles. Just after getting to the Kilau Trail, we stopped at a small shelter to have some snacks. The view from this location was awesome.
Along the hike we saw numerous ‘ohi’a lehua trees just like we had seen on the Big Island. However, most of the ‘ohi’a trees on the Big Island are fairly small, and most of these were quite large.
Evan told us about several movies that had filmed in the area including Jurassic Park. He even said that he was an extra in the Hobbs and Shaw that comes out today.
In total we hiked around 4.5 miles with approximately 700ft of elevation gain. At the end of the hike, I asked Evan about the 1992 hurricane, since he has lived on the island his entire life. After cleaning up our shoes in a river near the end, the van headed up the road for a quick viewing of Opaeka’a Falls that we saw yesterday.
We got back to the ship around 12:30pm before the ship was scheduled to leave Nawiliwili, Kaua’i around 2pm. After grabbing some lunch in the Aloha Cafe, Sara and I went up to the top deck to get some sun and play in the pool while the ship pulled out of port. Sara was fascinated by the waves that were created in the pool as the ship started to move. We also soaked for a bit in the hot tub and took in some of the incredible view from the coast of the island.
Sara and I got back to the room around 3:45pm and cleaned up while Olivia and Kate were out shopping aboard the ship. When they got back, Olivia took Sara shopping, and she brought back a turtle necklace as a present for Kate, which I could tell meant a lot to her.
Before dinner we all went back up on the top deck as the ship sailed close by the Na Pali Coast on the northwest side of Kaua’i.
This coast is lined with green cliffs, and is some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in my life. It reminded me a lot of sailing through Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska a couple of years ago.
We were fortunate to see three different rainbows as we made our way down the coast. It was definitely one of the major highlights of the trip.
As usual, dinner was in the Liberty Dining Room, and then we dropped off Sara at the Splash Academy Kids Club for their end of cruise pajama party. The rest of us headed back to the room to pack. We grabbed a quick snack in the Aloha Cafe before picking up Sara around 10:30pm and then turning in for the night.
Tomorrow we are schedule to arrive back in Honolulu before flying back home in the afternoon.