Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Today was the big kayak adventure. We took a 5 hour kayak and hiking guided tour to see a remote waterfall. First we paddled two miles up the Wailua River. It was smooth and easy most of the way (except for the fact that it's a lot more paddling than we're used to!). In fact, the river is so slow that paddling upstream is easier than paddling downstream, because of the breeze coming off the ocean. When we got close to the head of the hiking trail, we had to get out and pull our kayaks through shallow water. The current was stronger there, and the rocky river bottom was pretty slippery. The guide told us to leave the kids in the kayaks because it would have been to hard for them to walk there. Then, we parked the kayaks, waded across the river and started our hike.
The trail followed the river through the jungle. It was beautiful scenery, but we didn't get to appreciate it fully, because we had to watch our feet carefully. The ground was muddy and very slippery, and parts of the trail came very close to the edge of the bluff. The guide carried Audrey most of the way, but Mary managed the hike with just a little help. She did great, and the couple on the trip with us said how impressed they were with her. She sang most of the way there, until near the end when she was tired and muddy and hungry. She was crying by the time we got to the waterfall, but lunch and a rest perked her up, and she sang the whole way back to the kayaks.
The trail led us to the base of a high waterfall, with pools for swimming and wading. We ate lunch there, played in the water a bit and enjoyed the view. When it was time to head back, I carried Audrey in the backpack. It was a lot slower hiking back because the trail was a lot muddier from all the tourists, and I had to be extra careful with Audrey on my back. I wiped out once, but she didn't even wake up.
When we got to the waterfall, there were only a couple other people there, but by the time we left, it was getting pretty crowded, and when we got back to where we started huge groups were setting out, ten or more kayaks in a group, with two or three people per kayak. We were glad we got up early to go on the morning tour.
Mary reminded me that our tour guide said three words you never want to hear your tour guide say: "Check for leeches."