Na Pali coast is one of the most pristine and sacred area of Kauai. It is accessible only by boat, helicopter, or hiking. The Kalalau trail stretches a part of the coast line, ranking at strenuous level, runs 11 miles starting at the end of Highway 56 in Ha’ena State Park and end at Kalalau beach. The original plan was to drop Annie at the resort with her friends and kid and do a early day hike round trip of 22 miles. She definitely would not mind at all after hearing the mileage. After the first day of snorkeling and realized that I’m losing couple hours of daylight due to winter season, a full day solo hike is not safe. I still remember the experience of hiking Bright Angel Trail all the way down to Colorado river 10 miles out and back. Barely made it!

On the day it was pouring rain and foggy. I was sitting in the car and waiting for the rain to die down a bit – in this weather, may be I can do 7 miles out and back or tackle a different route to Hanakapi’ai fall if the coast is not clear, I thought.

After a bit of hesitation, finally decided to try out at least couple miles before heading back. The trail was muddy, slippery, and empty due to heavy rain. However, the surrounding is very mystical and subtle differences. Half a mile out, I met Tannea and Jeremy, a wonderful couple from Washington. After a few lines of conversation, we all think it’s safer to tag along in this weather. Turn out, Tannea is a talented painter with a contemporary landscape painting style. Check out her website here.

Except the well worn path, everything else is pristine. Crossing the stream couple times, tasting a few wild guavas and sour tangerines, we reached the end of the trail at the foot of Hanakapi’ai fall.

May be next time I’ll camp at Kalalau beach.