Na Pali Coast – Kalalau Trail – Day 3
02.09.2010 - 02.09.2010 30 °C
Before the sun had reached us over the soaring mountains in the morning, our alarm started our day. Our packs were ready to go for the day hike to the Kalalau Beach and back to Hanakoa Camp (10 miles there and back). We stopped on the trail high in the mountains over looking the ocean far below for breakfast. Birds soared above and below us, it was an amazing view. The packs felt great on our backs (even better for Julie, since we packed the day's essentials into one and it's on my back). We gathered guava and limes along the trail for snacking on and flavouring our treated river water that we bottled up earlier.
Approaching the mile 7 point the trail became extremely narrow in many places, sometimes only a foot wide as the lush vegetation gave way to a baron “Mars” like wasteland. We can't believe this section of the trail is actually possible to hike. After a few motivating and reassuring words, Julie is convinced that we can overcome this obstacle. We crept along the steep mountain side covered in loose lava rock and sand. We tip-toed for about a mile back and forth up and down the face of this valley, until the terrain loosened its grip on us, and we eased back onto a manageable trail. “The worst is over” said a couple hikers, which gave us a boost of confidence. It was mostly downhill from there to the oasis that awaited our arrival. As we descended into the Kalalau Valley, the Kalalau Beach suddenly stretched out before us. The mile long beach with black cliffs meeting the sand to the left and crashing waves to the right was an amazing sight. A waterfall rushed down the cliff face and was absorbed by the sand never reaching the ocean.
We refreshed our canteens and washed off the salty ocean water. We explored along the beach, ducking in and out of dry caves where trekkers had settled in for days or even weeks. After a bite of lunch and leaving enough time to trek back to camp, we depart with memories that will last a lifetime and little room left on the camera's memory card.
Total hike today: 10 miles