2014 has definitely been off to an awesome start for me. After spending the first few weeks catching up with the fam in Chi Town I packed my bags and got to stay with my roommate and her family in Kauai with two other friends. The entire week was surreal. Since my friend knew the entire island, the four of us had a chance to experience almost everything from the most natural and exotic parts of the island to fun shopping areas on the North shore.
Probably the most unforgettable experience was hiking along the Nepali Coast. The hiking trail clings to the edges of cliffs all along the Northern side of the island and is one of the most beautiful and rugged trails in the world. The entire trail twisted in and out of lush trees, vegetation, exotic plants, animals, and rocks all the while overlooking the Pacific. The last four miles of the hike were a struggle to avoid slipping as the trails were drenched in slippery rocks, mud, and stepping stones across flowing rivers. The eight mile hike eventually took us to the beautiful Hanakapiai Falls, a 300 foot waterfall tumbling off a cliff into a small, natural rock pool. After staring in amazement my friends and I actually got to swim under the waterfall. The water was almost numbingly cold but definitely refreshing after the long hike.
We also hiked to a spot overlooking the vast Waimea Canyon on the Western side of the island. The canyon is known as “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and is a colorful red soiled canyon approximately 3,000 foot deep and home to Mt. Wai’ale’ale, one of the wettest spots on earth. Aside from hiking we explored almost five different beaches and had a chance to do some surfing and cliff jumping.
Aside from all of the adventuring the four of us really got to embrace the Hawaiian culture. We got to watch live Hula dancers, and Hawaiian singers perform while floating on a riverboat one afternoon and ate some delicious Hawaiian BBQ. The locals on the island were some of the most genuine, active, and peaceful people I have ever met. The music reflected this as well as almost every radio station played local Reggae and island tunes.
The trip was a perfect mix of relaxation and excitement. While it was sad to leave, I am definitely stoked to be back in Los Angeles and start a fresh semester. I definitely hope to continue in the spirit of adventure and have already planned tons of hikes, beach, and camping trips for the rest of the year.