Sunday, August 28, 2016

one of our best days, ever {Hawaii, part five}

When I think about our trip to Hawaii (HAWAII!), Wednesday immediately comes to mind and a huge smiles makes it's way to my face immediately afterward. Wednesday, was a good day.

It was on our list of things to do to hike through a bamboo forest and Stephen had done his research in our guide book and read about this hike that lead through a bamboo forest to four different waterfalls - Na'ili'ili-haele - around mile 6.5 on the road to Hana. We weren't going to attempt the entire road because of time and I didn't think I could make it much past mile 7 with getting car sick, anyway.

We made it to mile 6.5 without an ounce of dizziness coming from the passenger seat. I think when Stephen cured me of my vertigo, he cured me of all my motion sickness! The drive was beautiful - jaw droopingly so. We parked along the road with just a few other vehicles and set off through the bamboo. That alone was incredibly beautiful and so fun! I'd never seen bamboo before and I couldn't get over how tall and strong it was. And how green! The further into the forest you went, the thicker and sturdier the stalks got. Not too long down the path you pass a waterfall, but it's not a natural waterfall and not considered one of the four you could see on the hike. It was pretty, but knowing bigger and better ones lay ahead, we didn't stop for too long.

We found the first true waterfall not too far from the conversion. We thought the trail continued past it to get to the third, so we continued to hike through the bamboo until we realized we were no longer on an official trail and crawling over and under bamboo wasn't in the hike description. We backtracked down to the first waterfall and decided the trail might continue across the stream. Which it did! Rock hopping across the stream in front of the waterfall lead to a mud path that went uphill and lead to the top of the waterfall. Part of that path was just a sheer rock wall you had to walk across (am I even explaining this right?!) so ropes had been tied to a tree to give you something to hold on to. You weren't that high off the ground, but it was a little questionable and if you misstepped or lost the rope, you'd be sliding down the rocks and mud into the base of the waterfall, so I was a little nervous and a lot careful! The view from the top of the waterfall was so pretty, and we were officially alone, as the other hikers we had been on the trail with didn't want to traverse the rock wall.

The path continued to the second waterfall, this one larger than the first with a larger and calmer pool at its base to swim in. We spent some time at this one, wading in the water and relaxing in the sun, and Stephen found a rope swing to jump off of. From there, to get to the third waterfall, you had to traverse another sheer rock wall, but instead of going across this one, you had to go up. I've mentioned before that I'm afraid of just about everything, and heights is one of them. So is falling off a rock wall to my death serious injury. I could tell Stephen was really excited about this hike and about getting to the third and fourth waterfall, but he was being so sweet and supportive, saying that we would just go as far as I wanted and that we didn't have to do the rock wall...

I had gotten sick and ruined our Monday, ruined our paddle boarding experience, and I wasn't going to hold him back from another adventure. So, up we went! There was a rickety ladder leaning against the wall and a few feet up from that was a two step rope ladder, which makes it sound less dangerous and scary but it was still very much dangerous and scary to me! It took some time and maneuvering, and I couldn't dare to think about how I was going to get down (!!), but we made it to the top! A few people had started to trickle into the second waterfall area, so we were heading off at just the right time.

The trail to the third waterfall was a longer stretch, and not really a trail at all, but rock hopping, as we were now above the second waterfall hiking up the stream. We took our time, stopping once along the way, still in a little bit of shock that I had even agreed to do this...! Stephen kept adding that we still didn't have to make it all the way, as a swim and another rock wall were still ahead of us, but I was determined to make it to the end!

You could hear the third waterfall before you could see it and in order to reach it, you had to swim 100 yards through murky water between two hills with trees creating a canopy above you. Let me repeat that - swim 1 0 0  y a r d s through murky water. You couldn't see through the water even a few inches. I've always claimed that I could swim enough to save my life so it seemed ironic that I was about to willingly demonstrate that. Apparently, though, its safe to swim through murky water in Hawaii, or at least that's what Stephen told me to get me to the other side ;)

I was a little shocked and terrified to reach the third waterfall only to discover you have to climb right up it. It wasn't too tall, under 10 feet I would guess, but it is a waterfall - water is pouring down on you and you have to climb your way up the slippery rocks. I think I would have done just about anything to get out of that water, though! And I did! And while I've described it all as life threatening and terrifying, I was actually having a blast! We were in the jungle, with each other, doing something new and exciting and maybe a little bit crazy... I honestly think I could see Stephen falling in love with me all over again. (Note: not because he had fallen out of love with me, though Monday sure did test his patience ;) but because I was 100% speaking his love language and he knew it wasn't coming naturally for me!)

And we had made it! The fourth and final waterfall! The only people there were leaving as we arrived, so we had the place to ourselves. I think I would have enjoyed my time more, maybe even gotten in the pool to swim, had I not been so panicked thinking about how I was going to get down that third waterfall. I sat there and listened to five separate splashes from the family that had left, counting them all hoping hearing only four would prove there was a way to climb down instead of jump. Stephen let out a nervous laugh as we heard the scream and fifth splash. "Oh shit..." Stephen was able to swim around some and found a rock to jump off of before others started to arrive and we started our trek back.

For the record, I didn't jump. Stephen did, several times in fact, while waiting for me to get the nerve to either jump or slide down the slippery rock wall, which seemed more appealing except that it wasn't as safe an idea. l made it down without a problem and only a slight delay and we swam back to our clothes and bags and continued on to the second waterfall where we had to climb back down the rock wall with the rickety ladders. Going down was definitely harder than going up, but we managed to get back to our car with zero scrapes and bruises. Oh except Stephen's toe. Stephen did stub and infect his toe, but he did that walking across the rocks so it doesn't make for a very cool story ;)

We ate lunch by the road and drove back to our place for showers and card games before we got all dolled up for dinner in Wailea at Monkeypod Kitchen. I could have made a meal out of their pumpkin patch ravioli appetizer - my mouth is watering just thinking about it! We found our way to Wailea Beach in time for sunset (and crab hunting!) and declared it one of our best days, ever.


  1. Hi! I just love reading your blog. Question for you...where is your green dress from? It's adorable!

    Thanks, Marissa