Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The secrets out.... The Garden of Eden exists

Paradise is real, and it's in the middle of the Pacific ocean on an island called Kauai. 
Most people know Hawaii as a picturesque tropical paradise, get away for honeymooners and vacationers, but I've already seen so much more than anyone would from any resort. Kauai has been oh so generous to me, and I feel like a reborn Fairy Princess. Flowers braided into my hair and more mangoes than I can eat, what more could I ask for?

And then there was Kalalau.

Hidden on the Northern shores of Kauai's Na Pali Coast, lays Kalalau. The names the Hawaiians bestowed this valley means "the one who wanders". It is a secluded rift between the awe inspiring majesty of some of the world's most breath taking peaks. The valley is laden with the abandoned stone architecture of an ancient city. Said to have been home to up to 2000 indigenous, the last people to have lived there left in the early 1900's. 

I had already been enthralled by the wondrous tales people had shared with me, and this adventure was definitely tipping my excitement scales. Having grown up frolicking in the sweet depths of British Columbia's natural beauty, I have a profound appreciation for special isolated gems where one can escape into communion with nature. Though nothing could have quite prepared me for the initiation. 

My hiking buddy left it until 10 minutes onto the trail, at a dark 5.30 am, to inform me that it was going to be a strenuous 11 miles (thats 18 freaking kilometres ONE WAY!)to our destination. Strenuous was a complete understatement. Recently making the world's top 10 most dangerous hikes by Outside magazine, this trail has indeed claimed lives. And it is no joke. The 7 mile marker tested my limits for will power, balancing my pack down a loose dirt pathway, less than a foot, along sheer drops hundreds of feet above the ocean. All I could do was be as present and in body as I possibly could. Ignoring the fact that there appeared to be no real path ahead of us, while my knuckles went white gripping rock ledges as I inched my way towards what was hopefully safety just around the next bend. 

Click HERE for a glimpse of the beginning of the most treacherous section of the trail 

If, however, you can sum up the courage to initiation via the the trail, you will be rewarded with, what I would say is at the top of the list of Earth's most epic and stunning panoramas. 

Our five days in the valley was composed of fruit foraging, exploring, as many dips in the pristine river pools as we could fit in, playing music, meeting eccentric characters, and losing ourselves in the wealth of natural beauty that resides there. 
A mystical week in the garden of Eden. 

Amazing Kalalau Trail panorama courtesy of Google Images

Mountain Rose Apple Forest on the Trail, Mile 5ish. These tastes like rose water flavoured apples! unreal!

Zak harvesting the abundance

Only a couple miles to go and so stoked at this lookout!

Another epic view!

So close to Kalalau Beach! Almost there!

Magical stone balancing cave

Kauai Sunrises are the best!

Setting up sunrise timelapses

Sacred Geometry Sunrise


Catching orbs!

Wild Hawaiian Cotton

Blissed out in Paradise!

Our swimming pool!

Harvesting wild spinach

Ginger Blossoms!

Love this Valley!

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