Kauai Day 7 - Wailua River kayak adventure, Brennekes Beach Groiler and Grill

Date: 2007-03-22
Location: Hawaii 07

Only after we were in the road, we realized that we had underestimated the time that was required to drive through 10 Hawaiian miles. Taking off a little after 6:30, we arrived the Wailua River about fifteen minutes late at 7:15. We checked in and took our triyak to the pier. By the time our triyak was launched, the air was still a bit cool and the early sun still just peaked through clouds. The smooth river surface rippled and dazzled as we paddled leisurely away from the pier.

Once we get passed the houses that were overlooking the river front, the weather changed a bit. A breeze swept through the overhanging cotton wood trees and some large drops of rain started to fallen from the gray sky. Before we had time to react, it had turned into a down pour and large sheet of water splattered around and all over us. The whole landscape changed as visibility dropped to a few feet. The beating rain drops formed a white dancing splattering layer on top of the river, giving it an eerie and surreal appearance. I almost tempt to drop the paddle and took out my camera. But as fast as it started, the rain cloud abandoned us and left us soaked and bewildered behind.

Once the river forked, we veered toward the right fork. At the second fork, we took the left path and ran headlong into some strong rapids. As sections of river became knee deep and we had no other choice but to be forced into the rapids. We paddled as hard as we could and straight into the fast running water, for many seconds, we were just hanging there, seemly frozen in time with the exceptions of our arms sway back and forth frantically. Then as the tip of our triyak turned slightly, the current swept us and we couldnít help but drifted hopelessly backward in a furious speed. Several times, we had to duck to avoid nearby tree branches that were casting over the river. Once we regained our control, we attempted to charge the water again; however, without success.

After a few futile attempts, I realized each time we succeed a bit less in distance than the previous time. Even with the help of a branch as pole didnít get us any closer to the other side of the rapids. Finally I decided to step out of the boat and dragged it through the shallow side. The water was cool but not uncomfortable. Once we reached other side, we sat back down into the triyak and paddled to the bank where we tied our triyak to the root of a large tree. We got off and embarked the second phase of our quest toward the Secret Fall.

The small winding path was much wetter and muddier than I remembered. Sections of path were covered with puddles of mud. The parts that werenít under puddles were extremely slippery. In many cases, one rather risk stepping into the mud puddles than walk on the slippery sides because falling, in some cases, might be over to the side and into the river down below. Thankfully, we were wearing our swimming shoes and the mud treading skill we acquired a few days ago from hiking Kalalau Trail became very useful. After taking each steps with painstaking care and suppressing the temptations of turning back at the sights of muddy ground, we reached the incline side of the trail. This portion was much more pleasant and we could finally picked up a normal pace. Shortly, the sound of water fall can be heard. Reaching to the edge of the last switchback, fallen into our view was a magnificent water fall hang over the grey rocky cliff like a white curtain. Here, not only we found two different guided tour groups picnicking in front of the splendid view, several herds of feral chickens also occupied the area. They picked around the people with no fear.

As we descending toward them, I spotted a chicken nest with eggs under the shelter of some rocks. Like other birds, a hen seemed to build a round nest with fallen branches, leaves, and feathers, and pilled a half dozen of eggs in it.

We walked around the rocks and found a spot to sit down. At one point, we spotted a large dead fish floating near the edge of stream. It reminded us the incident we heard from the guy who was running the kayak rental. A woman swam under the water fall and a fish fell from the top and hit her on the face. The fish was killed during impact and the woman was knocked unconscious. Could this be the same fish? Judging from its size and the height of the water fall, it would be a catastrophe.

Once the two tour groups departed for their returning journey, the whole place became suddenly quiet and peaceful. Even with the crushing sound of fallen water, the place has the quietude of a sacred place. We almost dropped to a whisper when we addressed each other. The water was very cold though, only my husband bravely stepped into the cold water and swam around a bit.

Once we realized it was cutting close to our returning time, we picked up the pace and walked back. Along the way, we encountered a few other guided tour groups. A couple of mud-stain hikers, seemingly in the urge of turn back, asked us if the fall was still afar. We assured them they were nearly half way there.

Once returned to the end of trail, we found our little triyak still tied to the roots. It was the only boat tied to this side of the bank. I guess very few people had attempted the rapids.

The down stream was much easier than way up. The current swept under us and carried us flying through the maze of rocks and extended branches and to the smoother surface. Arriving at the junction of forked river, we found ourselves in the middle of a colorful traffic jam. The incoming groups of kayakers and the departing groups we spotted early were fighting their ways in the river. The paddling was almost impossible in some occasions, and one boat almost ran us into the trees. Leaving all behind, we reached the opening to the main river. Not wanted to be tangled with the other groups, we turned our right to the rope jumping pool that we always found we ran out of time to see. The section was much more quiet and secluded as trees nearly covered the sky with their green canopies. Due to so little time was left, we had to turned and paddle back.

We returned to the rental place a few minutes after the due time and we were all exhausted and hungry. We drove back to Poipu, showered and changed. Then we walked to Brennekes Beach Broiler and Grill. The restaurant located in a second level building. With large glassless windows, it has the unobstructed view of the Poipu Beach Park.

After devouring the fried tender juicy calamari, I had beer battered fish and chip that constitute of ono, my husband had a large super sized steak burger, and my little guy had his favorite cheese pizza. The plates were sumptuous.

As evening approached, we walked on the sandy beach outside Hyatt hotel. It appears that they were having Laua there. As we walked on the path that was bathed in evening sun, the beautiful music along with a waft of laua drift around us. Later, we went to the pool, swam around a bit and retired for the day.

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