Day 2 and Hike 2 in Kauai, December 13, 2003

  1. Morning rosy fingers of dawn from my cottage in Kalaheo - ocean is 3 miles away.

  2. On the Kalalau hike - looking back at the inaccessible beaches of the Na Pali coast.

  3. Looking ahead - the blue ridges of the Na Pali coast.

  4. The trail, framed by palms, looks out over the gorgeous coastline as the sun begins to overcome the clouds. The trail looks deceptively dry and easy to walk.

  5. Inland. You can see why skirting these ridges on a very muddy, slippery with silica trail, as it goes strictly up then strictly down, is a challenge that requires every ounce of concentration.

  6. In case there's any doubt: the trail goes through jungle.

  7. An hour and forty minutes later - for a mere 2 miles! - you reach the gorgeous beach called Hanakapi'ai Beach. In December, the beach is a small fragment of the size it is in summer, according to Kauai'ins. Unfortunately in this and all other pictures, the cave or tunnel in the large rock mass can't be seen. The surf on the beach was too fierce for swimming, but it was warm enough - both air and water temperature. At first I was sitting on the sand, but some kindly German tourists told me to get back up on the rocks unless I wanted to be inundated by some big wave. This is the view looking south from where I sat in the middle of the beach.

  8. This is the view looking north.

  9. And for completeness, this is the view looking straight ahead.

  10. Another image of the rock cliff.

  11. "Give me more thin slices of turkey! Or swiss cheese!"

  12. In the large field of boulders lurk a family of 6- or 8-week kittens; at least 7 of them, as I found out once I started giving one of them bits of turkey.

  13. Even the cats won't pose properly.

  14. That's better. This is apparently the dominant one. She is the biggest and also the best at grabbing food, until I caught onto her tricks and starting subverting them so as to make sure the little guys got some food. Safe to say I myself didn't get much turkey or swiss cheese that day.

  15. Sphinx on beach. Who says cats don't like water.

  16. You can see where the water splashes up into the cave, or tunnel, whatever it is. Also this shows you some of the rocks out to sea.

  17. Cats on rocks in between beach and jungle. I did see lots of little darting mammals, mouses and gerbils and what not, so I assume that is the usual dinner for the kittens.

  18. On the way back, a slightly different view of the coastline. It took me a mere hour and thirty minutes to get back. I fell at one point, absolutely covering myself in mud, and scraping my knee badly enough that it bled. I was quite a sight. Some concerned Brits wanted to do something, but I assured them it'd be fine. (It was.) I did drive straight home to a hot bath.

  19. Looking back, to the south, the view is unfortunately washed out. One of these days I need to read the manual for my digital camera and learn how to use it in manual mode.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: December 15, 2003