As part of a freelance writing gig I got for Kaua'i Traveler Magazine, Emily and I went kayaking on the Wailua River with Kayak Kauai.
There are many companies that do this trip, but Kayak Kaua'i were the pioneers and launch directly from the Marina. We were with a group of 12 people, including our excellent guide Jaime who grew up on the island.
The two mile paddle was relatively easy on the broad river. Motor boats were seen on the way back; otherwise we had the river to ourselves other than a few kayaks! Later the river got too shallow so we beached our kayaks, crossed the stream and climbed up some serious roots!
The trail was unbelievably muddy and washed out - the worst in at least 13 years according to one guide. But we made it, er, waded through!
There were even ancient remains of the irrigation canals used to irrigate the taro crops and later sugar cane fields.
Finally we made it to the Falls, known as Secret Falls - the best known Secret, or Sacred Falls, or Uluwehi Falls, which means "lush and beautiful" in Hawaiian.
There were some beautiful offerings at the base of the pool with smaller pools created by rocks a guide had arranged.
Can you see the heart-shape the pool makes?
This offering resembles the traditional Hawaiian dugout canoe.
There were even some people rappelling off the falls! (illegal according to our guide)
And of course, there were chickens and roosters aplenty.
And after we trekked back to the canoes, a beautiful peacock swooped down from the trees onto the riverbank before us!
It was a very serene - even sacred! - stream, and a lovely tour.