Hi everyone! Almost done with the Kauai trip recap, and sorry if this is a little rushed text-wise, but I’m off to California tomorrow so I wanted to make sure I finished at least this post.
Our last full day on Kauai was nonstop adventuring from start to finish, because we wanted to make the most of our time there. After a great buffet breakfast at the Kauai Beach Resort‘s Naupaka Terrace restaurant, we headed North toward Princeville Ranch for a horseback ride and waterfall picnic outing.
We first set out riding through the pastures, through many gates, then headed down into the valley, hiking on foot the last part of the way. Once we got to the waterfall, our guide laid out a picnic lunch of sandwiches, and we enjoyed relaxing around the beautiful, secluded scenery. Once we were done, we hiked back up in a slightly different way, got back on our horses, and headed back.
Ed, and his big horse named Hana.
The horseback ride offered us some absolutely beautiful ranch land scenery, which, since it is private property, would otherwise be inaccessible.
Me atop my noble steed, Copper.
Our fearless leader, Lindsey!
At the watering hole.
More beautiful scenery.
We started to head down into a valley.
We tied up the horses, and continued our way down into the valley.
A view of the hidden valley.
It’s called the Garden Isle for a reason!
It’s deep enough for swimming, though no one from our group decided to jump in.
Yay, waterfall and matching chucks!
Where we occasionally do the couple-y thing.
Now, this is definitely not good for the native ecology, but for unknown reasons a bass and two catfish live in the waterfall’s pond, begging for breadcrumbs and turkey scraps from picnic sandwiches.
Here’s one of the catfish!
A waterfall above the main one was catching the light perfectly.
Shh…I spotted a wild photographer in his native environment.
Pretty much the perfect waterfall and forest pool.
Baby toad, while it is still cute and tiny instead of big and gross. I loathe toads.
Beauty in the details.
The rock formations around the pool were really interesting.
AFter lunch was done, we hiked up a different way from the one we’d originally taken, and did some stream crossings. It was right after this photo that Ed murdered my polarizer filter for my camera by dropping it on a rock.
We then climbed up a cliff!
A big beehive – pretty neat!
Another stream we hiked by.
Ed, being sad that he broke my polarizer. It’s okay though, I’ve already gotten it replaced!
The Whites on horseback! I love the face Hana the Horse is making.
Hana the Horse seriously has great expressions.
Like horse, like rider.
Riding back home.
Ed really liked his horse.
Copper was such a slow and steady horse…he knew the routine and was pretty much on auto-pilot!
Princeville Ranch Adventures also offers ATV tours and ziplining!
Look Ma, no hands!
After our ride was over, Ed and I made the quick drive to Hanalei to meet up with friend and fellow photographer Lace Andersen, who was another notable entry in the recent National Geographic Traveler photo contest with me. We chatted over iced coffees at the Hanalei location of Java Kai, then headed to the beach once the sun got lower to take photos of the big waves.
I wave to waves.
After the sun went down, we headed over to Hanalei Pizza (and got the Wild Pig, which was delicious!) for dinner. Once it got really dark, we then went out to the pier at Hanalei Bay to finish the night with some Milky Way shots.
Ed, excited for the pizza.
Lace and Ed with our Wild Pig pizza.
Yes, we added pineapple to it.
Buy the vertical Milky Way print, or the horizontal Milky Way print!
Re-experience our trip on Storify!
Or, search the #DNWKauai hashtag on Twitter.