Our fourth day on Kauai began and ended with rain, but in a lot of ways it made the experience more memorable. After grabbing a quick breakfast of pastries and coffee from the Napali Cafe, we headed down to the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor to meet up with the Outfitters Kauai team for our kayak adventure up Hule’ia River.
The river was very calm, with the banks lined with abundant mangroves (which have proved to be out of control, choking out the native flora in the area). We slowly paddled along, with our fantastic guide pointing out the various sights, including the almost hidden entrances to the legendary Menehune Fishpond. Ed and I maneuvered closer to him so we could hear his awesome stories as we went along.
As soon as we got to the end of the kayaking portion of the adventure, it began to absolutely pour. Happily, my camera was kept safe and dry within its housing, and I was free to continue taking pictures as we hiked into the forest to our lunch destination.
After walking past streambeds and trickling waterfalls, we hiked up a hill to our lunch spot, complete with a table and wooden benches. The guide distributed condiments for the sandwiches that had been packed into the waterproof backpacks provided by the tour, and we all dug in with gusto.
Once we were done with lunch, we hiked back to the river to hitch a ride on the motorized double-hull canoe that also towed our kayaks back with us. Our shoes were completely caked in mud, hence the dirty footprints everywhere in the photo!
Once we returned to the harbor, it was time to drop off our rental car and get back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Scrubbing off the mud into some semblance of being civilized actually took some effort! The theme of the group dinner at the St. Regis Princeville Resort was “Life’s Celebration”, and featured signature dishes by Executive Chef Leanne Kamekona, with the menu and decor styled after a wedding that had been held there previously. Though I myself am no longer a part of the wedding industry, I had to shoot the beautiful styling – though I admit to losing interest in photographing the food as the night went on simply because it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, and I kept forgetting to wait to take the photos.
We continued eating and drinking into the night. After an amazing cake tasting to finish the meal, we took a quick tour of the venue options in the hotel before heading to the bar to continue chatting with everyone over the St. Regis Bar until it was time to go to bed.