new year's day on the nualolo

January 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

whatever you do on new year's day you'll do a lot of that year: so make it fun and meaningful. last year i did 108 sun salutations and ended up spending three months in india practicing yoga. this year-- with a peruvian adventure planned for april-- i decided to do a little hiking on new year's day. 

i decided to go to koke'e state park and chose to hike the nualolo trail. naomi and i hiked it two years ago and i really enjoyed it then. i remember it being relatively long (about 8 miles) and a steep climb all the way back. last time it was hot and we ran out of water so this time i took 2 liters with me, lots of new year's mochi and my camera gear-- 5d mark iii, 70-200, 16-34, 100 macro and tripod. hey, i figure if i am going to hike the andeas then i better start getting in shape! 

n1n1koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

a beautiful blue sky greeted me at koke'e and since it was so clear i decided to drive up to the kalalau lookout. it's rare to get such cloudless view of kalalau, and this spot is one of my favorite places on island. it's always good to see. 

peaceful and quiet and full of the view i drove back to koke'e lodge and set out with the intention of having a safe hike and taking pictures with each lens i packed into my bag.

the nualolo trail starts out in a koa wood forrest and winds its way down the ridge toward the nualolo valley and the napali coast. last time on the trail we walked through beautiful groves of wild ginger, but this time the ginger were few and harder to find. i did see a few banana poka flowers hanging upside down like cute little lights or vampire bunnies. 

n2n2koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

  n3n3koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

alright. so far so good and it just gets better. i emerge from the forrest and get this amazing view:

n4n4koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

from this point on the scenery becomes more expansive as you slowly descend toward the napali coast. the trail continues in and out of green shrub-brush and it's along this area where the slope becomes rather steep. but soon enough you get your first glimpse of the nualolo valley and champagne flute cliffs like this:

n5n5koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day    

and this:

n6n6koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

the trail now runs along the side of the cliff, and although it may look scary, it's not. there's plenty of room to walk and only one or two areas show signs of significant erosion. the cliff trail-- connecting the nualalo to the awaawapuhi trail-- is still closed so i continued on to the nualolo vista, where the views are quite simply, awesome!

behold, the napali coast:

n8n8koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

n9n9koke'e, nualolo trail, kauai, hiking, trekking, outdoor, new year's day

not a bad way to spend new year's day-- a little walking in nature, breathing fresh air and taking some pics. i think it's gonna be a good year. 

happy new year everyone!

aloha, 

lee


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