muddy. muddy. muddy! oh, slippery, too! full on jungle hiking/river wading/rock hopping adventure!
alas, no pictures of the bog because i was afraid i'd drop my camera and lose it forever in the deep, dark mud.
the trail to guardian falls starts where loop road ends, well passed the rainbow eucalyptus filled keahua arboretum at the end of kuamo'o road.
giant rainbow eucalyptus at the keahua arboretum
an african tulip tree at the beginning of loop road, just past the first water crossing where kuamo'o road ends
from this point on you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to continue. the unpaved road has one (sometimes two, depending on the rains) water crossing and plenty of mud holes to drive through. fortunately, my fj loves these adventures and i am getting used to them, too.
there are several side roads that lead to various trailheads and waterholes but the main road leads to the trailhead for the blue hole (waialeale), guardian falls, and weeping wall hikes.
as i mentioned above, the trail is very muddy. some sections are literally knee deep. we hiked in tabis and although the mud greatly diminished the felt sole's rock-gripping-power of the tabis, they were probably a better choice to hiking shoes/boots as we were often off the trail and into the river. rock hopping was a little difficult on the day we hiked due to the high river, but over some sections of trail it was the better alternative to crawling on hands and knees under downed mossy trees and ewok abodes.
after about 2 hours of slogging through the bog and wading through the river (we hooked onto the wrong trail and got off course somewhere along the way) we came to guardian falls, a splendid waterfall with mt. waialeale in the distance.
guardian falls near the source of the wailua river
guardian falls with the flanks of waialeale and ever present clouds in the distance
just off to the left of guardian falls is a cool little gorge with a secondary waterfall. not sure if this area and fall has a proper name, but here it is...
originally we planned to continue on all the way to the weeping wall, but i broke one of my hiking poles sliding into an ewok hole so we decided this was enough for one day of adventure. we turned around and made good time on the way out. the trail seemed a little more straightforward and we were able to hike along the sides of the river a bit more, which also seemed to make the going easier.
a bamboo grove near to the end of the trail
all in all a difficult hike-- extremely muddy, wet, slippery, with lots of thick bush hitting you in the face and grabbing at your body. oh, and did i mention the mosquitos?!
if you venture out to guardian falls be prepared for amazing scenery and a pretty wild adventure.