Friday, July 3, 2009

Kauai Day 3: Kalalau trail, Red Hot Mama's, Kayak Kauai


Each morning brings new breakfast companions. I was hoping our red-headed friend would return, but this time our only feathered breakfast mate was a chicken. But boy, did that red-headed bird miss out: Kona coffee, toasted Hawaiian sweet rolls with butter and honey, mango and apple bananas--the small extra sweet variety that is everywhere here, even sold fried out of trucks on the beach.

We drove to Ke'e beach where Hwy. 56 dead ends as the sand begins. The small parking lot was packed, and both shoulders of the road had cars parallel parked along them as densely as I’ve seen cars parked in downtown LA. We had to do some hiking just to get to the Kalalau trail head. The trail is 11 miles long and takes a full day for people who are in shape. My boyfriend and I…aren’t in shape. But, we are in our mid-twenties, and you’d be amazed at how much physical exertion we can get away with. We hiked maybe three miles. Maybe less. Maybe one mile. Hey, give me a break—that trail is practically a vertical climb over rocks, roots and streams, winding high over the Napali coast. It’s almost never level. But it does offer stunning views of the coast that are well worth the climb. With polarized sunglasses we could see the sprawling dark reefs beneath the water's surface.

I was ready to eat something big, meaty and filling by the time we trekked back to our car, so I whipped out my list of cheap eats and set the course for Red Hot Mama’s. Red Hot Mama’s is literally a hole in the wall. Specifically, it is a window in a door next to Wainiha General Store, the last chance for food and drinks on Hwy. 56. Red Hot Mama’s menu is small enough to fit on the chalk board attached to the shutter of the window- they do organic Mexican food, also known as big fat burritos that are heaven when you’ve just come from the beach. Nothing is better than biting into a hearty, rice, meat and veggie-filled burrito after burning all your calories in the water or on the trail. Red Hot Mama’s hits that spot perfectly. The name comes from their extremely spicy sauce, which I poured into my burrito before knowing quite how hot it was.

Before returning to our condo to collapse for a few hours, Charles and I stopped by the shopping center in Princeville for Lappert’s ice cream cones. I picked out a chocolate and macadamia concoction in a dark chocolate dipped waffle cone, and just about choked over the price. Five dollars per ice cream cone. But it was worth every cent. There are a few things well worth a splurge on Kauai, and Lappert’s ice cream is one of them.

At four in the afternoon we pulled into the gravel parking lot of Kayak Kauai in Hanalei for our kayaking lesson. I have a talent for dressing appropriately for every occasion, and this was no exception: board shorts, reef shoes, a “tank-ini,” and a ton of sunscreen. Charles was in a button down cotton shirt, shorts, sandals and eyeglasses even though I told him he’d be getting wet. But he stubbornly insisted that his clothes could take a few drops of seawater. I wasn’t sure what to expect in a kayaking lesson, and neither of us knew that learning to kayak entailed tipping over upside-down in the ocean. Oops.

To be continued.

1 comment:

jawlz said...

I was only told that I would be getting wet after we were already in the car driving to the Kayak place.