Sunday, January 1, 2012

On Location: Kayaking Kauai's Hanalei River, New Years Day

One year ago, DH and I awoke at dawn on New Years Day (a first for us both!) and drove ourselves and all our worldly possessions up Interstate 5 to our new home in Oakland.
It was a ceremonious way to start the year and over the year we have fallen in love with our home, our community and the Bay Area as a whole. How could we ever top last year's festive New Year's start?
Our answer was to go for a kayak ride up the Hanalei river. It is more common to kayak the Wialua river up to the Wialua Falls, which both are gorgeous, but the beauty of kayaking Hanalei is that there are no boats allowed along this small river, only kayaks and paddle boards and when you are alone, there is almost no sound at all.
At some points the river is pure glass, creating a mirror-like quality of the surrounding bamboo, taro fields and turtle families surrounding the river.
Near the end of the river is a nice little stretch of beach where kayakers can take a break and enjoy a picnic. It was New Year's after all so in addition to some homemade egg salad on locally baked rye bread, we popped a bottle of bubbly to keep things festive.
It is the most serene, peaceful thing we've done all vacation and was the perfect way to celebrate the new year.
***word to the wise***
Because the rental fees for kayaks are available only in 24 hr. periods and because you will not be towing it to your rental car, DH and I both believe it best to begin your rental mid day, say noon or 1. That gives you more than enough time to kayak the entire river, have a picnic and even kayak out to where the river meets the ocean. If you are the ambitious type, you will then be able to return early the next morning to finish your 24 hr. rental. Of course if you are like us, you will probably opt to get in more beach and bakery time! C'est la vie.

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