The setting: Sunday afternoon in Hawaii, midnight island departure looming. We decide to make a move up the coast to try to kayak a spot a friend has been eyeing out. It’s an estuary in in Kahana Valley State Park.
We drive from Kailua towards the North Shore, which is exactly what I want to be doing on my last afternoon in Hawaii. A small road snakes its way up the eastern coast of Oahu and each turn reveals extraordinary views. The entire drive is stunning and provides the one last chance to soak in the beauty before boarding the flight back to the east coast.
We arrive at Kahana Valley and park alongside the road that leads back into the park, opposite the beach. The distance from the road to the place where we could drop in the kayak was short which is good because lugging a kayak isn’t very fun. While I was tempted to make a dash across the street to head for the beach, the estuary promised its own adventure.
A group of ladies stand up paddle boarding hopped in the water just in front of us, which reminded me that I really need to learn how to stand up paddle board. Next time.
We paddle in and the estuary narrows. At times, we’re ducking beneath water plants and giant ferns. It feels a bit like a mix between Fern Gully and Lost.
There are a few rope swings along the way where you can park your canoe and take a dip.
We paddled until the waterway became narrow and the plants and roots enclosed us to the point that paddling wasn’t possible anymore. We turned around and headed back and enjoyed the views paddling back in.
And just like that, the day and the trip came to an end and it was time to head to the airport. Albeit it a tad sun kissed and feeling brighter having managed one more encounter with the water and this incredible coastline.