Jungle Hike!

One very warm and sunny morning David, Eric and I decided to check out the Jungle Hike in the the center of Kauai where you have great views of Mount Wai’ale’ale and surrounding mountains. We drove south from Princeville down the east side of the island through Kapa’a. Soon we were driving alongside Sleeping Giant:

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Somewhere after Sleeping Giant we took a right turn (I’m such a great tour guide). Eric had gotten us all excited about finding the ‘Gate’ that was in the movie Jurassic Park. To get there you drive on Kuamo’o Road past Opaeka’a Falls then over this spillway (where literally, the river runs right over the road.) And then another spillway … The problem is, it’s a rutty dirt road, full of pot holes.

I was being tossed around like a rag doll in the back seat and not taking photos. But no worry. I just happened to find this you-tube movie that actually takes you over the whole route in a Jeep, over the spillways, through puddles, ruts and potholes (at a very fast speed), through the Gate (!) to the end of the road – with relaxing Hawaiian music playing all the while.

I invite you to click on the link and go for the drive, at least to the 2:15 – minute place (where I took the next photo). Also, for full effect, while you are watching the movie, toss your torso rigorously to the right and then to the left in sycopated beat to the music (the road has deteriorated a bit in the years since this video was taken).

Did you go for the ride? – through the Gate? At the 2:15 point the Jeep slowed almost to a stop and then barrelled around a large puddle. Well, I took a picture at that spot. Because we had stopped – at a pond. I figured there was no way we’d get through it. “Turn around!” I pleaded with Eric and David. They pondered it for a minute. We were not in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but a rear-wheel drive SUV.

Then David jumped out and waded in to see how deep it was.

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He set the mud line on his legs up to the SUV to see how high it went: Just beneath the passenger door. We can do it! We all hopped back in, he gunned it and we made it through. Whew!

We parked just below the Gate. There it is ahead!

Jurassic Park Gate

Jurassic Park Gate

Okay, so only the poles are still standing. But at least the gate is open!

Entering Jurassic Park

Entering Jurassic Park

Click on his link for a nice map of the whole route you see in the video leading to the Gate and the Jungle Hike beyond. (Eric, you will love this map!)

Wai ale’ ale’ Map

The Jungle Hike trailhead is a short distance beyond the gate. We are just starting the hike … “Hey, David and Eric! Turn around and pose for a photo!”

So well-trained to pose on command. (No they aren't)

So well-trained to pose on command. (No they aren’t)

Now some photos from the hike:

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The path is a bit tangled in places

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We’re driving back out now. On the route we meet a spirit guide

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An egret. We met it on the road going in and then coming back, exactly the same way – poised right square in the middle of the road. We would slow way down and practically run him over, when he’d fly off – just to land in the middle of the road ahead of us again.

We made it back just fine. Although I wouldn’t want to be in the rental car business in Kauai.

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