Kalalau Trail in Sandals, Bitches

Kalalau Trail in Sandals, Bitches

There was this one guy I hired when I worked at a previous office who really had a thing for saying stuff like, “Yeah, I got a Coke, bitches!” He always meant it in a joking way and in some regard it was indeed funny. Thus the reason that I bring it up again when talking about hiking in Kauai in that I find it funny, not that I have a Coke.

Kauai is a pretty wild island that covered in jungle everywhere, which is cool because it’s been the first spot in Hawaii where I’ve really felt like I’ve gone somewhere that doesn’t remind me of California at all. There aren’t as many parks as on Maui, but the ones that there are, I think are much better. For instance, there is the Kalalau Trail which is in the far northwestern corner of the island as part of the Nā Pali Coast. You basically drive on one of the highways until you come to the end of it and then you park and do one of two things. If you’re a lazy beach goer, you jump in to the water that’s there. If you’re more adventurous, you hike down the trail, get sweaty, come back, and then jump in to the water possibly checking out all the tropical fishes in the lava reef if you have a snorkel.

While not the most hardcore hikers out there, we like to adventure, so we headed down the trail, surrounded by people taking what were basically strolls whilst swaddled in very nice hiking boots, huge backpacks, and those damned walking sticks. I only bring this fact up because the juxtaposition between us and all these folks was hilarious. Here we were with just our cameras, shorts, and Reef sandals.

These sandals are more meant for strolling through sand dunes and here we were walking over knobby roots, slick mud, and rocks that in reality weren’t all that tough, yet required a certain degree of aptitude in walking. The trail is quite nice and enjoyable though. You feel like Indiana Jones (which happened to be filmed on the island) as you make your way down it and get the great views that line the path. We made it in about two miles to the Kalalau Beach, which really was uninteresting seeing as how it was some big boulders than rolled directly in to a five foot beach and thunderous surf that’s killed nearly 100 people who tried to swim in it. Not wanting to spend the full day on a hike, we turned back at that point, just like the vast majority of people “hiking” the trail in their super gear.

Of course, we walked along and managed not to slip while at the same time, going faster than anyone else. I couldn’t help but laugh at the “potential utility”* of all the Americans walking along. I imagined them getting ready for their trip and going to their nearest REI to get outfitted for their, “odyssey” in the wild island of Kauai. Naturally, REI loves to serve and outfitted they were.

While we got many an ugly stare at our sandals by many an ugly chubby face along the walk, the Americans were amazingly reserved in making any comments. It took a group of Spaniards (they always travels in groups) to notice that we were wearing sandals and tell us, “Oh no, you can’t go ahead in sandals. It’s too difficult!” I was waiting for an additional, “Surely you’ll be killed!” which didn’t come, but you can’t ever get mad at Spaniards. They meant their warning in a truly concerned, albeit zealously cautious way, whereas if any of my countrymen said it, it would be to try and prove me wrong, because they and Callum at REI knew that you had to have $600 in hiking gear to cross the perilous Kalalau Trail, which in reality, you just don’t. I mean hell, the people who used to live out there would carry fish and herd cattle along the damned thing and all without a retractable carbon filament walking pole. Natives knew their business, bitches.

* Potential Utility – The need of Americans to always have more than what they actually need so that they know it’s there in case they need it, even though they won’t. Examples include the Sport Utility Vehicle and Convertible Pants

4 Replies to “Kalalau Trail in Sandals, Bitches”

    1. Ugh, too wasteful. Of course I’d be in line with the majority of island thinking if I just tossed stuff after one use. That’s a future article there as well…

    2. So you walked 2 miles in sandals? Impressive! I wore sandals on my way to take a shit in Nepal, maybe I should blog “Everest in Sandals, Bitches” ?

      The REI bit is so true though. I’m with you in spirit.

    3. I am taking the trail all the way to kalalau beach on Aug. 31st and would like to find someone to go with. It is my first time on the trail and would like some company just for safety sake. If you know of anyone going then or any ways for me to hook up with someone please let me know.
      Many thanks,

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