Part 2, The Queen’s Bath, a beautiful and terrifying place…The balance of the return hike back up the cliff…A year ago celebration at a “girls only” lunch…

This was as far as I could get to the edge at the Queen’s Bath without slipping off.
Tom stopped to access if he’d go further.  He decided to continue to the bath without the camera but didn’t go into the water. With the heightened risk in winter of the sea grabbing an unsuspecting victim and carrying them out to sea, no photo or view is worth it to us. Tom returned 10 minutes later while I waited on the shelf, so relieved to see him with a big smile on his face.

By the time you see this post, we’ll be well on our way to Waimea Canyon, a three-hour drive to the furthest end of the canyon to the lookout point. Hopefully, the weather will be good allowing for clear photos. 

Had I been brave (or foolhardy) enough to descend further, I would have had better photos of the Queen’s Bath itself which is shown here through the trees.
The color of the water was heightened by the crisp clear blue sky and the clean ocean water.

The weather in Kauai is unpredictable and often rainy this time of year. We’ve been lucky to have mostly sunny days since our arrival over a month ago. Tomorrow’s weather in Poipu is expected to be sunny with rain on Friday, when we’ll be heading back home.

The Queen’s Bath from the last point until descending into the water.

On Friday, when traveling through Lihue (where the airport is located) on the return drive, we’re planning to stop at Costco to once again stock up on household goods, supplies and groceries. With the high cost of food at the local and farmer’s markets in Princeville and surrounding areas, Costco provides an excellent opportunity to save a little. 

Quickly this seeming level path is disrupted into dangerous terrain, making passage difficult.

Buying in bulk is not a problem for us with three months remaining in Kauai. Over time, we’ve learned to gauge the quantities to purchase to ensure we don’t have much in the way of “leftovers” when its again time to depart. 

There were various signs along the way with few mentioning the dangers of navigating the path and the Queen’s Bath. With the number of deaths over the years, many locals are pushing that this “attraction” be closed to public access.

It would be great if we could mail a box of foodstuffs to Australia when we depart Kauai. But, the cost of mailing a package of food outside the US is prohibitive when the package would have to go through customs, resulting in added fees. 

We stayed away from that alternate route which may have been easier but since has been abandoned due to the loss of many birds.

We’re traveling to Australia by cruise ship with minimal baggage restrictions, but we’ll still have a few flights in order to get to our first rental in Trinity Beach, nears Cairns; the flight from Kauai to Honolulu, Oahu where we’ll board the ship and then again, the flight from Sydney where the cruise ends, to Cairns, a flight equivalent to flying in the US from Georgia to New Mexico, a fairly long distance with baggage weight restrictions.

I cringed when looking up at the path which was much steeper than it appears.

From what we’ve learned about Australia thus far, the items they carry aren’t unlike many items we’ve been able to purchase in Hawaii, only at a slightly lower cost.  With our restrictive diet there are items that aren’t easily found in certain counties such as avocados,  coconut oil, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened raw coconut, coconut flour, almond flour and raw nuts. 

Neither of us had yet to see a chicken in a tree.  This hen was about 20 feet from the ground, easily flying to perch on this branch.

We won’t know if these items are available until after we arrive and shop. If not, we’ll figure out a means of having them shipped to us from inside Australia to avoid the high customs and shipping fees.

One more view of the waterfall on the climb back up the cliff.

Today, we’re sharing the balance of the photos from Tuesday’s visit to the Queen’s Bath and the treacherous hike back up the sea cliff. We’ll excitedly be back on Friday, the actual day of my birthday, anxious to share the details of our mini vacation. 

As we neared the end of the hike back up the cliff, I was relieved we’d made it back safely without falling.

Perhaps, we’ll have steak and lobster for dinner on Friday night, purchased from Costco, for a celebratory dinner. Then again, I’d be content with an avocado stuffed with salmon salad. Tom? Not so much. He doesn’t eat avocadoes or salmon, or any fish for that matter, or any veggies except salad or green beans…Better stick to the steak and lobster!

Back at you soon!

                                          Photo from one year ago today, February 19, 2014:

Two of my new girlfriends in South Africa took me to lunch for my birthday last year. Here is Linda and me at a fabulous resort for lunch.
And here is Linda and Kathy, my Marloth Park, South Africa friends with whom I’m still in touch on a regular basis. We have a great lunch! I miss them both. For details of that date, please click here.

Part 1…The Queen’s Bath, a beautiful and terrifying place…The progression of a risky hike…Check out these photos!

Queen’s Bath looks relatively innocuous but is known to be deadly. Many swimmers have died here by the unexpected surf sweeping them away, especially in the more rough winter months. This is the only photo we “borrowed.” All other photos are ours. Tom didn’t take the camera with him when he went down the final steps to the water while I waited behind.

As many times as we’ve heard, “Don’t go into the water at the Queen’s Bath, especially in the winter. It’s too dangerous,” our curiosity still nagged at us, especially knowing that access to this mysterious pool of water down a deep and treacherous path was only a two-minute drive from our condo.

This was a small portion of the trek we traveled down to the Queen’s Bath.

Here are a few direct quotes/reviews from TripAdvisor regarding recent visits to the Queen’s bath from other travelers:

4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2015
“I used a guidebook to find it, and almost ended up in a VERY dangerous place….eventually found Queen’s Bath, but it can be treacherous. I advise extreme caution! Don’t go alone; use good judgment; watch the tides etc.The ocean is unpredictable as it is beautiful! Don’t try this if you are not in pretty good shape; it takes some hiking and climbing to get there 🙂
3 of 5 starsReviewed February 6, 2015
“I wouldn’t do this with small children, unsteady Grandpa, or folks scared of edges. When we got there the surf was super rough, so we didn’t make it around to the Queen’s Bath, per se.”
Visited January 2015
4 of 5 starsReviewed January 26, 2015
“We decided to visit this site only after 2 weeks of dry weather (unusual on the north shore in winter) and on a day with no high surf warning. Nevertheless, the trail was slippery in places, especially when it arrives at lava rock service. My wife decided to wait for me there as I proceeded to the left (westerly, I believe) the rest of the way to the Bath. It is rocky, wet and there is no maintained path. When I arrived at the Bath, there were a number of young people in the Bath who I don’t believe was aware of the wave risks in winter. I observed from the highest point available before returning to the dirt path back up to the parking area.”
“If you decide to visit the Bath, please proceed with caution and only after investigating conditions! If in doubt, don’t attempt it. This is not a park ( Kauai, despite its beauty, friendly people and movie sets is not a theme park) and there most likely will be no one nearby qualified or willing to help you if you slip or get pulled out in the ocean. Under the best circumstances, this experience is not for everyone.”
Visited January 2015
Walking on this type of terrain may have been easy for some and certainly appeared to be for Tom. But, in my worn-out shoes, I felt unsteady.
Yep, we made it down this hill.

Yesterday, we decided to visit Queen’s Bath but not to go into the dangerous ocean pool. I’m not much of a swimmer and although Tom is lifeguard-capable, it wasn’t worth it. Instead, we decided to take the trek down the cliff to see what we how close we could get.

This spot was tricky.

We’ve discussed how difficult our lives would be if one of us was to be seriously injured. After all, we have no home to go to for recuperation. What about all the prepaid future bookings? Instead, we err on the side of caution in most of our adventures, of which there still have been many and will continue to be many more in the future.

I was thrilled when we approached easier spots such as this.

Not all adventures revolve around extreme sports, as mentioned recently in a prior post. However, many tourist activities in Hawaii require a strong under 40-year-old body, which neither of us possesses. Caution prevails.

Tom reminded me that if I fell to lean to the opposite side of the ravine. Good advice, Honey!

Yesterday, for us old-timers, one very sure-footed (Tom, of course) and me, not so sure-footed, especially in my worn-out shoes, (soon to be replaced when our shipment of supplies arrives from the mailing service), the hike down the cliff to the Queen’s Bath, was daunting, to say the least.

This path was never created for exploring the Queen’s Bath. It was worn over many years of curiosity seekers traveling down the cliffs.

The photos we’ve included here are not a totally fair representation of how steep, and at times slippery, the trek really is. I hung onto Tom’s hand most of the way up and down, especially when we walked over thick roots and wet leaves within a foot of a drop off to a ravine.

The creek below.  Crossing this area was challenging. At times I grabbed any sturdy branch I could hold onto. 

By the time we made it to the final descent, with another short but rough patch ahead, Tom insisted I stay behind and wait while he explored the pool in more detail, promising not to go into the water. I waited for what proved to be a long 10 minutes fearful that he’d fall. 

Ah, another level spot. 

When he rounded the turn and I saw his smiling face, I was relieved. Don’t get me wrong. Tom is quite steady and strong, more than many much younger. But, the terrain was difficult for any level of fitness other than those experienced hikers who are comfortable managing treacherous paths.

Finally, we could see the ocean as we maneuvered closer and closer to the end.

Making it back up the cliff was a bit more challenging. I was relieved when I looked up, up, up, and saw the parking lot. Feet firmly planted on the asphalt, I found myself feeling a slight bit of satisfaction for having gone as far as we did. 

It was thrilling to finally see the waterfalls.

Oddly, I’m physically capable of such a hike but the horrid condition of my now pain-free (due to diet) spine tends to make me a bit fearful of falling. A fall could be disastrous putting a fast end to our travels. 

It wasn’t a huge waterfall but the sight, the sounds and, the chickens crowing in the background making it pleasant to stop and admire the scenery.

Through it all, we managed to get these photos, see the waterfall, and return safely in one piece for which we’re very grateful. Would I go again? Probably not. But then again, we seldom return to the same spot preferring to always pursue the next best thing.

Another waterfall view. Oh look, there’s a sturdy stick to hold onto in the left of this photo.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll post the photos of our way back up the cliff before we take off early for our trip to the Waimea Canyon, a three-hour drive from Princeville, hoping to arrive before the clouds roll in, a daily occurrence after 10 am. Later in the day, we’ll head back to Poipu for the overnight at the hotel.

We encountered several chicken families along the way.

Have a fabulous “Hump Day.” For us, seniors, every day of the week is Saturday…pure pleasure…pure freedom.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, February 19, 2014:
How does one fall in love with an ugly frog?  While living in the African Reunion house in South Africa, this tree frog would come and go each day returning to the same spot in the rafters of the veranda. It would be gone a day to return the next while each time I’d happily acknowledge his return. Even the smallest of creatures can bring us joy. For details of that day which included a “girls only lunch,” please click here.