Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Makauwahi Cave and Mahaupeu Beach

This evening after dinner Todd and I went on a hike without the kids. We invited them to join us but they didn't really want to go and neither did my mom, who volunteered to stay home with them and Andrew, who was napping.

We intended to hike the Mahauepu Beach trail, which we didn't get to finish last week because my mom's flip flops broke.

This time however, instead of going the same way we've been before we chose to drive up the dirt road to the CMJ stables and begin from there. There is the option to drive to Gillian Beach, but the road is horrible and the gate closes at 6pm. It was already 5:45pm when we got to the gate and didn't want to leave our car there.

There were several cars parked at the end of the road and a sign indicating the foot and horse trail. We chose to follow the horse trail because it seemed to get closer to the beach. In the end, we deviated from it as well and just walked on the beach a long the shore for a while.

We were the only people on the beach for as far as we could see.  Oddly enough, there is a vacation rental home on the beach. It was vacant and the only structure around. I'm not sure how people get to it because the road we walked along was pretty rough for vehicles.

It is interesting how an island has to deal with waste and trash. On the beach there were the usual random pieces of clothing left behind, papers, plastic trash, etc. This time there was a large plastic container washing up to shore. It was big enough that a person could fit in it. I think it is a fish storage crate fallen from a boat.

To get to Gillin's Beach we had to cross the Waiopili stream by stepping across rocks and jumping to the bank on the other side. We realized that we weren't going to be able to cross back the same way we came, so we walked along the river looking for alternatives. We decided on a branch that crossed both sides when I noticed a foot bridge just a few feet away up the river.  This area is so dense in vegetation, it was hard to notice at first.

What we thought was a bridge across private property was instead an access point to the Makauwahi Cave trail.

It was interesting to revisit somewhere I vaguely remembered and all of a sudden recall specific details about that memory I didn't know I had. Todd did not even recalled being there.

The Makauwahi Caves are the largest limestone caves in Hawaii. The caves can be viewed from the top of a large sinkhole overlook.

The views from the rim trail and the cliff were spectacular. On one end are the mountains, hidden by constant rain clouds. Across is the valley- some farmed, some still wild - on the other end is the beach and ocean as far as the eye can see.

We were fortunate that it didn't rain on us during the hike. As soon as we got to the car it started drizzling again, like it has been doing on an off the entire time we've been here.