"It never gets old," she sighs wistfully.
We were still laying on the mat, our toes pointed away from the rising sun. She was tilting her head backward gazing towards the almost risen sun, its rays of light spilling all over the glistening ocean. Her name was Anya, a Russian immigrant who led me to surya namaskars at the crack of dawn on a tiny quiet corner of Waipouli beach. I thought it slightly ironic that in the island teeming with roosters, we didn't hear one single crow from our feathered friends. It was as if they too were reverent of the sunrise. It was my last full day in Kauai, the Garden Isle of Hawaii, and I realized that I have fallen madly in love with this place. With life's busy-ness the last few months, I was reminded that THIS was home. This safe, serene place inside is home.
The day was full of promise. I did not yet have a gameplan, but I know I wanted it to involve a loco moco, a bicycle, and hours and hours at the beach. I wanted to explore on the fly. I wanted this day to be me and mine.
So after the loco moco was done and over with at Ono Family Restaurant (lackluster - don't bother, but the guava-pineapple-passion fruit smoothie was delicious), I walked over from the hotel to the closest bicycle/snorkel rental shop and rented a cruiser and snorkel gear for the day. I had to keep from squealing like a giddy little girl. I was delirious.
Two hours of biking and getting lost, I finally found the swim-friendly Lyndgate Park where I frolicked/snorkeled/read/dozed in so many cycles to my little heart's content.
After lunch, I cycled south to Ke Ala Hele Makalae, an eight-mile roundtrip bicycle path right next to the Pacific Ocean, oftentimes on cliffs. The views were just stunning.
There will be the occasional pedestrian or cyclist, but for the most part, I had the crimson path to myself (that if I plummeted to my demise because I was controlling the handlebars with one hand while the other was taking photos, no one would really know for a few hours).
There were so many undiluted views of the ocean... Many secluded beaches, each one different yet the same
And when the trail ended, the view was so staggering view my heart wildly races even more...
And then it was time to head back, and ride to the sunset. The next day, I would flying home. I'm saddened by this thought a little bit, but I remind myself that like everything in nature, in life, there is time for everything, including endings.
The trail concludes here. It is time.
It is time to come home.
P.S. If you ever find yourself on this same bike trail eventually, I would recommend:
1. Renting a bicycle from a legit bicycle shop, and not a snorkel gear rental shop. Kauai Cycle had groomed, shiny Specialized bicycles on their racks and I wished I had one of those instead of a nondescript, rusty cruiser. Bicycle shops will adjust your seats and will not even dare rent you a bicycle with rusty broken baskets.
2. Renting a bicycle with gears. I should have listened to instinct and gotten one with gears, but I was reassured that the trails were flat. Not exactly true. And the ride would have been a lot more comfortable if I had a better performing bicycle with a saddle that actually adjusted to my height. Oh well!