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Na Pali Coast Magazine | October 23, 2017

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Kalalau Valley - Na Pali Coast Magazine

Kalalau Valley
Chris Turner

Remote, deep and hushed is Kalalau Valley, grandest of Na Pali’s near inaccessible valleys. Bowl-shaped within sheer walls of rainforest green, it’s 3 miles back and 3 miles across. Her mystic spell pervades, broken only momentarily by tour helicopters that appear like tiny, hovering mosquitoes. The valley’s great west wall ends toward the sea in cascading cathedrals of stone, with lava dikes upthrusting like their namesake, together forming three towering, knife-edged pyramids. Known as the Three Guardsmen, they take command, steadfast and true, of the second highest sea cliffs in the world.

To truly describe Kalalau I must recall my own personal and perfect experience in this Garden of Eden: the hidden waterfalls I showered beneath; the slippery-slides of water-sliced rocks to play on; the sweet perennial stream, fairy-tale like as from one’s lost childhood, flowing gently, searching through this mystic hobbit-like valley, finally to reach the love and comfort of Mother Ocean.

To some, Kalalau Stream is a natural spa. Its boulders form a series of natural jacuzzis to relax one’s tired muscles, and for any masseuse, the rocks become perfect massage tables to perfect the craft. For others the sun-warmed rocks are like beach mats without the issues of sand, naturally made for those who want that no tan-line tan. Imagine basking in the warmth of the sun, your eyes relaxed and shut, your ears tuned to the music of the running waters, and to the birds whose songs blend with the trance-like rhythmic beat of ocean waves crashing beyond onto seashore rocks. You breathe in the perfume of wild gingers whose flowers scent the stream-side air. When finally you open your eyes, and if the hypnotizing multi-blue Pacific catches your gaze, you might find your beach mat of rounded stone magically turned into a front row seat to one of the greatest shows on earth – when your eyes for the first time connect with a distant 40+ ton humpback whale flying full body out of the water.

At first it is hard for the mind to register what is seen, to break it down for the mere human brain, like absorbing the awesomeness of the power of an Apollo moon rocket in lift off. And then, as the mind ponders, the whale forcibly hits the deep cobalt-blue water, shooting up a contrasting stark-white explosion of water.

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