At around 3:00 yesterday afternoon, my husband and I, along with some new friends we met on the trail, emerged from the jungle. We were exhausted, covered in mud, and smelling to high heaven. We were also probably some of the happiest people on the planet.
Two things happened within those first couple hours back in civilization that very quickly reminded me that we weren’t at Kalalau anymore. The first was having to wait in line to use the bathroom at Ke’e Beach while people used the stalls to change their clothes. After having spent a week in a place where clothing was very much optional, if not discouraged entirely, the sudden reminder of modesty was somewhat jarring.
Far more startling was rolling into the grounds of Marriot’s luxurious Kauai resort, which will be our home until we head back to Colorado on Saturday. We descended the enormous escalator into the grand lobby and couldn’t help but laugh. We were a filthy (and young) contrast to the rest of the patrons of this place. The concierge took one look at us, asked if we had been at Kalalau, and then proceeded to taunt us with promises of electricity and running water. We cashed in on some Marriot points to stay here and it was worth it if only for the sudden dose of culture shock. We are definitely back to some version of reality!
The last week was amazing in more ways than I can express in one simple post. The hike was hard, the beach was stunning, the people were interesting, and the whole experience lived up to the hype in pretty much every way. I have a lot to say about our time in paradise and lots (no seriously, LOTS) of pictures to share. But that’s for another day. Today is for relaxing, eating my weight in shave ice and papayas, and seeing how the other half live.