After hiking into Kalalau Beach, I spent three nights living in paradise, meeting hikers from all over the world, and falling asleep to the waves. Once settled into my site, I took a tour of the beach. There is a waterfall on the far end used for showers and water refills, making cooking and staying reasonably clean possible.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by a man named Duke, a hippie living off the land and keeping the peace. At first, I was skeptical about someone living on the beach for 6 months out of the year, but once I heard his stories and how much he cherished the land, it was clear he had every right to be there. He was so inviting, giving me oranges and cherry tomatoes grown right in the campground. He also told me about the caves at the end of the beach filled with water that were just waiting for me to explore.
The sand was hot and the wind was fierce, making long walks on the beach somewhat difficult. But I made it to the caves and found myself at yet another paradise. The last cave was virtually the size of an Olympic swimming pool, 15 feet deep and pure blue. I lingered in the water for hours, making friends and getting lost in my own daydreams.
Swimming to the very back, there was a little beach to rest on, giving an interesting view of the ocean from deep inside the cave. There was even an extension of the cave leading further back into the concave mountain, but a headlamp was necessary to explore, as there was no natural light making it to the inside. I felt like I was in Pirates of the Caribbean.
The sunsets were some of the best I've ever seen, making me look forward to dinnertime. Nothing beats cooking dinner on an empty beach, surrounded by the smell of the sea and drastic, green mountains. And kittens. There were wild kittens EVERYWHERE, snuggling up for food and freaking me out at night when I would see their glowing eyes. Jupiter became my buddy and always hung at my camp. Especially when I was cooking. She had beautiful eyes and a crushed paw. All I wanted was to fix her, but I just didn't know how.
Meeting two girls from California, I journeyed with them to go fishing. Duke recommended an area where we could pick barnacles off the rocks to use as bait and potentially catch something. But again, the wind was not on our side. After getting our fishing line hooked on jagged rocks, we retired the pole and just enjoyed the surroundings. We even found aloe plants to soothe our burnt backs and shoulders from frolicking in the sun all day.
Making it back to the beach, Duke somehow cooked pizza with a brick oven and made everything from scratch. The final product was mouthwatering and we told him he needs to have a Kalalau cooking show. I'll produce it one day.
The next day, most of my friends said goodbye and I spent the morning reading, writing, and swimming. I wanted to squeeze out every minute of solo relaxation I could while I was in paradise. I made more friends, who were from Texas, and even ran into a patrol officer. He asked for my permit, which I luckily had, and everything was fine. Many hike into Kalalau without permits because they're tough to get. Apparently, in the last few months the state patrol has been strict about ticketing those without permits. Glad I came prepared.
Kalalau Beach was a place of pure ecstasy, removing me from my job, my life in Los Angeles, and my worries. I was carefree, living in the moment with everything I did. Something most people don't do enough. I'll never forget this beautiful oasis, and can't wait to return one day, maybe with someone else by my side. I left Kalalau rested for the hike ahead and eager for future adventures to keep me in the moment.