The walk to the waterfall at Hakaui

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sun 8 Apr 2012 01:51
After hauling the tender up onto the beach, above the high water line, we set off on a trail that first led us into the nearby village past the cemetery.
Hakaui was formerly the royal valley, although there are only a couple of families that live in the bay now.  The families grow all their own produce.  There was more fruit on the trees than they could possibly eat themselves, so they sell some to passing hikers.  On our way back we bought bananas, grapefruit, passion fruit, oranges and limes from a family that invited us in to sample their wares.  They had some more exotic nuts and berries to try as well.  Pistachio berries, for example are bright purple, juicy and sweet but also very dry.  They also had some large boiled nuts that tasted similar to a chestnut.
The village has a small chapel.
Leaving the village we headed up the ancient road.  For most of the two hour long hike we were walking on what was once a main thoroughfare, bordered with large stones and built up several feet high in places.  There were many abandoned structures along the way, some of them with such large foundations of stones that they must have taken years to build.  
Gradually the road became more of a path.
And in places the jungle was encroaching.
Exotic flowers littered the ground.
We had to ford a river several times.
Some trying to cross without getting their feet wet.
And finally we got our first glimpse of the waterfall.  Some tourist guides claim that this is the third highest waterfall in the world, although from browsing the web we think that 350 metres high only makes it one of the top 20.