Kauai through my Kaleidoscope

21 Oct

Kauai, much like the other islands in Hawaii’s chain, has a very diverse terrain and many different climates, all within a very compact area.  You might spend an afternoon frolicking in a rain forest, then drive an hour and a half and experience dry desert like conditions.  You can spend a morning enjoying tropical weather on a white sandy beach, and then visit the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” the very same day.

Although it is only 33 miles wide and 25 miles across at its widest point, you could probably spend a year there, and not come close to experiencing all there is to see and do.  We only had 6 days so, of course, we packed in as much as we could.

Here are the highlights!

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Our first stop was Menehune Fishpond.  Hawaiian fishponds are structures built   by ancient Hawaiians.  They were low lava rock walls typically built around shallow reefs that allowed fish in but not out.  Our first glimpse of these amazing architectural phenomenons was on our trip to Molokai.  The legend is that this particular fishpond was built in one night by mythical Menehune (little Hawaiian leprechaun people).  Beautiful!!

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Wailua falls is a beautiful 173 feet of cascading water that fed Wailua River.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spouting Horn is the name of Kauai’s blowhole.  It seems like each island has it’s very own.  What is a blowhole you ask?  In this case, it is a fascinating structure carved out by nature.  It’s an opening in a lava rock shelf that has been eroded by waves.  As water crashes into the shelf it is expelled up through the opening and the result is an explosion of spray that appears as a beautiful “spout”.  It was hard to capture the brilliance in a picture so I have included a short video.

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Rainbow Eucalyptus trees are some of nature’s most beautiful and unique creations.  Their trunks are striped with green and red bark, and the color almost seems neon.  It looks like someone took a paintbrush and painted each one.  They can be found in several locations, but I was finally lucky enough to snap a few pics on Kauai.

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Queen’s Bath, located on Kauai’s north shore, is a natural “pool” carved right into a lava shelf.  During calm seas you can spend all day swimming or snorkeling here.  But, if the seas are rough, like they were the day we were there, you definitely don’t want to get in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~And if that’s not enough of a warning this might keep you from risking your life.

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Needless to say, we remained safely on the rocks and took in the beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast.

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We wanted to check out Kilauea lighthouse, but it was under renovations.  We did, however, find that it was located on a wildlife refuge which offered beautiful views

and we finally caught a glimpse of the infamous Nene.

This Hawaiian goose is endemic to the islands, and on the endangered species list.  We have seen lot of Nene crossing signs all over the islands, but this is the first time we actually got to see them.  Cute little guys!!

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Waimea Canyon is considered by some to be “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”  It really is an amazing sight to see.  It’s hard to believe you could find something like this in a tropical paradise.  The canyon is 10 mile long, 1 mile wide, and up to 3,500 feet deep.  The drive up was beautiful with plenty of photo ops along the way.

The lookout at 3,500 feet was the perfect place to take in the enormity of the canyon.

And I got to be a Hawaiian princess for a brief moment.

Once we reached the end of the road we were treated with an incredibly breathtaking view of Kalalau Valley.

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I could probably go on all day about everything we did and saw, but these are just a few of my favorites.  Hope you enjoyed seeing Kauai through my kaleidoscope!!

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One Response to “Kauai through my Kaleidoscope”

  1. Estelline Owens October 23, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    BREATH TAKING SCENERY! We’re so grateful to see all this beauty! Love U 2 Lovebirds! Mom & Pop

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