Aug 14, 2014

Kaua'i - The Beautiful Garden Island

Far too many people are looking for the right person,
Instead of trying to be the right person.
Gloria Steinem 

Peacefulness of Kaua'i
We are fortunate to have seen three Hawaiian Islands before ‘almost hurricanes’ Iselle and Julio passed by.  Thankfully they tendered little damage but it would have severely tampered with what we could have seen and where we went.  Kaua’i is the last place we visited before heading back to the US and we mean to savor each and every one of these last days. 

Rainbow eucalyptus bark - Inspiring colors
View from Sleeping Giant
As its name indicates, it is a stunning but very expensive garden.  While the big island’s museums and gardens can be visited for $8-$15/person, these prices go up to $40 in Kaua’i…  After visiting expensive French Polynesia however the sticker shock wasn’t what it would’ve been should we have visited right after cheap Mexico.

Allerton Gardens.  Meat or steak plant.  
Flower the color and shape of a steak, attractive to flies who help pollinate
Annatto - producer of orange food coloring
Diana's garden
Three pools reflecting one tree
Kaua’i is extremely touristic compared to the Big Island so we wouldn’t consider it as a place to live but for a short visit it has many things to offer.  Once again, we cannot meet true islanders with stories of their lives, legends, customs, etc.  It makes us appreciate ever more what we experienced in Mexico and what we had in French Polynesia.  We will appreciate it yet more when we get back to traveling and know that not everywhere offers such connections with the people and their ways of living.

Buddha in bamboo forest
Corrugated theme with pulsing water
Symmetry of Thanksgiving Garden
Three large trees used in the filming of Jurassic Park
Our guide Juan sitting among the buttress roots
At only 75 years old - they are massive - the trees, not Mike!
Very massive
As in the previous post, we will let the pictures do the talking.  We have been nearly everywhere on the island except for hiking the complete Napali Coast – for that would have required camping gear we didn’t have.  This is one of the few places I think flying over would have been a great addition to viewing the many canyons, waterfalls, fluted ridges, hidden beaches the island has to offer with in mind that it is one of the wettest place on earth and a clear, cloudless view, is hard to find… or a dry path impossible to come across.


Beautiful Waimea Canyon
Considered the 'Grand Canyon' of Kaua'i
Waimea Canyon with waterfall
Miles of fantastic views
Water cascading over red rocks
Similar to Arizona
Red-crested cardinal on the beach
Kilauea Lighthouse
Home to thousands of nesting birds
Lighthouse is now a preserve area for nesting birds
Hanalei River Valley - home to taro fields
Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Surrounded by amazing fluted ridges
'Swiss Cheese" plant, corn-like pod can be eaten
Coffee plant in bloom at Kauai Coffee
Mahogany forest (10-15 year old trees) - Anaina Hou Community Park
The largest mahogany plantation in the world
Red wet clay trail - Both are covered to the knees with it
Napali Coast
View legends are made of
Very seldom getting clear view - One of the wettest areas in the world
But if you persist, the clouds will eventually open-up
Another muddy path - did I mention how wet this place is?
Hanakapi'ai Waterfall
Hanakapi'ai waterfall - closer up
Nice refreshing water - The wind is so strong it moves the whole waterfall to the side at times
End of the Napali hike
US and Hawaiian flags

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