Marco's Blog

All content strictly personal opinions.
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2005-04-29 3 min read Travel marco

Oh, what a surprise! You won’t know what you missed in life until you got to Kauai.

{moszoomimglink:Wailua falls}The Northernmost major island of the chain, Kauai is the one that gets the most water. It is the oldest, too, so that the flanks of the volcano that makes up the bulk of its mass are eroded into deep valleys with sharp razor-edged mountain ridges to separate them. There is, as usual, a wet side and a dry side to it. The wet side is so wet, it is famous for being the wettest spot on Earth. Mount Waialeale is not the highest point on Kauai, but surely the wettest. I am positive that Waialeale must be Hawaiian for “watch out, it’s slippery!”

{moszoomimglink:04 Kirk Mark and Camy having fun}The dry side is home to Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Looks nothing like the Grand Canyon, but it’s really a wonderful sight. Additionally, you’ll have the pleasure of an immense beach on the dry side. Polihale beach goes on and on for miles and miles, one of the few such beaches on the islands.

There aren’t many real sights on Kauai. There are no real cities, but the charm of a few of those that try to be is infinite. My favorites are no doubt Hanalei in the North, Kapa’a in the East and Koloa in the South. Waimea at the mouth of the canyon is supposed to have similar charm, but a quick visit would not confirm.

{moszoomimglink:28 The ditch gets deeper, the soil redder}And yet… Nature is at its best here. The soil of the island is rich in volcanic iron, which gives it a splendid rust red. Imagine an island of rust offset against tropical greens of plants that feed on the minerals and the plentiful water. And now imagine these reds and greens against a sea of blue and turquoise and deep indigo. The sky plays with its pinks and oranges and whites of clouds. You end up with a canvas of nature, with every place having a magic to the eye that is unrivaled except by itself in a different light.

{moszoomimglink:50 Light shining on the valley floor}To aid nature’s colors, the scenery is astounding. The deep, deep erosion that characterizes the island has produced some of the most varied topography imaginable. In the Southern end of the island you still see how the volcano was once shaped, a flat dome that deserves is scientific name of shield volcano. But right then and there you see how the shield suddenly drops into Waimea canyon, a chasm that goes almost all the way to the sea.

{moszoomimglink:Who would believe these colors are real}If you can, spend all the time you have on seeing nature. Book a helicopter tour, a sailboat tour, a hiking tour. You need to see it to be able to say it was worth it. And once you have seen Kauai, you won’t be able to imagine a more beautiful spot on Earth.