Travel Journal

O'ahu and Kaua'i (Hawaii)

(Sunday 17 June 2012) by Lynda
Hawaii, a synonym of paradise, floating all by itself in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, islands with golden beaches, tiki bars and waving palms......so what does a girl do when her new love is presenting a paper at a conference in Honolulu? First grab a map to find out where these Polynesian islands are.....and book a ticket to get there!
Wailua river
Wailua river
But getting there was the hardest part, I missed my connecting flight in Washington and had to fly to New Orleans (I know, it doesn't really make sense but United Airlines thought it did) to get to Los Angeles. And United was very sorry but no more flights to Honolulu untill the next day and very sorry again but all hotels in LA are booked because of a conference but we can offer you a blanket and a pillow so you can sleep on the little benches at the airport oh and to compensate you......here is a voucher for a meal (of 10 US dollars ...sic). After a long and sleepless night in LA I did get on my plane across the Pacific and arrived in Honolulu after about 36 hours of traveling, I made it!

The Hawaiian archipelago embraces over 50 volcanoes and 137 islands and atolls. All volcanoes except for the Kilauea on the Big Island are extinct and have eroded over the centuries creating a dramatic and beautiful landscape. We started our trip on the island O'ahu where the capital Honolulu is and the beaches
Sprouting Horn
Sprouting Horn
and resorts of Waikiki. To escape the crowds and get an overview of the island we climbed Diamond Head. Standing at the top you can see that you actually climbed inside the crater, an amazing sight. But O'ahu is just too touristy and crowded for us so after this visit we got on the plane to Kaua'i, the garden island.

Kaua'i is the least populated of the major Hawaiian Islands with the most stunning views. Especially the west coast is amazing, with coastal volcanic rock formations that resemble the feet of dinosaurs. These views have been used quite often in films (e.g. Jurrasic Parc) for their dramatic effect.

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon
We explored the island in a kayak on Wailea river and hiked to the Sacred Falls along the river, discovered amazing marine life while snorkling on Tunnels beach, and visited Waimea Canyon State Park. Of all Kaua'i's unique wonders, none can touch Waimea Canyon for utter grandeur, a gargantuan chasm of ancient lava rock, 10 miles long and 2500 feet deep to the riverbed. The road through the canyon has many scenic lookouts and the views get more spectacular with every turn of the road. We drove to the end of the road and hiked for 9 miles to get to the Kilohana lookout, a hike through the Alaka'i swamp; a soggy paradise where you are submerged in mist and the plankboards seem to lead to nowhere. An out-of-the-ordinary experience and we were lucky at the lookout point, the wind came in and cleared the mist from the valley to give us an amazing view of Wainiha Valley and Hanalei Bay. A bizar experience because seconds later we were surrounded by thick grey mist....again. Must be the cherry blossoms again!!!!

Kaua'i is wonderful, amazing and sooo worth the long trip to get here!!!!!!!

 


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