My Kauai vacation

No technology today; just some photos I took on my recent trip to Kauai. (Click on the small photos for a larger version of each.)

Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and has fabulous topography and rich soil as a result of its violent five-million year history of repeated volcanic eruptions followed by heavy erosion. A few of the highlights:

The Allerton Garden on the south shore is an amazing collection of native, endemic and exotic (that is, introduced recently) plants artfully arranged and carefully tended. My favourite arrangement highlighting a single tree was this one:

Allerton Garden

The Allerton Garden is also the home of the famous ficus trees seen in Jurassic Park:

Allerton Garden Ficus

To get a sense of the scale of those amazing roots and for some more background on these incredible trees, check out this little tourism video:

Kauai tops out at 1600 metres today; it was far, far higher than that when it originally formed. The immense erosion has produced the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon, on the interior:

Waimea Canyon

Of course each horizontal line you can see in the eroded layer is an individual lava flow. On the exterior the vulcanism and erosion has produced the Na Pali cliffs. (*) Here you can see an interesting feature: a sea cave with a tiny waterfall going over it. This was useful because you could stock up on fresh water without ever beaching your canoe!

Na Pali Sea Cave

All in all it was a lovely vacation, both relaxing and educational. I hope to some day go back and experience the north side of the island.

I’ve used some of the photos above as the header images for the blog; if you’re interested in seeing the full-size versions of rest of the header images, see the photo credits page.

Next time on FAIC: Why it is very hard to give a sensible answer to “which is faster?” questions.

(*) Na Pali means “many cliffs”, so those would be the “many cliffs cliffs”. The Microsoft cafeteria once offered a sandwich “with au jus sauce”, which is even worse.

15 thoughts on “My Kauai vacation

  1. Holy moly, that looks amazing. Sadly, I’ve never made it further west than Las Vegas; for some reason I tend to travel north/south more than east/west. I hope someday to make it to the pacific northwest and Hawaii.

    Also, I think the link to the tourism video got busted somehow.

  2. Pingback: Taking responsibility | Fabulous Adventures In Coding

  3. Wow, those pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. They put me in a state of peace for my day of coding. I hope to make it there some day.

  4. “Kauai tops out at 1600 metres today; it was far, far higher than that when it originally formed.”

    So when did it “originally form”? What it at the point where the first lava cooled above the surface of the sea, in which case it is far, far higher today than when it originally formed.

    Or was the “originally formed” point some millions of years later when it was at it tallest point above the surface?


  5. Love Kauai! We had the same thought (“next time, let’s stay on the north side”) but ultimately ended up driving to the east and south almost every day because the North was so often cloudy and/or rainy. The hike we took in Na’Pali Coast State Park had unbelievable views enjoyed by us, the mountain goats, and giant dragonflies.

  6. Hi Eric, what a nice place, isn’t it? My wife and I been to Kauai (and the other islands of Big Island, Oahu and Maui) in April 2011. Actually, on Kauai we found out that she’s pregnant – the rest o the vacation was a special joyride 🙂

  7. Why do your pictures of Kauai look so much better than mine (I visited Jan, 2012)? I’m not terrible at composure, but my pics are always speckly. Maybe I just need to learn Photoshop. Anyhow, it looks like you had a great time.

    By the way – Every time you write “FAIC”, I initially read “For All I Care”. It’s just funny to me, wondering if you intended that.

    • What kind of camera are you using? I taught myself how to take pictures with SLRs in the 1990s on film, and then did nothing but point-and-shoot toy digital cameras since then. Before going to Kauai I bought a used Canon Digital Rebel XT EOS 350D from a friend for a couple hundred bucks. It’s a perfectly acceptable entry-level digital SLR. I found that it tended to overexpose shots in bright sun, but other than that it was quite easy to take good shots. I did only minor post-processing level balancing of the shots I put on the blog.

      • I wish I had an SLR. The last time I used one was roughly 13 years ago. Ours is an LCD-on-the-back, point-and-click model. I _think_ it’s a Canon, but I’m not sure. It performs decently enough in well-lit situations, but that’s about it. I look forward to seeing more pics of yours.

  8. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.Kauai is a fabulous place for enjoying.

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