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.