23 July 2013

Mahalo, Hawaii

 "Mahalo" means in Hawaiian, Thanks, gratitude; to thank. It also means, Admiration, praise, esteem, respect.
All this I feel about the magical place that is/was the island of Kaua'i. 

First off it's beautiful. Absolutely picturesque, stunningly gorgeous. 
Palm trees and ocean. Golden sand and warm breeze; a tropical paradise.

A prefect place to relax, chill, de-stress. Read books by the pool, learn to make cocktails, partake in a luau, walk along the beach...

(Actually walking along the beach was a bit tricky; the sand is really soft and hard to walk in. Great calf workout though. And very pretty)

You might get to spot a Kiwi legend on the mic in the hotel bar...

(that's John Rowles, NZ's answer to Elvis Presley)

Nice to take a stroll to the shops, pick up some souvenirs, admire the flowers...

But the magic really happens when you leave the hotel and go on adventures. Kaua'i offers plenty of scope for adventures. We went kayaking (which was awesome) and hiking through the jungle (which was NOT SO MUCH). We learnt that all of Hawaii's flora (including the trademark palm trees) have come from somewhere else. The rich volcanic soil causes plant life to flourish, grow rampant. The palm trees came from Samoa less than a hundred years ago. Now they're EVERYWHERE. Crazy huh?

But the best (and only) way to REALLY see the magic of Kaua'i... is to take a helicopter ride...

90% of Kaua'i can only be seen from the air - and it's worth seeing. It's like the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
It might be pricey but it's an experience of a lifetime, truly.

Hard to photograph through the helicopter windows without getting reflections but I did my best...

Our pilot was awesome and we had the best weather for flying. Flying up ravines that can only be gotten to once in a while. Seeing the places where they filmed the epics: Jurassic Park, Avatar, King Kong.



Really I can't convey how we felt flying over this landscape that had been wrestled from the sea, thrown up in the violence of volcanic activity, so raw and wild and inaccessible that it's very remoteness has preserved it, untouched. Stunning.

I loved Kaua'i. The people are as warm as the climate and as lovely as the scenery. One day I want to take my children there.

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