Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Lots of Pictures from Kaua'i
So we got here Saturday night, finally. This is the view from our balcony (which one is required by law to call a "lanai" in Hawai'i). As you can see, it's spectacular. We've been enjoying looking for whales every morning while we eat breakfast. (As always, click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge.)
We're woken at dawn each day by wild roosters, of which Kaua'i has a large population. Actually, the roosters crow anytime they feel like it. I like them a lot better than alarm clocks, and they sure are pretty.
There are also lots of hens and baby chicks. THe babies are absolutely adorable: I got a bunch of photos of them, but this is my favorite. Family groups were everywhere in this particular state park. I took one sequence of photos which works beautifully as stop-motion photography: if you look at the shots in quick succession, you can see the chicks scattering away from Mama.
We've also seen some nice cats, but I didn't get any photos of them.
Gary and our friend Jim Meadors did a grueling hike to a big waterfall: here's the pictorial proof that they made it.
I haven't attempted anything grueling, but I've done some short hikes and walks. My favorite walk is a paved bike path that runs along the water for miles. We walked there last night and saw whales playing, slapping their fins on the water.
Here's the view from that path, at dusk. The seascapes here are just gorgeous. Unfortunately, there are lots of places where the water conditions are too dangerous for swimming, so I've only been in the ocean once. (Jim's braver, but I don't want to take any chances!) Luckily, the resort has a nice pool. It's small, but at least it's rectangular, so I can do laps.
Here's the classic Kaua'i beauty shot: Waimea Canyon, "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific." We're told that the best way to see this is by helicopter, but we decided not to shell out $250 each for a one-hour helicopter ride. Only about 6% of Kaua'i is accessible by car, which means that the prices for tours via other vehicles -- boat, plane, copter -- are astronomical. The island's also small and crammed with tourists, which means that if you do want to shell out big bucks to see something, you need reservations. All of this military-style planning and expenditure isn't how Gary and I prefer to approach a vacation! The island's undeniably gorgeous, though.
And yet more gorgeous scenery: a tiny bit of the Na Pali coastline, usually visible only by boat. (And that tour costs a fortune, too.) We caught this snippet from the Waimea area. I think this is prettier than Waimea Canyon, but then, I have a thing for cliffs that plunge into surf.
If you'd prefer something on a more intimate scale, here are some rainforest ferns I photographed during a short hike through the woods.
And here are some pretty flowers. These little white flowers are all over the place.
Also these orange flowers. Also incredibly vivid red and purple flowers I didn't photograph.
And, finally, here's a shot Katharine took of Gary and me. He came out better than I did, but that's almost always true.
I'm enjoying the vacation, but I also find this island less user-friendly than Maui was. Also, I'm in one of those states where I keep doing things wrong: losing things, forgetting things, mishearing things, and generally being a dunce. If this has to happen, I'm just glad it's happening here, and not at work. I hope I get it out of my system by the time we get back home.
There's also wireless access here, obviously (although I had to pay for it). I'll post more as I'm able. Aloha, everybody!