Many photos are of recognizable places, like the Manhattan skyline. None of these landscapes are of instantly identifiable locations. The two aerials were photographed somewhere between Houston and LA, but I can’t tell you even what state is pictured. Remaining images are from Kauai, but without the Hawaii tag, nobody would ever know. [A fellow blogger who is also a pilot identified "Farmland II". See the comments.]
On my last full day on Kauai I went up to Hanalei Bay to see the high seas. Someone tried to go surfing. Paramedics took him away in an ambulance. Locals say it is possible to get swept off the dock by a rouge wave.
These were photographed on the Mahaulepu Trail, at various beaches or in the hills behind Kapaa. I did eat every bite of the delicious Ronald Burger at Joe’s on the Green in Poipu.
These were photographed around the hotel, in Kapaa or in the hills behind the town.
Here are a few views on the way up and from the top of Wiamea Canyon. I was a bit disappointed when the clouds came rolling in, but managed to make the best of it.
Hanalei Bay was featured in the movie The Descendants. It is the location of some of the most expensive beach homes in the world.
The Kuilau Trail is one of the easier ones on Kauai and offers stunning views of the area surrounding the Blue Hole.
Kapaa is a town in what is called the central area of Kauai. It is about 5 minutes from the airport.
The Wetlands were right outside my hotel room balcony. Kona Seawall was taken from the same location where the three girls were sitting. The Mercedes was restored and had a bright red interior.
The pier in Kona is a center of activity. People hang out there or swim on a small sandy beach. Every evening the outrigger canoe teams practice with the men and women alternating days so that the canoes never sit idle. One man takes a daily swim with his clothes on, makes a mud ball and stuffs it in a drain pipe when he is done.
South of Kona there are a series of nearby beaches. Place of Refuge is a Pu’uhonua o National Historic Park and it is adjacent to Two Steps Beach, a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot. Further down the road is Hookena Beach Park where I photographed some locals and their boats.
The Big Island is mostly covered by lava fields and volcanic ash. The beaches are no exception. Few of them are sandy.
While visiting the petroglyphs, I spoke to a lady who said “I don’t do drugs, but there are some trippy looking trees up at the North end of this island. Just drive past Hawi until the road ends.” She forgot to mention the steep trail down to the beach.
On the third Sunday of each month there is a street fair in Kona where vendors set up stands and sell their goods, mostly artsy stuff. Photographers may wish to note that while two subjects are not looking at the camera, they were in on it before I shot.
It’s about 95 miles from Hilo to Kona over scenic roads, going through Waimea. The day began with a stunning view of Mauna Kea from my hotel room watching light from the sunrise move down from the summit. Akaka falls and its surrounding rain forest are on the way, followed by miles of lava fields. In Kona on the pier both the mood and climate are completely different from Hilo.
This is a magical place where molten lava and poisonous gases spew forth from the ground. Nature is at its peak of fury here. The message is we are nothing. In minutes one passes from desolate inhospitable areas at altitude to lush rain forests and pacific beaches. The landscape is unreal often covered by lava flows.
After a short stop at Rainbow Falls I headed for the Saddle Road to visit Mauna Kea. There is a visitor center about halfway up to the summit from the main road. The road surface then turns to gravel and is steep for 5 miles. My rented Hyundai Elantra barely made it because the minimum speed to produce enough power was also fast enough to overpower the suspension. The final 3 miles is very steep, but paved. The summit is at an oxygen starved 13,796 feet (4,200 Meters). The final photo is one of the spectacular views from my hotel room in Hilo.
Just another day in paradise.
This is what happens when you spend a day on Maui and don’t try to do anything special. No long drive up to the crater or Hana. Just laze around and don’t go all that far from the hotel in Kihei. Hawaii simply encourages this sort of behavior. To the locals, it is the Hawaiian way. I photographed the paddleboard instructor because the board was bright yellow, matching the top of her bikini. A large part of Maui is devoted to growing sugar. It is harvest time so the sugar mill is running and the sugar fields are burning. A food truck is parked around the corner from the hotel in Kihei every evening. Its lovely owner sells calamari among other tasty items.
My explorations of Maui included the long drive up to Haleakala. Start at sea level, and arrive at 10,000 feet (3000 meters) 90 minutes later. The crater is spectacular, and I also managed managed to capture informal portraits of the ranger and a pretty blond hiker. The ranger gave her safety talk to the tune of Gilligan’s Island. Three images are obviously not from the crater. The black and white was taken near the main power station, the stitched pano is a small village tucked away on West Maui, and the the sunset was in Kihei.
Flying from Houston to Maui makes for a long day because of the 5 hours gained. Over the desert of the Southwestern US one views a rugged, mountainous, inhospitable landscape. It almost looks like sandpaper. Next is the much softer profile of the Big Island of Hawaii from the sky, viewed from the Kona side. Land, jump into a rental car and head straight to the beach in Kihei for R&R and photography. That was my day. Two of these photos were previously published in black and white.
8 Photos in This Gallery
This is the second part of the Tour of Kauai. Previously, the South and central parts were covered. We pick up at Kapaa in the central area. There is a nice path along the beach where the skater and yoga gal were photographed. Heading North is the Jurassic Ranch and across the road from it I photographed “Tree and a Fence”. There are spectacular overlooks past Princeville. Drive down the hill to Hanalei and walk on a beach which has some of the most expensive real estate in the US. It was featured in the movie “The Descendants”. At the end of the road is Tunnels Beach where I found an abstract composition in a nearby cave,
This tour contains 16 images in two blog entries arranged as if one started at the highest point of Wiamea State Park and drove back to sea level, and then North around Kauai finishing near Tunnels Beach at the opposite end of a fabulous Hawaiian island. This post contains 8 photos from what are called the South and middle sections of Kauai. The first three photos are at the top, roughly 5,000 feet in altitude looking out over the Napoli Coast, only a few miles away from Tunnels Beach as the crow flies, but over a three hour drive because the roads do not go all the way around Kauai. The stitched panoramic photo of The Grand Canyon of the Pacific was shot on the way down the canyon at an elevation of 4,000 feet. “Wasted Sugar Mill” is at sea level not far from the park entrance. One Tree on a Hillside is near Hanamaulu. The final two photos are off Hawaii Route 580 near Wailua.
I shot Kauai Ink Blot on the first Morning of 10 days in this beautiful part of Hawaii. The second sunrise was taken the next morning. Beach Tracks, Kauai Skyline and Kapaa Dog Walk were shot during morning walks around Kapaa. The Olympic Cafe serves large portions at reasonable prices. Sandwiches are available at night, which is not always the case on Kauai. The Lighthouse is a famous picture taking spot several miles north of Kapaa. It costs $5 per car to go in. The best pictures are from the overlook which is free. A useless pursuit is near the top of the road at Waimea State Park. There are breathtaking views on each side of the wide dirt area.
The first two photos are from the Maha’ulepu trail which starts right next to the Grand Hyatt. It is under 2 miles each way and does not have large changes in elevation. The remaining photos are from hikes on the Kuilau trail. This is one of the easier hikes on Kauai at less than 2 miles each way. I highly recommend Kuilau. It is sometimes referred to as the trail near the arboretum.
These are some photographs from Waikiki plus a few from the North Shore of Oahu.
For more of my Hawaiian adventures: http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com/category/hawaii/