It’s a little weird to think that Kauai is the tip of a volcano millions of years old, especially when you are living on top of it, thousands of miles from anywhere. Waimea Canyon is a spectacular result of this region’s volcanic activity and is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. At 10 miles long and up to approximately 3000 feet deep, it is, in reality, dwarfed by the Grand Canyon of the mainland of the USA but it is nevertheless an impressive sight.
We spent the day sightseeing and walking the rugged trails and forests of the Canyon. It was quite a slog climbing the steep slopes and navigating the tree-strewn paths. Decent walking shoes are required but we lost count of the numbers of people wearing only flip-flops.
One of the most striking features of the Canyon is the soil, which is a vivid, red colour – the word Waimea is Hawaiian for ‘reddish water’ and refers to the erosion of the red soil.
The views at the end of the trail were worth the effort.
Helicopters buzzed around the valleys, dipping in and out of crevices like pollinating bees, their tiny size serving only to magnify the Canyon’s grandeur.
We paused for some time before heading back along the trail.
Later, we stopped off at the Kalalau Lookout for a glimpse of the coast.
The sight of the sea, after a hot and sweaty walk in the mountains ensured that we stopped off at the nearest beach on the way back.
We swam in the cooling surf for half an hour before returning home after a satisfying day.