Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Hot Younger Sister

Waimea Canyon, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” is not as old as the Grand Canyon. She may not have the same great tan color either, but at least Waimea hasn’t yet lost all her trees. This first view is from the Canyon Trail on May 25th:

View of Waimea Canyon from the Canyon Trail

Another angle from the Canyon Trail:

View of Waimea Canyon from the Canyon Trail

A nice “partly cloudy” shot from one of the roadside lookouts makes for interesting contrasts.

Waimea Canyon from a viewpoint

Kokee Park at the top of Waimea Canyon has some truly amazing vistas and great trails. Just beware, the signage along the trails isn’t the best, and in many spots I had trouble figuring out where the trail went. On dirt areas there were often no blazes, and in wooded areas there were frequently multiple paths that looked similar, again with no blazes marking the real trail.

In the evening I arrived at the Villas at Poipu Kai, where I stayed in a true luxury villa for 2 nights. After the “Evil Dead” vibe alone at Camp Sloggett, a little relaxation was certainly in order! Tomorrow: how to relax in Poipu.

Posted 12 years, 1 month ago at 3:27 pm.


Miles to go before I sleep

My plan for May 24th: hike the Na Pali overlook trails in Kokee Park. Signposted at 9.3 miles (not including another mile to some viewpoints and 2 miles along the road back to the car). The trail had a good bit of up-and-down, probably a couple thousand feet of vertical.

Was it worth the blisters? Absolutely! This is almost the same view I got from the helicopter, though I got there under my own power. Of course, it took a whole day, so I’d still wholeheartedly recommend the heli tour to see 20 views like this in an hour. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have 20 days to spend hiking in Hawaii, though we may wish we did.

Na Pali Overlook Trail view down the coast

There were so many great shots from this day, so I have a feeling I’ll do a whole piece about this hike later on. Here’s a nice spot below one of the overlooks; props to the couple who took the photo for me. My wireless remote isn’t good that far, as I found out.

Relaxing on the Kokee Na Pali Overlook trail system

By the time I returned from this killer hike of roundabout 12 miles, the general store at the top of the canyon had closed. I wasn’t about to chill for 6 hours alone at Camp Sloggett, so I went to town to check out a microbrewery and stock up on food. On the way I found this:

Rainbow over Waimea Canyon

While in town, I added shrimp to the menu, in addition to the remainder of my canned food. Howzabout this for campfire cooking, with zero preparation or planning?

Campfire Cooking at Camp Sloggett

Here’s my shout out to Blair’s Death Sauce crew. It was the only spice I had besides non-dairy-creamer, and I figured the creamer wouldn’t help shrimp & tamales too much. It was damn tasty on both the shrimp and the tamales!

Salsa de la Muerte around the campfire

Next came an experiment that failed. This is what happens when one invents a recipe idea while alone in the woods with limited ingredients, after having a few beers. Recipe: sliced apples. Guinness. One packet of sugar. A square of Lindt 90% dark chocolate. Cooking time: however long it took me to clean up the kitchen and take a shower.

Failed experiment: Guinness-chocolate apples

Flavor of the apples in the center, which didn’t get burned to the side of the can: err, well, edible. No, let’s go with the ever-popular… “interesting.” Alright, enough food stories, it’s time for bed!

Posted 12 years, 1 month ago at 3:57 pm.

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5 Hawaiian Surprises

May 23rd was a day full of surprises.

First, my sunburn was healing faster than I expected, so I was able to do a short hike up a mountain nicknamed The Sleeping Giant.

The Sleeping Giant overlooking Wailua River

Second, I found some guys kitesurfing – I had to stop and take a couple photos for my buddy Marius. To the dude I talked to on the beach (also named Dave), hope your shoulder’s OK. If you want a full res photo just let me know.

Kitesurfing near Lihue, Kauai

Kitesurfing near Lihue, Kauai

On my way between The Sleeping Giant and Waimea Canyon, I stopped for an ice cream at a gelato stand that was featured in a magazine article. Papalani Gelato did not disappoint! POG (Papaya, Orange, Guava) is one of the best ice creams I’ve ever tasted, and Kauai Crunch is up there too.

Papalani Gelato in Poipu, Kauai

When I arrived at Camp Sloggett, I was the only person there. A huge bunkhouse and several lodges were all empty. I felt a wee bit of that “Evil Dead” vibe, but I survived it. By the way, I now have a chainsaw mounted on the stump of one arm.

Bunkhouse at Camp Sloggett in the Waimea Canyon

Finally, I had a nice dinner of Bush’s Grillin’ Beans and Hormel Beef Tamales. I was surprised that eating from a can could taste so good. A touch of Blair’s Salsa de la Muerte didn’t hurt, either. Since a photo of canned food isn’t so exciting, I’ll just throw in the sunset from Kalalau Lookout near the top of Waimea Canyon instead.

Sunset from Kalalau Lookout in Waimea Canyon, Hawaii

That’s all for today! Hope you can make it to Kauai to experience all this yourself sometime…

Posted 12 years, 1 month ago at 3:15 pm.


The Green Flash

No, it’s not a superhero. It’s a phenomenon.

When it comes to the green flash, there are four groups of people.

  1. 1. Those who have never heard of the green flash
  2. 2. A few who know what it is, but never saw it themselves
  3. 3. Fewer still who have seen it and recognized it
  4. 4. A tiny handful who have photographed the green flash

For readers in group one, you’re about to join the esteemed second group! What is the green flash? When the sun sets over the ocean, just as the disc disappears completely below the horizon, you can sometimes see a green flash. It depends on the right conditions, and usually requires a rather clear sky. Kind of like this Hanalei Bay sunset from May 22nd, though I was worried the clouds would mess it up:

Sailboat Sunset over Hanalei Bay, Kauai

I noticed as I was photographing the sunset that the green moment (one second, really) had arrived, and held down the camera shutter button. The first two or three photos actually have a bit of green visible! You really have to zoom in, but here it is:

Green Flash over Hanalei Bay, Kauai

This photo is highly cropped, but has no color adjustments of any kind.

So now you know about the green flash. The next time you’re viewing a clear sunset over the ocean, watch for it! If you have a D-SLR, try to catch it in pixels. Just hold down the shutter in high-speed-shooting mode, and look at your pics later to see if the rim of the sun looks green as it disappears underwater.

What else did I do this lovely day besides join the ranks of green flash photographers? I rode a helicopter around Kauai with Island Helicopters! This outfit is fantastic, and I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of the tour. A truly impressive (and safety oriented) operation. I’ll be writing a full article about the tour shortly, but here are a few teaser pics to get you drooling.

Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific:

Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific

The Na Pali coast, inaccessible by roads:

Kauai's Na Pali Coast

I would say a helicopter tour is a MUST for anyone visiting Kauai, provided you can afford it. And remember, there are a few areas where you never want the “cheapest available” – medical services, used cars, and small aircraft flights. I’d spend the extra few dollars for a safety-oriented, professional tour operator like Island Helicopters.

As I’m writing this, I’m feeling rather isolated as the only person in Camp Sloggett, a cool but currently empty campground near the top of Waimea Canyon. That story, however, must wait for another day.

Posted 12 years, 1 month ago at 3:41 pm.


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