general Islands Travel

Kauai, a magic garden in the Pacific

Written by Ales Maticic

Kauai is an island, which has a special place in Hawaii. When end of the year, and December is approaching, Hawaii become “Mele kalikimaka”.

This is how they say greeting in Hawaii, instead saying Merry Christmas. Actually, this is a direct translation of the English Merry Christmas, only Hawaiian people say it in their own dialect.

This phrase it has seen its thanks because of a farewell song, which was signed by Robert Alex Anderson. But in the world it has been carried out by Bing Crosby, and later many others. . “Mele Kalikimaka” are words that pronouncing the Hawaiian Christmas Day. This is the greeting that you send from the land where palm trees sway in the gentle breeze.

“Here I know that Christmas will be green and clear, the sun will shine and the night will be shining stars – these are just few lines of the most popular island song.  Green appears on all eight Hawaiian Islands, which are on the flag of the British Union Jack in the upper left corner, where represent the red, blue and white stripes.

A green with its entire luster is the most glowing on island Kauai, which is by the size the fourth larger island of Hawaii and at the same time the older island from Hawaii “chain” of islands. It is no wonder that the island put on the nickname “Garden Isle«.

When Hawaii was still a Kingdom, Kauai was the last island that joins to Kingdom.
Kauai prince Kaumualii has persistently resisted the Hawaiian king Kamehamehiin.  Even tough, he had secret talks with representatives of Russian-American trading companies, which were to  provide assistance to Kauai, meaning a Russian army. But the emperor Alexander I. apparently wasn’t too excited about the sponsorship to remote Pacific island, so Kaumuali had no choice, but to agree and join the kingdom.

The first white man who saw this magical island was the English captain, James Cook. When he,  in 1778 discovered the islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he named the island after his patron, Count Sandwichu (though at the demographic coordinates he wrote the original name of the natives, who called the Islands  Owyhee), which landed right on Kauai.  The island lies about 170 km north of Oahuja, the main Hawaiian Islands, where is also a much known city Honolulu.

Kauai is the opposite image of the commercialized and Americanized paradise. Also, there has grown modern urban hotels, only few, but they all manage to keep a good part of the primeval. About 20 kilometers to the west lay the Niihau, forbidden island, where the original Hawaiian people still live by ancient traditions and have no electricity and no running water.  In the middle Kauai, rises about 1600 meters high volcano, named Waialeale, which top is mainly still covered with cap of clouds.

This is the most humid section of the planet, on which the average annual fall ismore than ten thousand millimeters of rain (a record was in 1982 with 17,300 mm).

Despite the primal nature, or mainly because of it, Kauai becomes a Hollywood superstar. There, they recorded the myriad jungle – exotic scenes. List of Kauai films is almost endless. Hollywood has discovered this remarkable island as early as 1933, when they record a film called White Heat. In 1957, they have chosen this island for the main events of legendary film South Pacific with Mitzi Gaynor, John and Ray Kerr Walston. In 1977, they have filmed here also a few scenes of King Kong film. Recently filmed films here were all three parts of Jurassic Park, Six days seven nights, Dragonflies, …

Most of these films has borrowed as a backdrop for the northern coast of the island, which is called the Pali Coast. These are cliffs, which are thousands of feet high and overgrown with tropical plants. These cliffs are “falling” into the ocean, and they are also considered as one of the wonders of nature.

Although high above the coast,  runs eleven miles long Kalalau path, which always rank one of among the ten most fascinating trekking  in the world, the coast can be seen only by boat or helicopter. But, there also been set up a lookout point for tourists, which has been for many tourists the most photogenic view of the Pacific.

From this “Bellevue«, you could have a magnificent view of natural cathedral, which are unfortunately often hidden in a mysterious tropical mist.

Places in Kauai are small, they have mostly wooden buildings, which shouldn’t be higher than three storey. But nevertheless, there has been a giant among these small houses, its called Hanalei. This is a small very special town. If you can call it a town.  It nests in a natural botanical garden in the northern part of the island, where fichus, over which they sometimes were delighted by our grandmothers, grow as parasites on the trunks of tropical trees.

This is the home of many surfers, the real ones, the one that are fearless, crazy, daring the wear a bronze torso. When you look at them, while they are riding on the huge waves on the beach Luamhai, you envy them. Envy them their peaceful life without the urban distress, mortgages, credit …

Moreover, you envy them, that the magical, huge weaves had taken them into their kingdom.  You envy their understanding of the ocean and nature, which is by playing with them, despite all its wildness, seems gentle and friendly.

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Ales Maticic

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