Posts Tagged ‘Niue’

The Caves of Niue

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Thanks to its limestone, the island is riddled with caves in addition to its chasms.

One morning we picked up Karsten from Dreamcatcher KM and went in search of some karsty caves. Outside the village we came across Leisha and Greg from Fine Gold. We kidnapped them and sped away north on the island highway.

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We stopped for a swim in a flooded chasm were a cold freshwater spring met the sea.

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Then there was a long hike to a stunning set of sea caves and arches.

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But there was also beauty in the details along the way.

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The caves were walled in stalactite curtains, and Karsten the caveman seemed quite at home.

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S the geologist was also pleased to be among the rocks.

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K spent his efforts hopping among the outcrops looking for a nice angle through the salty spray.

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There many to choose from…

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but the best was the view of these seafaring intrepids.

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The next stop was the Washaway Cafe…

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where we had lunch and chatted with Willie the owner…

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It was a grand day out and all the better for the company.

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18°57.00’S 169°51.00’W   26-Jul-10 02:45 UTC

The Chasms of Niue

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Niue (“The Rock”) is an upthrusted coral atoll. Over time the limestone has dissolved in many areas to make a landscape worthy of science fiction.

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We set off in the rental car on Saturday morning to see Togo and Vaikona Chasms. 

Steamy “trails” led through the karst formations. The jungle was pungent with sweet organic decay. Spider webs blanketed our faces in each narrow spot.

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The fact that anything lives in this landscape is amazing…

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The unexpected oasis of palms and and freshwater pools at Togo Chasm is worth the 1200 nm trip across the mid south Pacific.

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A sturdy 50 ft ladder leads down to the sandy bottom of the chasm…

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…where the palms queue up to share the slim shaft of salt spray sunlight.

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A freshwater pool disappeared into the rock on one end,

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and a sea cave opened to the surf on the other.

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It’s a magical place with few visitors.

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The trail to Vaikona Chasm was more of a challenge, but we managed to find the entrance to the cave mouth.

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In the end, prudence won the day and we settled for a grand view of the coastline.

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19°06.00’S 169°48.00’W   25-Jul-10 02:45 UTC