Sunday Special – Lake Hillier, Australia


Tucked off the southern coast of Western Australia is the Recherche Archipelago (or Bay of Isles). Found within this cluster of isles is one named Middle Island. This small parcel of land has bit of a history – pirates, whaling, salt mining and various shipwrecks through the years. Though what bring me to post about this little isle is the colour pink. Yes, pink! A popular colour indeed, however it is rarely associated with water. Water is often blue, green, murky brown or clear, not pink. Lake Hillier is pink. Very pink. Unlike some other pink lakes found in the world that change colour due to temperature, this lake stays pink. Scientists are not 100% certain why it is such a vibrant shade of pink but believe it is due dunaliella salina, algae that thrives in highly salty water. The presence of halobacteria is also believed to contribute to lake’s colour. Additionally, it has also been deemed safe for people to swim in it, however the lake is difficult to access.  There are some local boat cruises to the archipelago though I found little on access to the lake, which may be limited so as to help keep the area protected. It appears that there are helicopter tours over the lake (and I imagine that would be rather spectacular) which I saw on Trip Advisor but again, nothing too recent or in depth.  Well, whether one can visit it or not, it does seems like a cool thing to have on our earth. 

LIQENI_HILLIER_-_ROZE

Bubblegum pink Lake Hillier, Australia – Photo credit: Kurioziteti123LIQENI HILLIER – ROZECC BY-SA 4.0

Lake_Hillier_2_Middle_Island_Recherche_Archipelago_NR_IV-2011

Lake Hillier, Western Australia – Photo credit: Aussie OcLake Hillier 2 Middle Island Recherche Archipelago NR IV-2011CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Advertisements

Sunday Special – Kauai, USA 


The small American archipelago of Hawaii boasts some beautiful landscape in its Pacific Ocean location. The oldest of the 8 main islands is Kauai, it is the fourth largest and is located northwest of the island of Oahu. 

Referred to as the “Garden Isle”, its lush and jungle-like terrain offers beauty like no other. Having myself only visited Oahu and enamored by its beauty I imagine that Kauai would wow me.  In addition to its lush green canopy, Kauai boasts serene beaches, impressive surfs and waves, and good hiking up a few mountains. Kawaikini is the highest point on the island (1598 m / 5243 ft) with Mount Waiʻaleʻale following at 1569 m / 5148 ft. With peaks such as these it is no surprise that one of the US’s most dangerous yet spectacular hikes is found on this small isle. The Kalalau Trail is an 18 km / 11 mile hike (double that for round trip) through rugged coasts, deep valleys and uneven terrain. Permits are required and is only for prepared, seasoned hikers. The mountains are not the only topography to impress. Waimea Canyon is waiting to take your breath away. There are couple of lookout points to see its size and the red-hued rock formation. Or take in Nā Pali Coast State Park. The craggy and rocky coast is popular for boat tours, kayaking, and snorkeling among the fishes. And of course, surfing is always in fashion in Kauai. With numerous beaches and great waves there is something from the novice to the expert. Though, should you prefer a bit more “R & R” then Kauai offers that too. As mentioned, there are plenty of beaches. And the low-key vibe of the small towns allows for a leisurely paced getaway. Aloha!

Secret_Beach_(HDR)_(522900051)

Secret Beach, Kauai – Photo credit: Bryce Edwards from San Jose, CA, USA, Secret Beach (HDR) (522900051)CC BY 2.0

Glass_Beach_in_Kauai

Glass Beach, Kauai – Photo credit: Jason PopeskuGlass Beach in KauaiCC BY-SA 2.0

1024px-Waimea_Canyon_HDR

Waimea Canyon, Kauai – Photo credit: Kyle PearceWaimea Canyon HDRCC BY-SA 2.0

Sunday Special – Joya de Cerén Archaeological Park, El Salvador


The Central American country of El Salvador is home to a significant archaeological site that some call ‘the Pompeii of the Americas’. Joya de Cerén was a pre-Hispanic farming village of approximately 200 people that had been buried under volcanic ash since the 600s C.E. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 though it was discovered in 1976 during a government agricultural project, quite by accident. When the volcano named Loma Caldera erupted around 590 CE the villagers of this Mayan village escaped (no bodies have been located there) yet the town was left as is under blankets of ash. Homes and the wares inside were intact as well as various vegetation of the time.  It is believed that an earthquake prior to the eruption was what prompted the small amount of villagers to flee and therefore avoiding the flow of lava and blackened smoke pouring out of Loma Caldera.  Because of the ash covering the village it was preserved remarkably well allowing archaeologists to learn and understand about Mesoamerican life during that era. 

Located 36 km / 22 miles outside of the capital city  of  San Salvador, Joya de Cerén offers visitors a glimpse of how the life of these humble farmers was before nature drove them from their homes. Tours of the site and the 10 exposed buildings are available. Well preserved housewares such as furniture, clay pots, kitchen items, and food storage are showcased in the park’s modest museum.  This area would certainly be of interest to history buffs  along with El Salvador’s other archaeological sites. It would be like stepping back in time.  Imagine that.

512px-ES_Estructura_1_Area_1_Joya_Ceren_05_2012_1513

Preserved structure at Joya de Cerén Archaeological Park – Photo credit: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz), ES Estructura 1 Area 1 Joya Ceren 05 2012 1513, CC BY-SA 3.0

ES_Joya_Ceren_Museum_05_2012_1519

Housewares at Joya de Cerén Museum, El Salvador – Photo credit: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz), ES Joya Ceren Museum 05 2012 1519, CC BY-SA 3.0