Lost Paradise

It’s difficult to understand the real motivations that led us to go to Hawai’i. If you think carefully about it, they’re one of the most remote islands. At 8000 miles of distance from Spain, that is a best-case scenario of 24 hours flying with several stopovers. To be honest, there are plenty of other options offering similar characteristics: tropical climate, sun, beaches, relax, trekkings, nature, cliffs, volcanos. But no one said that we would want to take the easy road, especially when we both knew that going to Hawai’i was a decision taken with the heart and not with the mind.


Very deep in ourselves, we felt that the Hawaiian islands were calling for us. Hawai’i is the quintessential symbol of endless summer and surf lifestyle and, if you leave your mind travel, it’s not so difficult to feel the breeze while riding their waves on a board. Hawai’i is where the Polynesians arrived after crossing the vast Pacific Ocean with no more than some simple boats, the stars to guide them and such an infinite courage to face the unknown, forming a civilization with deep-rooted traditions that have survived until the very day of today. No other place was going to offer us the “Aloha” vibe. It attracted us so insanely that we couldn’t wait to explore it and capture it with our cameras.

For almost twenty days we were discovering three out of the eight main islands; O’ahu, Kaua’i and Maui, a well-balanced combination of culture, lifestyle, landscapes, leisure and relax.

O’ahu is, at a first glance, an island full of life that never sleeps. Indeed, you could take the risk to think about O’ahu only as Pearl Harbour and Waikiki. But if you keep exploring you will discover an unrefined region far away from the bustle, a perfect mix of landscapes, surf and local food. It is called the North Shore and that’s the kind of place we were looking for. There is no need for a planning to discover its wonders, there are no must-see spots. You only need to jump in the car and start driving along a coastal road that will lead you to one of the most stunning landscapes that the islands of Hawai’i can offer. Can you think of something better than stopping by a shrimp food-truck and discover that, very close to it, there is a solitary beach guarded by mountains where you can enjoy the rest of the day watching surf until the sun is set?

Kau’i is the greenest and most inaccessible of the islands. Located at the westernmost point, it’s the oldest one. Due to the displacement of the Hawaiian chain, which moves to the West as it sinks in the ocean, Kaua’i is decreasing in size as the time goes by. It is said that its size was once as nowadays Big Island and that from the bottom of the ocean to the top of Kaua’i the elevation is higher than Mount Everest. Full of steep mountains covered by lush vegetation, is a wonder for the eyes. Only a ten percent of its extension is reachable by car, the rest remains nearly unexplored. There, we lived a one in a lifetime experience, enjoying the beauty of its landscapes from a helicopter. Honestly, it was quite complicated to resist the temptation of spending the whole flight with the eye in the camera viewfinder, but we promised ourselves to leave the camera aside and feel the experience at is uttermost. The emotions were increasing in intensity along the flight, with two epic moments that anyone who had been done a little bit of research could expect. First, the Waimea Canyon. No one could imagine that there is a canyon hidden in the island comparable in beauty to the Grand Canyon. And second, of course, the Napali Coast. Nothing embodies Kaua’i better than these jaw-dropping rugged cliffs that they were once settlement of the most ancient tribes. Up to this point, the experience was already overwhelming, far above any initial expectations. But we couldn’t imagine the ultimate surprise that was waiting for us. We were leaving behind the Napali cliffs following the coastal line when, all of a sudden, the pilot turned into the inside of the island along a narrow valley that led us to the very center of the island. We were witnessing the place where Kaua’i was originated, nearly untouched by the humans and sacred for the ancient tribes. A place surrounded by mountains of vertical walls where the water runs in countless waterfalls and whose peaks are hidden by the fog all year long, one of the rainiest places in the world.

Maui is a must-see stop for those willing to explore one of the most stunning volcanic scenery in the world, the Haleakala. With its summit at 10000 ft of elevation, usually above the clouds and far away from any source of light pollution, it gathers the ideal conditions for stargazing. We went there at sunset to enjoy the night with no rush. And we cannot regret that decision at all. What an incredible time, watching the sun setting slowly and giving the way for the deepest darkness, which allowed us to watch a sky that brights like nowhere else. It was so intense and the time passed so quickly that we didn’t realize we were left alone in the highest point of Maui, at more than one-hour driving from the closest village, a feeling beyond words.

Every island had a story waiting for us, so we did our best listening to them.

We are travellers. Our passion is to explore our planet. Its people, cultures, food, streets, landscapes, nature. In essence, life. It's about stepping out your comfort zone and embrace the adventure to grow as a person. We are photographers. Our motivation is to capture the world as it is. We are committed with authentic photography, based on the understanding of light, seeking for minimal framing and subtle tones. We are Eva Monzón & Eduardo González, creators of The Intrepid Nomads, a couple based in Madrid that balances its everyday life with traveling and photography.

9 Comments

  1. Beautiful photography. I love the moody colours and the composition. I especially like the photograph of the driftwood.

    The byline says you balance work and travel. How has the pandemic affected that and what are your plans for after travel restrictions are lifted (whenever that might be).

    1. Hi Khürt, thanks for your kind words!

      In the short term, we had some small trips that we had to cancel. And in the mid term, I think we’ll have to cancel our big travel of this year. A real pity. However, I’d rather be positive and think of this as an opportunity to travel locally in Spain, driving to some places I’ve had in the to-do-list for a long time. And if we are allowed to flight safe soon, why not exploring some of the islands (Canary or Azores)!

  2. Those are simply stunning . Would you mind sharing your process ? Raw ? CC ? And your editing process. What is your primary lens , camera combo ? Thank you

    1. Thanks Stefan!

      I like to keep the process as much simple as posible. I shoot in raw and edit in Lightroom. In Lightroom, I apply some own presets I’ve been developing during the last years (curve tone & color grading) and, if necessary, I adjust exposure and temperature. Nothing else.

      I have an X-T3 with the 23mm f/2.

      Cheers,

      Edu

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