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A rewarding earthcache in amazing Niue
It was love at first sight! When I saw this small speck of land covered in greenery from the plane I knew I was in love. Rugged coastline, beautiful tiny private beaches, and lovely people. Talava was one of my favourite places, but I have to say that I was spoilt for choice.
Niue has formed on a volcano rising almost 4000m from the bed of ocean rising up to 70m above sea at its highest point, covered with 400m thick layer of carbonates mostly formed by corals, dating back to Miocene and Pliocene. It is a great representative of karst topography. There is no surface water on Niue, even after a heavy rainfall the land is dry after a few minutes as the rainwater disappears in the cracks and seeps of carbonate rock. Over time, the cracks become larger and form caves and chasms when the ceiling collapses in some places (sinkhole) or wholly (chasm). Often natural rock bridges over the chasm remain forming arches. Hard water from the smaller seepages is depositing lime along the walls of these larger caves and as a result there form beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. The ocean also takes an active part in cave formation in three main ways. Firstly, the waves wash can out the cave entrance. Secondly, the waves cause air pressure changes in the cave and contribute to creation of cracks. Thirdly, the salty water facilitates the dissolution of carbonates.
Talava Arches are located in the northern part of the island. You can reach them by in 40-50 minutes by foot from the village of Hikutavake. Park at the same place as for Matapa Chasm. The track is uneven with sharp coral, make sure you wear sturdy shoes and carry plenty of water and insect repellent. When the track ends, you have to cross a cave to get to the arches. The cave has one exit towards the sea and another towards a large sinkhole. The sinkhole is about 35m long and 15m wide, with a depth of around 20 m and its bottom is covered with green plants.
Some of the information obtained from http://niuetotal.com and http://wondermondo.com
Email the owner with answers to the following questions.
1. One of the exits from the cave leads towards the ocean and the view of the most famous arch. The other exit leads into a sinkhole covered in greenery. Describe what you can see on the walls of the sinkhole.
2. How many arches are there standing at present?
Do not posts answers to these questions in your log!!
Optional: Tell me about another interesting karst landscape, maybe close to your home, and please feel free to post photos from your trip.
No need to wait for confirmation, feel free to log your visit. However, logs without sufficient evidence will be removed.
(No hints available.)
- Talava Archthe most photographed one of the arches, reaching into the sea
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum