Day 8 Local Knowledge

Once again we had a plan, but once again mother nature decided she didn’t like our original plan. The plan was get up early and hike the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail. She decided to drop some rain on us and we know when we see the mountain flow of water from our house, we know the trail will be too slippery to hike. Little piece of local knowledge we gleaned.

So what to do? hmmm sit back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast of papaya boats and coffee. fullsizeoutput_1716

The new plan was to go to Koloa area for the afternoon farmer’s market.  Before that though we would go over to McBryde Gardens part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.  On our first trip to Kauai, we decided to become members and support their mission.

Before we left the house, our neighbor let us know the other neighbor had fresh caught ahi for sale.  It helps to be repeat visitors, the locals come to trust you and share that type of information. Off I went to get 2 lbs of fresh local cut ahi. Talk about local, it was in a cooler on the back of the guys truck under his house.

Finally we were on our way to the Gardens.  A lot has changed in six years, the trams are buses now to get to the garden, more walkways were added, new sections were put in,  and the bus guides are more knowledgeable. I feel like the gardens are growing up.

After our jaunt around the gardens it was time to head back on the bus.  We then drove over to the Koloa farmer’s market. Once again we picked up more fresh fruit.  We figure while here, eat as local as possible because in CT, fresh veggies are NOT year round.

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Our next local thing to do was go to Costco!

As we drove home we decided to explore a bit and went on a new to us road, Kealia Road.  What views of Kong we had.

We stopped at the aging Spalding Monument.  This monument bordered the Kauai Ranch. 

The drive down the road was just as stunning.

We arrived home in time to make dinner.  We were so busy today, we forgot about lunch. So while I prepped dinner, Mike made guacamole from a butter avocado we picked up at the farmer’s market. OMG, I only want to eat butter avocados from now on. While I cooked we snacked on salsa, guac and chips.  Dinner was a jambalaya with local shrimp, veggies and sausage.

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After clean up it was sunset viewing time.  We learned on our first trip to leave our slippahs at the beginning of the beach, like locals do.

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Post sunset we returned “home”. I put dessert together wrapping the banana in the lumpia, then baking for 25 minutes.  The bananas are a perfect size to wrap up and the taste was out of this world. Though a drizzle of chocolate would make this out of the ballpark amazing!

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With a little bit of local knowledge, we avoided a trail that could be slippery, purchased fresh ahi, visited  local food places (farmer’s market and Costco), went on a road less traveled by tourists and placed our slippahs in the correct spot.  Local knowledge is a blessing.

Day 24 – Stink Eye, Da Crack, Hiking and a Crab

So we had another early morning. We hit Java Kai in Hanalei for an Americano and an iced mocha (no whipped cream) at 6:45 a.m. I was secretly hoping Pierce would be there getting his early morning java, but no such luck.

We merrily rolled on down the highway towards Allerton Garden on the south side.  We were going on the Ho’ike Tour, a behind the scenes tour of Allerton and McBryde Gardens.

As we neared the entrance to Allerton, we were going the posted speed limit of 25 mph when a man on a little bulldozer told, rather yelled at us,  to slow down and stop speeding.  We smiled as we knew we were going the posted limit (I even looked over at the speedometer and noted it was at 25).  Mike pulled into the lot, I went up to the visitor center to check us in.  In the background I could hear the tiny bulldozer coming into the lot.

Well Mike was confronted by a very angry man who proceeded to berate Mike for going to fast, etc.  If you know Mike, he just takes it in and smiles.  The man was hoping for a verbal confrontation, but none came from Mike.

As we were waiting for our tram, the guy came up in his machine to move more dirt and continued to give us the stink eye, all the while Mike and I just smiled at him.  We let our tour guide know about this and he quipped, “Clarence has anger issues, he does that to a few people and please let management know.”

Honestly if we were first time visitors, I would have demanded my money back and no longer supported the gardens.  Good thing, we’ve been before and had an excellent guide, David, today.  He was great at talking story.  It was fun going behind the scenes of the garden.

We stopped at the falls, the guide called it Queen Emma’s Falls.

Queen Emma’s Falls

We spent time in the green houses.  Part of the house is hurricane proof.

smells like chocolate

What makes each tour so unique is each guide has different stories to tell.  This is the guest house of the Allertons and during the filming of Fantasy Island, Tattoo stood on the balcony and welcomed the guests.

Tattoo stood on the balcony

We saw many different varieties of Hala Trees.

Hala Tree

We visited the lotus garden.

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We even walked paths that on the regular tours you are not shown.

pathways

The Allerton Gardens are a magical place.  Dave, the guide, was outstanding and took away the evil stink eye of Clarence.

After our tour, we lunched at Da Crack in Poipu.  I had the special fish bowl and Mike had the veggie taco.  Both are excellent.  I’ve now had the fish taco, bowl and burrito.  The fish taco is my favorite, followed by the bowl and then the burrito.

Da Crack Fish Bowl
Da Crack veggie taco

After lunch we hike a small bit of the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail.  I would suggest doing this hike in the morning.  The afternoon sun was tough on me and we didn’t finish it.

view from trail
more views

There was even a heiau on the trail.  Anytime I can stop and look at a heaiu, I am filled with a  deep reverence for the power of the ancient Hawaiians.

heiau

It is an easy, non demanding hike with beautiful ocean and golf course views. But in the afternoon sun of Hawaii, my body didn’t like it.

Of course after this, we had to detour to the coffee plantation.  Picked up a few more goodies.

At home, we cleaned up, snacked, who needed dinner after that lunch? And then headed down to the beach for sunset.

Once again we had a friend watch with us.

just a little friend
sunset reflections

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