Aloha Adventure – Page 05

Aloha Adventure
Page 05

Here we go on our second day on Kaua’i

Today our tour schedule included a bus tour of movie filming locations including: Jurassic World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Mighty Joe Young (remember that one?, George of the Jungle (who could forget that one?), and  Gilligan’s Island (my favorite). The list could go on, but you get the idea…

Anyway, Mary Ann and I decided to skip this tour – too much bus riding and way too expensive.

In the evening the group returned, we were surprised (not really!) that many others also skipped the tour – for the same reasons, We all gathered for a group dinner at Dukes “Bare Foot Bar”.

This is Dukes. Not much to look at outside.

Inside it was decorated “TIKI” style Surprisingly, the  food was excellent! I had a Rib Eye Steak with fixins. I couldn’t finish it and neither could Mary Ann with her chicken dinner and it became our dinner the next night. All in all, it was a nice evening!!

So with full tummies, we hit the hay.

Day 6 began with gloomy skies. On our second day on Kaua’i. We’re scheduled for a trip to the Fern Grotto and the Wailua falls.

This is one of Walter Smith’s famous Wailua River cruise boats which are powered by an ingenious rear-engine system invented by Walter Smith, Sr.

The Wailua River is known as “the only navigable river” in all Hawaii. The river’s fresh water pours down from Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale, one of the wettest spots on the planet. Lands along the river were the sacred capital of ancient Kauai and the birthplace of the island’s ali‘i, or royalty.

During the two mile river journey, we heard songs and stories of ancient Hawaii — like the “King’s Highway” , “Sacred Mount Kapu”, and “Tthe First Hau Tree”. In addition, guests enjoy learning the hula during a lesson provided by one of our cousins. Everyone gets into the act during the river cruise!

Dancing and singing performed by the Smith Family. Music was mostly guitars and a ukulele. With one of the Smith ladies doing the Hula.  

Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to represent the words in a song or chant. For example, hand movements can signify aspects of nature, such as the swaying of a tree in the breeze or a wave in the ocean, or a feeling or emotion, such as fondness or yearning. Foot and hip movements often pull from a basic library of steps including the kaholo, kaʻo, kawelu, hela, ʻuwehe, and ʻami.  Google ’em.

A short trail lead to the Fern Grotto. Note my travel vest.  I’ve worn it on many trips.  It can carry a lot and I can drop the whole thing in a TSA  Airport Xray and move thru quickly.  My only problem is to remember “which” pocket contained “what”.

A short trail leads to the Fern Grotto. This a fern covered, lava rock grotto located on the Wailua River on the eastern side of Kauai.  It forms a natural amphitheater which greatly increases the acoustics of the many bands that are hired to perform live music, which has traditional themes. 

This attraction is known primarily as the most romantic spot on the island of Kauai, and the area can be rented for weddings. Previously, weddings were performed within the grotto, (as above) but now they take place on the observation deck facing the grotto.

 On April 24, 2006, the Grotto was closed by heavy rains in March which caused a number of rocks and boulders to fall from the ceiling of the Grotto onto the viewing area below.

After visiting the grotto, we stopped at the Ahukini State park.  This was the original cruise ship  pier and harbor for Kaua’i.  It’s a lovely spot but the harbor is too shallow for modern day cruise ships, Hence the rusty old pier and the new fishing pier.

One interesting park resident was this cat.  There are many feral cats on the islands.  Why don’t they get the chickens?  One reason is that the chickens are capable of self defense.  Note that this cat has a missing eye.  Probably as a result of a chicken encounter! Blinded cats are called “Popoki”.

Also, the island humane societies spay and neuter feral cats and release them (minus a bit of ear).

We returned to The Marriott and ate our “lunch” and wandered around the hotel grounds and gardens.

Near the Koi  pond we spotted this bird: It is the Hawaiian Nene Goose. It is the Hawaiian State Bird, It is thought that the nene evolved from the Canada goose, which most likely arrived on the Hawaiian islands about 500,000 years ago, shortly after the island of Hawaiʻi was formed. This ancestor is the progenitor of the nene as well as the prehistoric Giant Hawaiain goose. 

It is also one of a crossword puzzlers favorite clues.

We also saw a Bread Fruit tree. These were made famous in “The Mutiny on the Bounty when Fletcher Christian dumped a shipload of them into the sea after setting Captain William Bly adrift in a small boat.

Bly made it to Australia and England and came back to Tahiti. In January 1790, the Bounty settled on Pitcairn Island, an isolated and uninhabited volcanic island more than 1,000 miles east of Tahiti. The mutineers who had remained on Tahiti were captured and taken back to England where three were hanged.

The Pitcairn Islands is a nation, mainly inhabited by Euronesians of British and Tahitian descent. The culture held in common by most Pitcairn Islanders is a mixture of British and Polynesian culture derived from the traditions of the settlers who landed in 1790. Most of the people today are descended from the HMS Bounty mutineers.

 As of 2018, there are a total of 50 people inhabiting the island and still growing Bread Fruit trees. 

So much for Bread Fruit.  TMI?

Another interesting plant in the Marriott garden was these Pink Bananas, These plants are originally from Assam and the eastern Himalayas. They are also cultivated in greenhouses. Its fruits are 3 in long, pink, and fuzzy. The sweet flesh that can be eaten. The seeds are quite hard and can chip a tooth.

This is a Red Ginger flowers. It symbolize fiery passion. The general theme running through each species of the plant is strength. Ginger can represent limitless prosperity and diversity in the personality. Sometimes, ginger flowers are given as a substitution for roses. Don’t get too close, Mary Ann!

We walked to town again, bought some vodka mixers and returned to the Hotel,   The Hotel staff was nice enough to bring a microwave to our room and we heated up and ate our leftover steak and chicken.

After dinner, we packed our suitcase for tomorrow mornings short flight to Maui and hit the hay.

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