A Day in the Sun

MoveHawaii 006 We left Seattle during several days of freak snow in the middle of April.  That must be some sort of record, snowing as late as it did, for three days nonetheless.  We are now in Kauai, where the temperature and the amount of sun is vastly different!

The only previous trip we had made to Hawaii was for three hours.  We rented a car in Oahu on the way back from Japan to the US and drove around the island in record time.  “Diamond Head — got it!  Airport — got it!”  It was rapid-fire tourism at its best.

MoveHawaii 012So what’s interesting about Kauai?  Sure, the scenery is beautiful and  the weather is great.  But perhaps the thing of most interest is the wild chickens everywhere.  Rumor has it that at some point a farm’s chickens got loose.  Now they’re just everywhere.  And the roosters crow all day long.  Parking lots seem to be a perennial favorite hang-out for these chickens, which come right up to you as soon as you park.  No doubt many hands have fed them before.

MoveHawaii 013 On the south side of the island is Spouting Horn, a hole in a rock on the shore that spouts water, just like a whale’s blowhole, every once in a while.  It’s a neat site.  However, perhaps more interesting is that there used to be a nearby blowhole that was far more powerful than MoveHawaii 014Spouting Horn, sometimes shooting water 200 feet into the air.  A local sugar cane farmer quickly fixed that “national treasure” by dynamiting it apart, since it was messing up his sugar crop.

Many movies were filmed here, so you’ll see things that look familiar, from Jurassic Park all the way Vietnam War movies.  Waimea Canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon, but I think a better comparison would actually be to Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.  The vegetation growing throughout the canyon is much more like the latter.

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MoveHawaii 009 Lastly, a local treat is “shave ice” [sic].  That’s right, not “shaved” ice, but “shave” ice.  It’s, well, shaved ice.  Served on top of a scoop of ice cream.  I frankly don’t know what the hoopla is about.  It tastes pretty much like fake sugar syrup poured on top of ice shavings, much like snow cones in the US.  But don’t tell the locals that — they’ll get upset.  Jo Jo’s, pictured left, is supposedly one of the best shave ice stands in Kauai.  I had a shave ice there, one of their self-described “best bets.”  I shudder to think what the shave ice from less-renowned shops would be like, if what I tried here was the specimen of perfection.

5 Responses to “A Day in the Sun”

  1. NB says:

    Wow – looks like an interesting mix of scenery. I’m guessing the Shave Ice wouldn’t be on the NB hits list :-)

  2. NB says:

    The real question is – “Has Jamba made it to Hawaii?” If it hasn’t, the Shave Ice industry’s days may be numbered…

  3. JimMat says:

    More chickens on Kauai than the other Hawaiian islands. Mongooses (mongeese?) seem to keep their numbers down on the other islands.

    Check out the Na Pali coast (if you haven’t already).

  4. CW Jones says:

    You neglected to point out that the reason Chickens are so prolific on the island is because there are ZERO natural predators. Snakes being the natural choice, but they’ve done a really good job of keeping foreign animals from being introduced so there aren’t any…

    One of the few tropical places I know of that is snake free, which makes at least this snake hater a happy man…

  5. […] shave ice [sic] story from Kauai doesn’t just end with my previous post.  I’ve since discovered intrigue and drama behind the aforementioned Jo-Jo’s Shave […]

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