Limahuli Garden and Kiluea Farmers Market

Trip Start Feb 28, 2008
Trip End Mar 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today we decided to go back north even though it was cool and windy today and it looked like it was going to rain. We wanted to go to the Limahuli Botanical Garden in Ha'ena because they said it was quite different from the McBride Garden. We had wanted to go to it the last time we were in Kauai, but never made it. We hoped that the day would get nicer later so we could do some snorkeling perhaps at Ke'e beach or Tunnels. I had my doubts because there was still a high waves/winds warning in effect.

This garden was really different. It was better labeled with some history about the plant so it was easier to find the plants identified in the brochure, and there were a lot of other plants labeled that were not in the brochure. The brochure was easier to read and the map was much better. Also the trail was well identified so you could figure out where to go to find the identified plants. The National Tropical Botanical Garden runs both of them, but most of their work is done at the other gardens where they have many more acres available. We thought it was sort of like we had gone to the factory yesterday and today we went to the showroom It rained pretty good on us while we were there, but it didn't last long. They have umbrellas for you to use if it rains while you're touring the grounds.

The plant that I've been trying to identify was labeled there. It's called an Air Plant. It is a succulent plant native to tropical Africa or India. They didn't have a Hawaiian name for it.

The other plant that I had taken a picture of while on the Kalalau trail that I couldn't identify was called a Ohi'a'ai. Hawaiians use this tree as a course of food, dye and medicine. In the spring, beautiful pompom-like flowers appear on the trunk and branches (I have a picture of this, they are red pompoms growing off the branches) followed by deep red, juicy fruit which is enjoyed either fresh or dried.

This garden had a lot of endemic plants of Hawaii and Kauai in particular and they are attempting to create a true native forest there without introduced plants. Because of this, some areas have been cleared of canopy trees in order to let the native plants grow. It was a really interesting garden and I'm glad we went to it. I think I enjoyed this one more than I did McBrides.

We hung out at Ke'e beach and had lunch since it was right next to the gardens. Dave wanted Anini beach, but before we left we decided to hike up to a cave we hadn't seen, called the Blue Room. It has a lake inside the cave, but they have signs saying you're not aloud to swim in it. It must have been created by the ocean waves back when the shoreline was more inland.

From there we went into Hanalei so Dave could try a fish taco at the Tropical Taco, something we have never had, but have always meant to try. It was OK, but I wasn't all that impressed with it. I just had a bite. I wandered around in the shops in Hanalei, but didn't buy anything. It was more of the same kind of stuff. They actually had some cute surfing shorts only they were much too short for my taste. They must be for teens. There was one shop that had some really interesting artifacts from different islands that were interesting, spears, medicine bags with jaws from a small squirrel like critter, tooth and bone necklaces. It was all way too expensive for me though. Dave would have loved it, but he was eating fish taco.

We decided to go to Anini beach again because Dave has been reading this geology of Hawaiian Islands book, very interesting book, and had discovered that most of the stuff on Anini beach that we thought was coral is actually coraline, a type of algae, not animal, but plant. So, he had to get a little baggy of sand from that beach so he could take it home and study it under his microscope. We thought we might be able to go snorkeling here, but it was so windy and cold, we didn't want to get in the water. This has been the coldest day yet. We've decided we are going to have to go back to Poipu tomorrow on the south side of the island where it is drier and warmer.
We wanted to get some veggies and fruit for dinner and fruit and we had heard that there was a farmers market in Kilauea (where the lighthouse is located) at 4:30 so we headed over there around that time. We got there just a little bit after that time and people were already swarming there. It was crowded with people vying for the best fruit and vegetables before they disappeared. We bought some mixed lettuce, a huge avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber for a salad. We also got a couple small pieces of fresh turmeric (looks a lot like ginger because it is a type of ginger, but more yellow in color.) We bought strawberry guava, papaya, apple bananas, and pineapple for breakfast. Everything looked so good, but we were limited in the amount of cash we had with us and we didn't want to end up with a lot of leftover. It was fun going to this farmers market. So many interesting things to look at.
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