They Used to Grow Pineapple and Sugarcane Here

Trip Start Sep 17, 2012
Trip End Nov 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We woke up today just off the coast of the Garden Island of Kauai to a beautiful sunrise with only a few fluffy white clouds in the sky. I took a shower using the soap I purchased yesterday during our visit to the Kona Natural Soap Company. The soap is 'olu'olu – a blend of olive and other oils with peppermint, wintergreen and Hawai’ian Cacao. It’s an excellent soap, and very refreshing. The only drawback I found was that I came out of the shower craving Baskin-Robbins Chocolate Mint ice cream.

Just like yesterday, we stepped off the boat and it was pouring rain. Naturally we had to wait in line in the rain as pictures were taken of each passenger with a ship’s photographer dressed as a Hawai’ian warrior. Just as we approached he complained that someone pinched his rear. I thought it was Annette, but she denies it.

Today was a long tour that took us across the island of Kauai on smooth paved roads and back to our ship along bumpy paths through old sugar cane fields, a new forest, through a mountain, and through some bumpy cow pastures. The scenery was spectacular and rather than try to describe it, I’ve uploaded quite a few pictures and a couple of short videos. Don’t forget to click on the pictures to read the captions. Also, it’s very important that when looking at the pictures you imagine you’re in a warm sunny place with clean air, blue skies and a gentle breeze.

Twelve of us met up with our tour guide, Uncle Joe, and headed off across the island in a 4-wheel drive van. We made a quick stop at the Kauai Coffee Company, "Home of the World’s Largest Wall-less Coffee Maze". You can’t imagine our excitement to learn this. Imagine, it’s not one of the run-of-the-mill walled coffee mazes you find everywhere, but a wall-less one, and it’s the world’s largest!

The coffee plantation is near the neighbourhood where Uncle Joe grew up, where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane. We continued our journey through some towns that have been mostly abandoned since they no longer grow pineapple and sugarcane there. Forty thousand residents of one town alone moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. We continued our drive up to Waimea Canyon beside fields where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane.

Lunch was a picnic with the chickens in the state park. Afterwards, we headed down to the coast where we stopped at the spouting horn. There’s a short video of this at the end of the blog. Listen carefully after the water spouts and you can hear the sort of Darth Vader breathing noise it makes.

Right after this stop, a grumpy couple from Germany who had been complaining about everything all day decided that they should start taking pictures. Annette and I were both quite perplexed as all of a sudden, five hours into a seven hour tour, they took out their cameras and began taking pictures through the van windows, ignoring all of us as they leaned over to snap pictures trough the van windows. They continued for the rest of the tour.

We continued our journey over bumpy old sugar cane roads, past fields where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane. Eventually we came to a stop at a beautiful isolated beach. After a short beach break we headed back along another unmaintained dirt road where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane. We drove through a fully mature forest which was created by seeding an area where up until about ten years ago, they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane. We then made our way through a tunnel in the mountain. The tunnel is about a quarter of a mile long. It was built about 60 years ago by the sugar cane company. They purchased old army boring equipment and started digging the 20 foot tall, 17 foot wide tunnel from each end. Only seven months later they met in the middle, and the two ends were only two and a half inches away from being lined up exactly with each other.

Our trip continued alongside cow pastures where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane, and back to our ship docked in the town of Nawiliwili, where they used to grow pineapple and sugarcane.

As you may have gathered, the sugarcane and pineapple industry has gone from Hawai’i. Uncle Joe made that more than abundantly clear to us. He said that high labour costs forced growers to move production to South America. The last sugar cane producer in Hawai’i shut down a little over a year ago. The little bit of pineapple farming that remains is just for locals and tourists.

Back on board, dinner was excellent as usual. Even though we’re at a table for two, we manage to spend a lot of time talking to our neighbours at the next table, the Maitre d’ (Desi from Bulgaria) and our Waiter (Osmondo, or Ozzie) Since we opted for late dining (7:45pm), and most of the passengers are more of an “Early Bird Special” crowd, the dining room is just a little more than half full. Annette had to dance again tonight as penance for breaking a glass yesterday. Desi explained that this was the rule and otherwise she’d have to call security. Unfortunately I forgot my memory card so there’s no video.

I keep forgetting to mention that we appreciate all your comments… it’s nice to know somebody’s reading this. I also have to apologize for not commenting on your comments, but the internet on the ship is extremely slow, and has a habit of disconnecting us. It takes me about an hour of cursing and swearing to upload this little blog… that’s also the reason that, at least for now, the blog is a combined effort by the two of us.


Peter & Annette

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Emelie on

naturally waiting in the rain for your warrior picture as Annette denied pinching the photographer.....LOLOLOLOL

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