Why? Because the chickens own this island!

Trip Start Nov 13, 2008
Trip End Nov 20, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Friday, November 14, 2008

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because they own this island!

We are here on the northshore of Kauai and it is ridiculously beautiful. The sky is blue, the temperature is perfect for T-shirt and shorts, the greenery is lush and the chickens are abundant.

I guess I better explain about the feral chickens: There are a lot of chickens wandering wild around kauai (parking lots, malls and all) as really the only land wildlife we are likely to see. Most places have say, pigeons, sidling up to you in restaurants and doing a little pan-handling (filling the same sort of niche as the Deer in Nara, Japan) - in Kauai it's chickens. Chickens were originally introduced by the polynesians, added to by the europeans, and although there are no particular predators, they were kept in check by frequent field fires used on the plantations. Since 1980 the size of the sugar plantations have shrunk considerably, and then in '82 and '92, hurricanes 'Iwa and 'Iniki struck and released many of the farmed chckens and also the stocks of fighting cocks. End result, the chickens rule the roost here.

Did I mention how beautiful it is? It's Fantasy Island beautiful (incidentally, the opening sequence was filmed here). Our first conscious day here we just toodled up the coast past Hanalei - ate our take-out burrito lunch (from Red Hot Mama's between Hanalei and Ke'e Beach. Recommended) on a tiny un-named beach just before Ke'e, then marvelled at the feats of surfers at Tunnels beach.

Travelling here is a little disconcerting.  As you drive past the foliage and incredible vistas of a true tropical island, we feel as if we are hiding at the ends of the earth but passing the Costco and Walmart is an abrupt reminder that we are very much in the United States.  There is only one major road that circumnavigates the whole island from just past our little community right around until the US missile base! There is no public transportation so a rental car is a necessity.  You can tell who are the locals as you pass them on the roads since monster trucks have become a bit of a trend here.
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