Monday, July 20, 2015

Kauai Hawaii - Kauai Plantation Railway Tour - Day 4 part 1

We've had a few days of relaxing on this vacation. It's time to get out and do something!
On the way to the car, we made sure to feed the swans our leftover coconut cake. They were certainly happy to receive it.

Theresa loves all fruiting trees, so when she saw there was a plantation tour nearby she was really excited. We're at the Kauai Plantation Railway, a real working plantation that has all sorts of native Hawaiian treats.

For our four hour tour, including a train ride, plus lunch, it was $75 per person. Ian was free. We booked online ahead of time and got a discount.

Here's the train we get to ride! We'll be heading around the plantation, then going on a hike.

Not sure what this is, but it looks like a cross between a duck and a chicken.

Meet our tour guide Tiny!

A short time later "All Aboard" was called for the train.

For $18 per person, we could have done just a 40 minute train ride while a conductor spoke about the plantation.

We passed by fruit trees and got a history of the plantation. This whole area used to be 2200 acres of sugar cane fields.

Coming up on some pigs and goats, along with a a bunch of chickens that decided to run along the train. Ian loved seeing them.

It was here everyone hopped off the train to feed the pigs and goats.

There were plenty of slices of bread so everyone could go crazy feeding them all. The goats were calm enough, coming up to the fence and looking for food. The pigs went crazy for the bread. Squealing and fighting each other for whatever was thrown their way.

Some goats were more ambitious than others.

Ah, this is why the chickens were following us. They want bread too.

And if Ian was a little too slow to throw it, they'd jump up and take it out of his hand.

Everyone who was just there for the train tour hopped back onboard, while the rest of us made our way to the trail head. Along the way, Tiny pointing out a Norfolk Pine.

It has really fluffy branches.

We walked along the railway tracks until we reached the place we'll eventually stop for lunch.

Bottled water and bug spray was provided, then Tiny led us all in some stretches before we hiked down into the valley.

Tiny led the group down the narrow pathway to the valley floor.

Along the way he pointed out various flowering and fruiting plants.

A short time later we were on the valley floor. I was thinking it might be cooler down here, but the canopy is trapping the heat, making it hot and humid.

Tiny pointed out this small purple flower that was edible. Going by many names like rat tail and porterweed, this edible flower tastes like mushrooms.

Give it a try Aub.

Not a fan huh?

I've got one on my tongue.

Ian trying to grab it.

We got him his own, and he found them quite tasty, asking for more, more, more. I think we stopped at 4 flowers.

These plants look fake to me.

Cat's tail ginger.

A mango tree that is estimated to be 150 years old, though it's difficult to tell the age of tree here. Because there are no cold winters, trees don't have rings like the would in other places.

Normally old trees like this wouldn't produce tasty fruit. Our guide told us a story about how he was leading another tour group, talking bad about the trees fruit, saying it's "Bleh." Right after that, the tree dropped a mango and it hit him on the shoulder. He tasted it and it happened to be delicious, and now, he doesn't stand there anymore, and he doesn't talk bad about the tree anymore.

This tree is being completely overtaken by Banyan root.

We're being watched. A 90 year old man watches everything that happens down in this valley and he has been here his entire life. His name is Kahuna Nui and at this point I should tell you that he's also a tree. You can kind of make out Kahuna Nui's face as he watches over the valley that bears his name.

Time for some snacks.

A Heliconia Rostrata, also known as the Lobster Claw plant

After a hike back up the valley, we arrived back to the picnic tables. Here we have lunch waiting for us. Tiny cuts us up a fresh pineapple for us to enjoy with our meal.

Lunch was nothing special. I had a turkey wrap while T and Aubrey got the salad.

Ian sat with me eating turkey and chips. He was a little too lax about eating his chips and had a chicken snatch one out of his hand. In the end, we fed chips and tortilla to the chickens.

Tiny told us that we could feed any extra carrots to the horses and goats, so Ian and I took off to the nearby pasture to see them.

And they were happy to get them.

Aubrey found a coconut that she just had to have. We shook it and it still had liquid inside. Into the backpack it went for the rest of the trip.

And Ian found a baby coconut that came with us for the rest of our journey.

Mister Muscle Man.

The second half of our tour we walked through the plantation, sampling fruits and other treats from all sorts of plants. We'll continue the next post from there.

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