Day 5 Kauai - Huli-huli chicken, Spouting Horn and National Tropical Garden

Date: 2006-06-18
Location: Hawaii 06

We arrived Wailua River and hoped to kayak today, but to our disappointment, the kayak company near the river was closed on Sundays. Instead we bought some huli-huli chicken (a Hawaii style BBQ chicken) from the stand and return to the hotel for lunch. The chicken was tender and highly flavorful. We sat on the grassy ground under a small plumeria tree and ate. With a full view of ocean in front of us, a gentle sound of waves splashing on the sandy shore, a sweet mix of ocean, rich soil and fragrant plumeria filled our lungs, and a soft cool breeze stir in the air, it was quite relaxing.

Afternoon, we drove to Poipu. Passing some of the most ostentatious beach front properties, dangerous surfing ground, and beautiful sandy beach, we arrived the famous Spouting Horn. Unlike our first visit here, the area was highly populated with small souvenir stands. Little memorabilia such as lei, shell jewels, photos, crafts etc were sold by vendors.

Before we approach the lookout point, the long gnarling “dragon’s breath” was already heard. We looked down just in time to see a huge jet of sea water rose to the sky. The column reached about 20 feet into the air then crashed down with tremendous force, leaving a few brave-hearted bystanders stood next to it wet. We stood on the lookout stand for quite some time, mesmerized by the sight and the powerful gushing sounds created by the wave of water rush through the lava tube.

Later, we visited the National Tropical Botanical Garden that was located across from the Sprouting Horn. We parked our car under the flower loaded rainbow shower trees and entered the garden. Near the entrance, colorful display of water-lilies attracted various colorful insects; among them, however, were the blood thirsty mosquitoes. Before I could get a few snaps of water lilies, the painful bites forced me running out of that area. We walked down the plumeria garden where plumerias of all colors and shapes bloomed profusely. The plumerias filled the air with a heavy sweet fragrance, it was no wonder that I almost missed the yellow michelia champaca that was blooming unnoticed on the another side.

As we walking down the paths that were covered by green canopies of tropical trees, we came across various orchids, gardenias that had bloom size of 4 to 5 inches, gingers in different colors and shapes, coffee beans, papayas, bananas, sugar canes… even strange and exotic star cactus with big purple spotted tube shape flowers.

I only wished that I could bring some of these plants back to the main land. What some great addition they would make for my garden. In the visitors’ center, however, I could only purchase some common red, white, or yellow plumeria sticks, a few orchids, some ginger cuttings, and some seeds for coffee and papayas.

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