Tuesday, December 1, 2009
On Kauai, Visiting Hanalei
We've been so lucky with weather on this trip. Kauai, the Garden Isle, had a couple of weeks of heavy rainfall that led to flooding and disappointment for travelers, but that all ended before we got here. We've been having beautiful sunshine and bright green vistas, as in this photo of the taro fields of Hanalei, a quirky town on the north coast of the island. These fields, on a National Wildlife Refuge, are the major source of taro for making poi, a staple of the Hawaiian diet. They have been here for hundreds of years and are home to several endangered endemic (they live only in Hawaii) birds, like this Hawaiian nene, the native goose that is the state bird.
Hanalei is the site of a thriving farmer's market, where one can buy local produce of many kinds, including salad greens, papayas, pineapple, and local varieties of banana. My favorite is the apple banana, a small variety with a wonderful sweet-tart flavor. The market is a place to take part in local island life and see amusing sights, like this lei-wearing dog enthusiastically pawing and chewing a half coconut.