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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Busy day on the island

Today was a very busy day: Breakfast at the Ilima Terrace. Extensive and expensive buffet. At noon we were on the ATV tour and this evening we attended the luau.

There were so many people waiting for breakfast. They sat us in an area where the doors were not open. Fine with us as it is extremely hot and humid! This section was air conditioned so it was comfortable and very quiet.

Spent the time after breakfast exploring the grounds.

The koi are fed at 9 AM and again at noon. They followed us so I guess they thought it was feeding time again.

Watching fish swim is supposed to be relaxing so enjoy !

There were eight other Qumulo people that took the Kauai ATV "Do something Dirty" tour with us plus three other couples . And..... we got filthy!!

They advertise "Rain or shine, you WILL get dirty. Kauai is famous for its Technicolor red volcanic dirt. If the weather has been dry, you will get what is called a 'red dirt tan'. If it has been been raining, then you will get a complimentary mud bath treatment. Wet or dry, remember that red dirt stains absolutely everything."

In 1996, the sugar cane mill closed. In 2000, Steve Case, chief executive officer and chairman of America Online, bought 44,000 acres for 53 millions dollars and then donated 11,000 acres as a preserve.

The first stop was Wilcox Tunnel.

The Wilcox tunnel was built just after World War II It was engineered by Elbert Gillin, Plantation engineer at the time. It runs about one half mile and measures twenty feet by twenty feet. The tunnel through Haupu Ridge saved many miles for the haul cane trucks heading to the Koloa mill and the trucks delivering raw sugar to Nawiliwili Harbor. Trucks going to the sugar cane mill were paid by the haul so they wanted to quickly get from field to mill. A fresh stick of raw sugar cane contains 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar. or less than a teaspoon.

It took 8 months to build the tunnel. It was started at both ends at the same time and they met in the middle.

One of our tour guides

I was a little dusty but not that bad.

Buffalo grass

It is the only native grass that is also useful as a lawn grass. Buffalo grass is used as cattle feed.

The large trees are albizia Adianthifolia. It is commonly known as the flat crown. Its range extends from eastern South Africa to Tropical Africa. Many movies are filmed in this area and people assume you are in Africa.

Next stop took us to Waita Reservoir.

Growing sugar requires water, lots of it. Plantations developed intricate collection and distribution system of flumes, ditches, tunnels and reservoirs. Kōloa was water poor and depended on excess water from its neighbors. Constrained by the lack of surface and groundwater sources, Kōloa concentrated on developing water storage. The Kōloa Marsh (above the present Kōloa Town was an ideal location for a reservoir. Ultimately, a 2.3-billion gallon capacity reservoir was constructed (second in overall size to Oʻahu’s Lake Wilson with 3-billion gallon capacity.)

Waita Reservoir (also referred to as Hauiki Reservoir, Marsh Reservoir or Kōloa Reservoir), initially built in 1906 and expanded in 1931, covers an area of approximately 525-acres. The water source was supplied by the Wilcox Ditch and Kōloa Ditch (Waiahi-Kuia Aqueduct.) This enabled irrigation of over 70-percent of the fields.

Located on private property, Waita Reservoir not only provides irrigation to local agricultural ventures, through private fishing charter arrangements it is also a popular bass and other sport fishing location on the island.

The Waita Reservoir is situated next to the Black Mountain Range and Mt. Haupu in Koloa, Kauai HI. Constructed in 1906, the Waita Reservoir was used as the primary water source for the Koloa Sugar Plantation. Expanded in 1931 to include 525 acres, it holds 23 billion gallons of water. The Waita reservoir is fed from the Waiahi-Kuia Aqueduct system and is home to a host of wildlife such as Muscovy ducks, Hawaiian Coots, Hawaiian Gallinule, Stilts, Pheasant, Hawaiian boar, and jungle fowl (chickens). The reservoir also hosts largemouth bass, small mouth bass, Peacock bass (which are only found here, Florida and the Amazon), Tilapia, and Koi. The koi found in the Waita reservoir are what remain from the Japanese camp gardens that existed in that region during the plantation years. The reservoir now sits on private Grove Farm property and can be viewed only by reserving a space on a tour with Koloa Bass Fishing, Kauai ATV or Koloa Zipline.

We stopped here and fed the ducks and tried a little fishing.

I did attract minnows

Our third stop took us to the area when many movies such as Tarzan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Avatar, Jurassic Park, 6 Days and 7 Nights, and others were filmed.

Even my teeth are dirty!!!

The cold drinks and snacks hit the spot!!

Pila's Point was the next stop

The Koloa Sugar Mill stands as a testimony to Hawaii’s booming sugar industry. From 1912-1996 The Koloa Mill was the highest producing sugar mill in the state of Hawaii. After the closure in 1996, the mill became a popular tourist attraction popping up in countless vacation photos and home movies. Closed to the general public, it is still a favored site for Hollywood movies.

Once we got back to the hotel, we had exactly an hour to shower and get ready for the luau. Luckily, it was at the hotel.

The meal was served buffet style and cocktails were included.

Four long tables upfront were reserved for Qumulo. We sat at the end right in front of the stage. Perfect seats to record all the entertainment!

I liked the poi.

Poi or Popoi is a traditional staple food in the Polynesian diet, made from starchy vegetables, usually breadfruit, taro or plantain.

Traditional poi is produced by mashing cooked starch on a wooden pounding board, with a carved pestle made from basalt, calcite, coral or wood. Modern methods use an industrial food processor to produce large quantities for retail distribution. Water is added to the starch during mashing, and again just before eating, to achieve the desired consistency, which can range from highly viscous to liquid. In Hawaii, this is classified as either "one-finger", "two-finger", or "three-finger", alluding to how many fingers are required to scoop it up (the thicker the poi, the fewer fingers required to scoop a sufficient mouthful).

Poi can be eaten immediately, when fresh and sweet, or left to ferment and become sour, developing a smell reminiscent of plain yoghurt A layer of water on top can prevent fermenting poi from developing a crust.

There was shredded pork, steak, chicken and fish and I tried all four.

They performed a haka, a ceremonial dance. It is often performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted or chanted accompaniment. Although popularly associated with the traditional battle preparations of male warriors, haka have been traditionally performed by both men and women and for a variety of social functions within Māori culture. Haka are performed to welcome distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions, or funerals.


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