As the train pulls to a stop a group of wild pigs hungrily approach the fence. The passengers unload and pass bread to the hungry little beasts. A young girl wearing a pink Hawaiian dress and a purple lei around her neck giggles as the mama pig sits for the train’s conductor in hopes of receiving a slice.
After reboarding the train the conductor continues his stories about Kauai’s mythology and sugar cane history. Rows of fruit orchards and nut trees pass by as the sun begins to settle in the west.
Pepe my personal guide, arranged by my hosts the Kauai Visitors Bureau, laid the Kauai Plantation Railway himself (that’s him on the right). The labor intensive task was also a labor of love that was well worth the effort, as the railway is one of the highlights of the Kilohana Plantation.
The 1935 manor house is an elegant remembrance of what the sugarcane heyday was like. Today the house still has some of the original Gump’s San Francisco furniture and many of the rooms have been transformed into beautiful boutiques and art galleries. The classy Gaylord’s Restaurant is also part of the home. Outside, guests can roam the colorful, well-manicured lawns or tour the grounds via Clydesdale pulled carriages.
After the 40-minute tour of the Kilohana Plantation guests gather for the Imu Ceremony, the unearthing of the luau pig for the Luau Kalamaku. The guests then make their way over to the open bar for Mai Tais, a refreshing rum and fruit drink synonymous with Hawaii. After a while of mingling the double buffet opens. Fresh fruit, Mahi Mahi, roasted pig, pineapple chicken and numerous other Hawaiian dishes line the tables. I sampled a bit of everything, including the poi, a Hawaiian staple. The first time I tried it I didn’t care for it, but I had heard poi is an acquired taste, so I tried it again and this time found I really liked it.
The couples I sat with chatted about their day of hiking and the great restaurants they had come across. I find luaus to be a great opportunity to meet other travelers and learn about other spots on the island.
Shortly after finishing dessert the amazing theatrical style Polynesian show which depicts the Polynesian migration to Hawaii began. I never took my eyes of the show. The dancers were incredibly beautiful and graceful.
Edit: This discount formerly offered is no longer valid.