Kauai Day 9 – Best of both worlds garden tour

I am going to miss these magical starts to the day. Today we had a very relaxed morning, as the tour we were doing had been pushed back until 12pm, which meant we didn’t leave until 11am.

On the way we passed by this protest. Seems such a giant step backwards that Americans have to protest the right to have an abortion (again). I do hope things work out for them.

We are arrived at the visitors center for the gardens and got checked in for the Best of Both Worlds tour.

Of course I had to take some photos while waiting for tour. Hope you like plants because you’re about to see a whole lot of them :-).

After meeting our guide – who was so energetic and funny and full of knowledge, we headed off to the McBryde Gardens. The drive was incredible – such a stunning area in this coastal location. All the beaches in Hawaii are accessible to the public but you have to trespass to reach this one (though it sounds like it’s okay as long as you park correctly).

Once we reached the McBryde Gardens we got off the bus to have a walk around. Sadly I can’t begin to tell you what anything is. This garden is a “veritable botanical ark of tropical flora and home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence. Our extensive collections of palms, flowering trees, rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids, and many others have been wild-collected by botanists and biologists from throughout tropical regions around the world and transported to McBryde Garden to research, cultivate and thrive“. One thing I did learn (and remember) is that orchids grow on trees.

We stopped at a waterfall for some photos.

Then it was back on the bus to drive over to the Allerton Gardens. There was a chance to use the restrooms and refill water bottles before the next walking section. I had been worried the 2.5 hour tour would be too much for me (with fibromyalgia) but it really very manageable.

The Allerton Gardens “is a paradise transformed through time by the hands of a Hawaiian Queen, a sugar plantation magnate, and most significantly by an artist and architect. Tour the garden to see towering rainforest trees with tall curving roots that grow near bronze mermaids, a grove of swaying golden bamboo, a cut-flower garden, and tropical fruit trees. Here the focus is on landscape design, but among the plantings are botanically important species of the tropics, including varieties of palms, ki (ti), heliconias, and gingers”.

I do think this was my favourite of the two gardens. Partially because of the meandering walking paths and garden “rooms” that were created and partly because there were a lot more flowering plants.

There is also the Jurassic Park trees which are actually Moreton Bay Figs from Australia that are 50 years old (apparently they grow a lot fast here than they do in Australia).

Such a lovely area to sit and enjoy while our guide took photos for everyone. It’s kinda hard to believe that these awesome, impressive, huge trees are only as old as I am !!

The last place we visited was the mermaid room. The fountain is designed to pulse water down the channel to sound like a low pulse rate and relax and calm the visitor.

I highly recommend this tour and if I ever come back to Kauai I will do the more in depth tour of Allerton Gardens. I’m also keen to read a book about the Allertons (a queer couple who in public – back in 1920s – became family by living as father and son).

A few more flower photos before we leave. we even got to try the yellow flower from the bottom photo. It was pretty tasty and is often added to salads. After the bus ride back to the visitors center we had a quick look through the gift shop. I was disappointed since I find gift shops like this usually have some great finds (at least in Australia).

We stopped at the Koloa food trucks on the way home, just in time for final orders since it was almost 3pm. Kevin had fish tacos and I had modified vegetarian tacos. I thoroughly enjoyed mine and Kevin described his as alright.

We headed back to our accommodation. Again, I wanted to have a swim but by the time we’d gotten up the stairs, carrying quite a bit of stuff this time, I just wanted to sit and put my feet up. Plus having to deal with packing a still wet cozzy wasn’t appealing. I spent some time reading and we opted to just have a snack instead a proper dinner since lunch had been so late.

Later we face-timed with the kids and it was great to catch up. Oh, I can’t remember if I updated you about Koda’s leg (not sure I even mentioned his leg) but it turns out he’s ruptured his cruciate ligament and needs to have surgery. At this stage it’s planned for the 25th May but we may get it pushed back till when we are home – since he’ll need a lot of supervision during his recovery.

We watched a little YouTube and I did some packing/sorting before heading to bed. There was a full moon tonight and a lovely reflection on the water. Such a beautiful ending to our wonderful time on Kauai.