Friday, May 25, 2012

Pineapples at Dole Plantation


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Dole is not an unusual name to anyone; especially if you are big fan of fruits like me as they are one of the largest fruit exporters, if not the largest, in United States and the world.
Originally a fruit stand in the 1950s, the plantation opened its doors to the public in the late 1980s;  in 1989 to promote their pineapples and becoming the icon of Hawaii.
(Pineapples are often associated with a Hawaiian vacation and Dole Plantation is the reason behind that)

The vast area of the pineapples plantation could be spotted when one is driving along the highway, and the scene reminds me a little of our southern state; Johor which is also the land of pineapples.

Dole Pineapple Plantation


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There are many tours and activities offered at the plantation; including that of a plantation/garden tour, the pineapple maze, the pineapple express or if you are just dropping by, like what we did, you can spend an approximate of 30 minutes browsing through their pineapple merchandise outlet which had almost everything in the pineapple flavor; besides the fresh fruits themselves that is.

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One can find the pineapple soaps, shower gels, shampoos, candles, tupperware, pineapple jam, pineapple cookies/biscuits, concentrated juices, syrup and even pineapple ice-cream!
I regret that my hubby did not get his chance to try out the pineapple ice-cream there, or I would have a perfect picture to share right now, bummer!

Anyway, what beats the fruit themselves in their original form than made into flavors?

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One must not miss paying honor to one of the icons/mascot of Hawaii when traveling there; and Dole Plantation says it all with their long history and their bright yellow fruit!:-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Waves at North Shore O'ahu

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The name O'ahu sounds like a sweet paradise to anyone who are looking for a vacation, but even more so for wave surfing lovers as this place is just the place for wave surfers who are up for a good and thrilling ride with the waves.

The photos of the waves I captured tells you why...

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Windward O'ahu is perfect for sightseeing with its calm and beautiful hues of blue; presenting a rather gentle and amicable outlook to the picture of O'ahu greeting travelers on the highway but the North Shore of O'ahu is definitely the other face of O'ahu which could surprise and even tend to be a little frightening in its facade.
Rough waves and strong current create an image of huge and gigantic splashes of white hitting against the rocks and rolling towards the shores; sending shivers down one's spine if one is standing there watching the whole process.

The stretch is one of the most famous spot for the surfers to take up the challenge and to enjoy a rough ride with the waves which could just go to unbelievable heights.

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Spectators are often warned to stay away from the shores and behind the sign or within the permitted boundary for their own safety.

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The waves are definitely scary, and to be honest, when I saw these waves, the first thing that comes to mind was tsunami.

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Well, maybe we are just not used to it, as they seemed so dangerous when you look at it and I bet they are dangerous; which is why it surprised me that there are houses right across the street from the notorious waves!

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I guess they are wave surfers themselves, or they have just gotten used to it?

Will you stay near these waves?
I know I definitely won't....



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kualoa Ranch: Jungle Expedition

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The next adventure at Kualoa Ranch; and also our last is the Jungle Expedition.

Like the earlier tour, we waited at the designated shed for the tour to begin as most of the other participants gather at the same shed for the driver cum tour guide to begin the ride.

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This time, we are about to board a jeep which will take us on our hour-long exciting ride.
From the looks of it, seems like this is going to be a bumpy ride!

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Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Our ride begins and as I was seated at the back of the truck, it was definitely a little more than bumpy for me as I was jolted up and down throughout the entire trip.
Still, what calls for an adventure right?
For a non-adventurous person like myself, this is as close as adventure for me that I can get :-P

Passing through the jungle tracks

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However, besides the familiar scenes of the forest, there are also amazing blue canvases welcoming us at different points of the ride!

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A little hut spotted

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Our first stop

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This is a tree which I constantly say that it reminds me of the Jerry Bruckheimer logo in his productions, don't you think so?

Close to nature!

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Our jeep parked against the awesome landscaped background like it was from a picture!

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Continuing with the journey through the less-traveled roads

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Stop No.2!
Our driver/guide made us do a bit of hiking up the narrow and steep trail to get that feel of being close to nature.

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He may sound crazy to me at first, but after the short hike, I was glad that we did it as the view was just stunning and the air was simply fresh!
I guess everything is always rewarding when you work for it? :-)

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Our guide even plucked a fruit from its tree for us to try; as it was a local produce at the ranch.
It is a hybrid though; and I think he mentioned that it was a cross between a strawberry and a guava!
Interesting taste; slightly sour yet a lovely aftertaste!

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Back at the ranch after the rumbling ride through the jungles of the ranch.

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Our awesome driver/tour guide who was just so friendly and helpful!
Hang loose!
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It was an amazing ride and an unforgettable experience for me!
A definite must-try tour if one is in Kualoa Ranch :-)



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Close up with farm animals

After an exciting and enjoyable tour of the movie sites and around the ranch, we had time to kill while waiting for our next tour and so, we walked over to the mini zoo the ranch had to get close up and personal with the domestic animals at the farm.

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Being a city bred, this is one rare opportunity for me and the only time I have ever done it was during my visit to Perth; where they have this Caversham wildlife park

The domestic animals available at the Kualoa Ranch's Petting zoo includes goats and their kids, a donkey, a wild boar, chickens/roosters, rabbits and horses.

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The kids were just so adorable!!!

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This small-sized and old, but wise goat was staring intently at my camera each time I was trying to capture the photos of the goats.
It seemed like it was cautious of my presence; or some said that it was just wondering whether I have food to feed it!:-)

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Whatever it was, this is a natural poser, I must say!:-)

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Watching over the kids

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The old donkey

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The wild boar

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The rabbit

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Some of the animals were close enough or friendly for us to pet, but there are also those which shied away.
This petting zoo seemed to be extremely popular with the families as the children just could not get away from these animals!


Have you ever been to an actual farm?
Have you ever been this close and personal to the farm animals?


Kualoa Ranch: Movie Site and Ranch Tour

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The first tour; the Movie Site and Ranch tour starts at 11.00a.m (the one we booked) and we headed directly to the station after lunch and a brief photography session of the place.

Horse-riding in session for the avid sports fan

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At the ranch house; near the stables

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Each of the tour begins from the starting point at their designated stations; which are ranch sheds like this one.

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A sign will be attached to each shed to indicate the type of tour and to confirm that you are waiting at the right place for the right tour that you have signed up for.

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Depending on the type of tour, there will be transportation provided and they may vary.
The Movie Site and Ranch tour will be using this bus to bring us around the ranch.

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Inside the bus
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As you can see, the windows are all open to allow everyone to have a better view/feel of the nature as we drive around the ranch; besides enjoying the breeze or strong wind from outside.
The driver himself is the tour guide as he speaks through a microphone throughout the journey to explain the scenes and also a little on the history of each of the place we passed by to give us the insight on the significance of the location to the ranch.

The typical scenes greeting us as we drove around the ranch; the horses and cattle were all living such a carefree life!~

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Our first stop was at the movie props warehouse, or hall of fame where some episodes of Lost were reportedly filmed here.
The place was located on a slightly hilly area overlooking the sea; and the warehouse was burrowed into the hills.

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As we enter the warehouse through the light and slightly rusty metal doors, I did get the feeling that we were in one of those exciting warfare drama; or one of an action-packed movie, where one is about to be ambushed at any time or perhaps about to make a startling discovery.

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Large black metal cylindrical barrels were located beside the entrance

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The interior of the warehouse was designed in such a way that it is like a winding tunnel inside and there were even dark cells on the right hand side; which resembled the set of a prison.

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The halls of fame of Kualoa Ranch; where all the memorabilia of the movies which were filmed here before were collected and framed within these walls for the visitors to enjoy.

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Spotted two gigantic eggs in one spot; and the tour guide told us that those were the props used in the latest movie (at the time of visit); Journey to the Mysterious Island.

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Our tour guide cum driver closing the door of the warehouse as we continue on our journey.

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Along the hilly area; it was extremely windy that day and even the sea was really rough; splashing the waves so aggressively up against the shores.

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The tour continues to a wide and greener pastures on the other side!

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Replica of Easter Island statue?

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Spotted the riders in action!
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Hang Loose, yeah!:)

Next stop: Jurassic Park filming location

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Godzilla's print?

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These places look familiar? With the green and the cattle?

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Remember this from Mighty Joe Young?
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More movie sets along the way

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The natural and amazing views around the ranch, as part of the ranch tour...

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Back at the main ranch grounds at the end of the tour; which took approximately 45 minutes.

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To be continued...