A very busy day

We started the morning with a quick stop at the Opaeka’a Falls overlook, arriving just in time to catch a quick glimpse of a rainbow over the falls.

We crossed the road to see the view of the Wailua River.

Our next stop was a short visit to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, which was founded in 1970 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva).

Lord Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles and God of Beginnings, greets and blesses visitors.

The Meditation Banyan is a short distance from the entry; inside, there were chairs where you could sit and meditate as well as a statue of Lord Shanmuga, the god of Yoga. His six faces are arranged in a circle.

We left the banyan and walked toward the Kadavul Temple; a worship service was taking place, so we couldn’t go in.

We next encountered Sadāsiva, the Ever-Auspicious One, another aspect of the deity.

The monastery has been constructing a larger temple, the Iraivan Temple, since 1975 and hope to finish it in the next couple of years. The blocks of granite are carved in India and put together in Kauai; it is intended as a destination for pilgrims.

I would have liked to have spent more time at the Monastery, but we were on a schedule – we had to leave for a chocolate tasting and tour at Lydgate Farms, about 15 minutes away.

Our guide, Mel, gave us a brief introduction to the farm and to chocolate (with a little tasting, of course) before taking us on a walk through the farm itself. They grow many crops there, including vanilla, but the main attraction is chocolate.

Mel opened a pod and gave us each some of the fruit to taste. It didn’t taste much like chocolate!

We got to sample honey, rambutan, longan, and chocolate at various stages of processing.

We finished with a ten-chocolate tasting; besides the Lydgate Farms chocolates (wonderful!), they gave us three chocolates from Valrhona, one from Taza, and even a Hershey Dark Special! The idea was to help us taste (and smell, feel, and see) the differences between chocolates.

It was a very good tour – the only problem was the timing. We started at 11am and finished around 2pm, which crowded out lunch. So we did the obvious thing and drove 25 minutes to Kōloa Rum for a tasting there!

We got to make a mini-MaiTai and taste six of their rums…for free!

Dinner seemed like a good idea after the tasting, so we drove to Kilauea for blackened ahi and normal-sized MaiTais at The Bistro before coming back to the resort for the evening.