We arrived on the Hawaiian island of Oahu last Thursday, staggering off our red-eye from Sydney. Coming out the airport, the humidity hit us like a steam train. We visibly wilted.
We’re splitting our 10 days in Oahu between two locations – for the first week we’re staying in Makakilo, a non-touristy town just outside Honolulu. We found a super-cheap house to rent and it was too good a bargain to turn down. Today, we’re heading over to the east shore (windward side). Our friend Gladys from the Bay Area arrived on Friday, she’ll be with us until Saturday!
Our time so far has been split basically between hiking and beaches. We’re not big beach people but Hawaii always proves the exception, the beaches here are amazing. We loved Hanauma Bay (but didn’t love having to pay $7.50 per person to get in) but we’re also loving the man-made beaches at Ko’Olani where the waves are so gentle that the Dude can splash about with only regular supervision instead of paranoid supervision. We had a lovely few hours on Waikiki beach and yesterday we found a gorgeous beach at Paradise Cove. There’s a super-expensive luau there ($90 per person!!!) but the beach is open to the public and it was gorgeous. So there has been much swimming, snorkeling, reading, chilling and relaxing.
There has also been some fantastic hiking! We finally climbed up gorgeous Diamond Head. It was really hot and we kind of melted but the views at the top were spectacular. There was also excellent people-watching – the Japanese and Korean ladies looked so incredibly elegant and sweat-free as they climbed. How do they do it?
We hiked the popular, short and easy Manoa Falls….
…and then hiked the lovely Pu’u Pia trail a few roads away. We had this entirely to ourselves. We climbed the root-covered trail for just over a mile before emerging onto a little clearing at the summit with the most wonderful views over the mountains. Big Brother had been hugely unimpressed with the hike but once he saw the views,he got almost enthusiastic!
However yesterday’s hike was epic in every sense…the spectacular Koko Head steps. Koko Head is a tuff cone (volcanic ash) that rises up only 625 ft but the trail up follows the old tram that was used in World War Two. As such it’s basically vertical and I’m really not exaggerating! The boys were both slightly nervous of this hike and we’d been honest that it wouldn’t be much fun during the actual hike but the views would be worth it.
It was tough going up. We started at 8am (wish we’d started at 7am) and the sweat literally dripped down our faces and off our noses. The first half isn’t too bad but then there’s a short section which is a bridge and that’s actually quite nerve-wracking. And then you basically climb straight up for the remainder. Gladys flew ahead, I encouraged the Dude up and the Husband coaxed Big Brother who’d not done anything like this before. We were super-proud of the boys when they made it to the top. SUPER-proud.
The views were spectacular and the breeze was like champagne dancing off your skin.
The descent was easier but a little scary. I’m dreading the pain in my quads come this morning. Having said that, it was one of my favourite hikes ever and I loved it! I also loved the malasadas (portuguese doughnuts) that we inhaled afterwards.
When not hiking, we also spent a morning at Pearl Harbor. It was the morning after the Manchester bombing so I was in a somber mood and this war memorial just made me sigh even deeper at man’s inhumanity to man throughout the centuries.
In terms of running, it’s not been great. It’s too hot to run here after 7am and the humidity is fierce. I ran a solid, if uninspiring, 6 miles round suburban Kapolei and then on Monday I dragged my people to the Kapolei Running Club for their 3 mile run. This is a new running club, it only started in March, but it’s been growing fast. People were super-friendly, there was smoothie at the end and Big Brother won a prize in the raffle! This morning I’ll be running again..I hereby commit 🙂
So far, so lovely. Windward side, we’re coming for you!