Monday, January 13

Hialewa, day 2

A bit less rain today, though still no full sun yet—perhaps not all week, it seems.

We headed south, to Honolulu, to take in the very popular hike up Diamondhead.  Heading into the state’s largest, and capital city took about an hour, with increasing traffic as we got closer.  [Highways are in good shape, but the other roads aren’t; lots of pothole dodging along the way.]

on the road, following the putzmeister

We parked at Kapi’olani community college near the base of Diamonhead, and strolled up to the main parking area.  Once one enters the main area, you’re inside the volcano’s crater.  The hike that follows is up to the rim.  It’s not a difficult hike, totaling less than 1.5 miles, I think, taking about 60-90 minutes.  It is very pleasant, though quite busy; not a problem unless you’re in a rush, which we weren’t.  Total elevation is ~760’, and the trail starts well over 200’, so although lots of steps at certain points (one flight is 99 steps!), it’s very doable by most all levels, it seems.

The view from the peak is a great payoff.  A 360° view, even on this cloudy day, is gorgeous.

from the Diamonhead crater rim

The nice walk back down the crater, to the car, brought more views of lots of birds—the Brazilian Cardinal is a red-headed stunner for us—plants, and people. 

Our next payoff was a beer, thanks to Pattie packing a few on ice in the car.  So, a little post-hike thirst-quencher and relaxation was welcome.

Eventually, we got on the road and this time drove up the eastern shore of the island to see a new area.  This is the windward side, especially of late, the winds have been brutal.  Lots of areas where sand has washed onto the road, other areas where the relatively freshly paved surface is breaking and crumbling off the shoulder.  Huge black boulders (lava rocks) are the barrier between the road and the sand in some points, at other points the rocks aren’t there and it’s just water lapping below the road’s shoulder.  The view of the water is fabulous, but it’s rough surf, and the struggle to keep up with the water’s forces is a losing one—a bit reminiscent of Surf City, back home in NC, and much of the outer banks.

We came to the Polynesian Cultural Center along our trip home, so stopped in to explore the shops, entertainment, uke shop, and general vibe.  In one central area there are a few large trees overtaken by birds, birds, birds…have never heard such strength of sound—truly ff.


Lots to do at this Cultural Center, including many shows, etc., but we just took in the general vibe, some song and dance in the main area, rather than formal shows.

A quick ride home from there (10”) got us back in time to enjoy a salad and get our packing together for tomorrow morning’s earlier-than-usual departure for a dive.

And the big news from home–Jackson standing a bit, readying to start cruising around!

look out world, i’m getting ready!