Hawaii Blog Day 21: Diamond Head, Waikiki, Manoa Falls

We woke up to the sound of torrential rain. Almost like being at home, except that it’s warm rain. Each shower doesn’t last long either, but we took our raincoats with us anyway. It rains a lot on O’ahu, especially the northern part. We’re in Kailua, which is the middle of the eastern side, so you get some of both weather systems. We drove south-east, stopping off at the easternmost point of O’ahu, Makapu’u Point. You can see migratory whales from this point in winter between Rabbit island and the shore, but it’s a bit early for them yet.

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A bit further round the coast is the Halona Blowhole, which was quite fun.

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The snorkling spot we wanted was closed (it’s within a National Park) so we carried on round to Diamond Head. This is apparently Hawaii’s most recognisable landmark. From the air it looks like this  (not my photo):

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The Hawaiian name is Le’ahi, which literally means forehead of a fish. It was formed from a single volcanic eruption, leaving an almost circular crater. It’s a National Park now and you can hike to the “summit” – it’s only about a mile, with 760ft of vertical gain, mostly via switchback paths or metal staircases – where there is an observation point, constructed in 1904 to form part of the military’s coastal defence. Locating Fire a control Station Diamond Head was no mean archeological feat, but allowed triangulation of targets across a wide sweep of the Pacific. No artillery was ever fired from here in the end. You get great views of Waikiki to the west and the crater bowl, Koko Head and the National Park to the east.

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Speaking of bowls, it was lunchtime, and back at sea level  we found a hip little cafe that did delicious, fresh, veggie-stuffed, “from-scratch” wraps and Acai bowls, which are my new favourite.

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We then hung out on Waikiki Beach for a bit and watched the surfers. Waikiki is pretty commercialised, and probably a bit overhyped in our opinion. The serious surfers go up to the north shore, and there is a fair bit of crime in Waikiki, probably due to all the tourists.

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We had enough energy for one more hike, so we drove a short way inland and did what is allegedly one of President Obama’s favourite walks, the Manoa Falls trail. It rained again on the way there, but if you’re going to look at waterfalls, an excess of water on the top of the mountain is a good thing. It was a very pretty walk and those falls themselves are over 100ft high.

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Home via Target, as I broke a plate in our rental condo and we wanted to replace it, plus we bought fresh salmon (not from Target) to BBQ for dinner. Oh and they had 34th placed umekes too, but no, I didn’t buy it….

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An early night as we had to get up at 5am – to go running!!

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