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Hawaii in July - Part 1: Oahu

Posted by Dave / July 19, 2006

IMG_4214.jpgI'm not going to state the obvious.....or maybe I will. Hawaii is ridiculously great. My trip was centered around Waikiki on the island of Oahu, and was unfortunately for work. However, short work days and two extra days at the end of my trip allowed me to get into the relaxed Hawaii frame of mind.

Waikiki is both great and terrible. The terrible being the massive amount of tourists all over the place. However, the great, being the beach, outperforms the bad to such an extent that you couldn't care less about the tourists. The water was so warm that it I could have stayed there all day. I've never been in water so clear, making it was hard to get used to seeing my feet so clearly even in water up to my lovely nipples.

IMG_4434.jpgI'm not going to spend much time on the beach review, as many reading this have been on beaches. So lets move on. On an afternoon off I walked over to Diamond Head, an extinct volcano located at the east end of Waikiki beach. It's about a 30-45 minute walk from the main stretch of the beach to the entrance to the crater entrance on the north end of the volcano. You walk through a tunnel to enter the inside of the crater, which seeing on it's own is quite impressive. Access to the trail costs $1 for pedestrians and $5 for cars.

IMG_4551.jpgThey say the trail is "moderate", which is quite accurate. Not because of the trail itself, but because of the 300-400 stairs near the summit. The stairs bring you into one of the many army bunkers (circa 1910) that line he rim of the crater, built to defend Waikiki and Honolulu from a sea invasion. To exit the bunker to the summit, you must crouch and climb out through the bunker window and out onto the ledge. Once on top of the bunker, the view is impressive to say the least. You not only have a view of the entire crater and beyond along the east coast, but you have an unobstructed view of Honolulu. A morning hike is best to not have the sun in your face for the Honolulu view. The walk back down is equally as "moderate" and hot. Once back at hotel, a swim was definitely in order.

IMG_4636.jpgThe other main outing I had on Oahu was on my day off, I rented a bike. Biking can be a bit of a bitch in Hawaii due to the ocean winds. This, and the rental shop closing at 5pm, limited my ride to about two hours in each direction. I chose to bike out to the east, mainly due to there not being many bike friendly roads through the west end of Honolulu. I biked out past Diamond Head and towards Waialae Beach Park (photo above). The ride along the southern ridge of Diamond Head required about 27 stops for photos, all of which were well worth while. Although the ride itself only took about 1.5 hours, the heat and sun made it seem much longer. The pay off, Waialae Beach Park, was well worth it. Smaller and less busy than Waikiki Beach, it allowed for a relaxing one hour stop before my return ride. The return ride was made much easier with the wind being at my back and less stopping for photos.

IMG_4581.jpgWhile biking around the Waikiki area, I noticed one very important constant. Bakeries. Hawaiians know how to bake shit. I stopped off at Leonards on my way back to the rantal place and enjoyed both a regular glaze, and a long custard filled. Both were delicious. While working, we had about 40 Hawaiian Donuts delivered to us. The Hawaiian Donut is a must try, being one large mound of Donut and is more bread-y than the usual cake-y donuts I'm used to. It's possible I had two large ones in one sitting, and left craving many many more.

In closing, Beach Front + Fancy Drinks = Me Moving to Hawaii.



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