Thursday, July 03, 2014

Honolulu's Diamond Head

[Kyle]We headed out the next day with our only plan being to make it to the other side of Waikiki Beach at the base of Diamond Head. Making our way through the crowds on the beach, Maryanne revealed that she had secretly hoped to go to the top. Sure! That’s my thing, too!

The long but entertaining walk to Diamond Head

It wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed. It turned out that the only path to the top started from inside the crater, which was accessed by a road that went all the way around to the other side before tunneling into the middle. We were determined, though. We arrived at the viewpoint after climbing far too many stairs for the steep final push to the top. By the time we got there, we had walked over five miles from the boat, much of it on soft sand.

The hike up with switchbacks and stairways was (eventually) rewarded with some great views

We were tired, but decided after leaving the tunnel that we just had to go back the long way, allowing us to feel the accomplishment of not only summiting Diamond Head, but also circumnavigating it. We can be a little crazy.

Pedestrians have to share the entrance tunnel through the crater wall with any other traffic (luckily there wasn't too much). Eventually we are back down to almost sea level and get one good view of the lighthouse before hiking back along the Waikiki beach

The beach on the way back was almost as entertaining as on the way out. It would have been if not for our aching feet. Maryanne says it feels like being in a movie set. It really does, walking along tiki torch lit paths with Hawaiian music playing in the background. I was expecting to be put off a little by Waikiki’s crowds, but it’s all so beautiful and all of those happy people on glorious vacations seem to add to the place.

Back before sunset - and eventually we got to enjoy the kind hospitality of the local Hawaii Yacht Club (the nearest building to our slip!)

[Maryanne]Diamond Head is an icon for the area; it's on numerous logos and postcards, and is just as well known to sailors as hotel-based tourists. It's a natural volcanic crater that was used by the military as a perfect lookout post (and still houses active military today within the crater). The trails to the look out posts have been taken over by the National Parks service and for a small fee you can 'enjoy' the hike to the top (well, at least enjoy the views from the top). To add to the brutal heat, Kyle has been suffering badly with back pain since the yard work, so all walking is broken up with frequent sit downs, no matter how many times I say "let's take the bus" or "we don't have to be doing this" he refuses to give up and just keeps on walking. While I'm not quite sure what he's trying to prove, I am enjoying the leisurely pace and the people watching we get to do on the way.

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