Tag Archives: travel

Rise and Shine: North Shore

This is going to be sort of a diary entry because it was honestly one of the best day adventures I had ever gone on to date. It would be a lot more easier if you were already up in Hale’iwa, but were starting in Honolulu.

The Plan: Spend the whole day up at North Shore

How? Get up before the sun does!

beach just before Historic Hale'iwa
beach just before Historic Hale’iwa

My friend (Madge) and I had this day planned in advance because we knew there would be some logistics needing to taking into account. We wanted to hit up all the main beaches along the North Shore coast, we wanted to have time to explore Historic Hale’iwa, and find a place to eat… and we wanted to bring our bikes. So to break it down;

-shop-tan-swim-bike/explore-eat-document/photographs

We didn’t want to be weighted down during our bike ride along the shore so we kept our packing light. Phone, Wallet, Camera, Book, Towel, Hat, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Spare shorts, Sweater, Water Bottle, Sandals. Done

We woke up very early (6am) for two main reasons.

Let's get out bike on!
Let’s get our bike on!

1) We wanted to give ourselves as much of the day up north as possible, we’ll sleep on the bus ride since its about 2 hour journey.

2) Were both bringing our bikes and generally the #52 bus only has rack space for two bikes so we didn’t want to chance some other biker ruining our chances of a seamless trip up north.

What we naively didn’t consider was the distance between Hale’iwa (where we got off the bus) and Pipeline beach, which I think helped us in terms of being “left in the dark” for the amount of distance we needed to cover. So the bike ride itself became a journey with no real end in sight… till we came upon the destination.

Along the way we stopped at a popular spot for turtles to lay their eggs and do their nesting…

Hey Missy!
Hey Missy!
Nesting Turtle
Nesting Turtle

Biked over the bridge at Waimea Bay and admired the amazing view from there.

Spring Break 2012 271

Some local fishermen on the pedestrian bridge
Some local fishermen on the pedestrian bridge
The rock is a really popular spot for youth to jump off of when tides rushing in.
The rock is a really popular spot for youth to jump off of when tides rushing in.
The quieter side of Waimea Bay
The quieter side of Waimea Bay
Biking in Beauty
Biking in Beauty

Biked through some beautiful trails with over-growth and arrived to our destination of Pipeline and admired the athleticism of surfers taking on those aggressive waves this beach is internationally known for… and tan.

Sometimes locals would bring their dogs down to the beach to chill out while they hit the surf, there doesn’t seem to be any rule in terms of whether or not a dog is allowed on the beach. It just better be very well behaved and trained. We hung out with this sweet fellow (in picture), Lab? He was just doing his own thing walking up and down the shore, taking breaks, being cooed at.

Owner was surfing
Owner was surfing
Chill af dog
Chill af dog

We spent a few hours on the beach just relaxing and enjoying ourselves, it was our first true experience of spring break in Hawaii since the previous years were spent traveling for competitions on the mainland.

Coolest chick on the beach, challenging the guys!
Coolest chick on the beach!
Look at her go! I swear she's probably only 14
Look at her go! I swear she’s probably only 14

This girl showed up during our time on the beach with this amazing bright pink printed paddle board. Those look to be her parental units (in the image) and they were carrying their own camera equipment to take some action shots of her on the waves. She did great considering, from what I can see, SUP’s aren’t the most welcome item on the waves. Majority wise, it was surfers who were on the ocean that day, but the waves weren’t too crazy that boogie boards and SUPs couldn’t handle them.

Always stretch before surf
Always stretch before surf

Madge and I got LOTS of SUN and SAND!

RUN!
RUN!
Brown goals
Brown goals

We stopped in Hale’iwa for a late lunch at Bob’s Pizza. Refreshing beer and crunchy salads were our desire. I did get jealous of Madge’s salad, it looked so delicious! Then to top it off! While we were enjoying our meal, right behind me was the guy I was crushin’ on hard having a meal with his lady…. yep. (Yes in the photo below on the right side in the white shirt with his back facing) A little bit of self-deprecation never hurts a sunny day.

Delicious Grub
Delicious Grub
I was jealous of her cesar salad
I was jealous of her cesar salad

Unfortunately, that’s where my photographing of the day ends (those below are courtesy of the internet). However I can say something about about this lovely spot. This historic part of Hale’iwa is a single long stretch of road, about a leisurely 20 minute walk with a variety of shops to meet any individuals need. They have the surfs shops, art galleries, eclectic style shops, street vendors, a couple non-touristy shops for those forgotten items needed for the day (ie. snacks), coffee shop, restaurants (Bob’s Pizza and Cholo’s Mexican are delicious), and Matsumoto. What’s Matsumoto? It’s that place everyone is willing to line up and wait because it’s worth it. They’ve been around since 1951 and I’m pretty sure they have some level of international recognition. To what scale? I’m not sure, but there’s always a line up for their shaved ice (it’s $2.50, why not?!?).

Haleiwa Town 20130112-135220 03948 filename-cimg1651-jpg

Welcome
Welcome

Before you leave North Shore…one last stop you need to make… the highway sign! There is plenty of space for cars to pullover, that was done intentionally, so go ahead and have a personal photo shoot! Everyone else has. ALOHA!

Rise and Shine: Hanauma Bay

Take a look!
Take a look!

Hanauma Bay is a nature reserve and marine life conservation area. Tens of thousands of years ago it was a volcano, but as you can see by its shape there was a massive eruption that took out the side which was facing the ocean. Gradually ocean levels rose creating this crescent shape bay area there is today. You learn about this place’s origins and the story of the wildlife when you first walk in because its mandatory, literally right after paying your entrance fee the only way down is through the theater room where you watch a 5 minute educational video just discussing some basic cautions when swimming in the water with all the fishes and coral. It’s free entrance for locals (ID), kids under 12, state university students (bring ID), and military. Otherwise its $5 per person, and if you bring your own snorkel gear that’s all your day will cost.

Can't fit everything into one frame
Can’t fit everything into one frame

The sea life here is insane. You’ll find Nemo and Dori everywhere here and sometimes turtles glide in for a visit. In the coral there are so many pockets filled with sea urchins so if your not wearing fins on your feet, try to avoid the urge to touch down for a rest. Best tip I can give in those scenarios is just to point your fin down like a ballerina on point, that way its better for only a thin strip of rubber instead of a whole foot touching this live ecosystem.

My friend loves taking these kind of pictures
My friend loves taking these kind of pictures

Great thing about this beach is the location. It only 5 minute drive away from Koko Head so you could combine the two in one day! (I wrote a post on Koko Head)

Shady photo.
Shady photo.

One thing I’ll say as a possible downside. This is a really popular tourist spot. Think along the lines of Waikiki beach, but not in front of the Hotels, closer to the zoo. Because of that the beach area will be busy with a variety of people; families, retirees, couples, some locals, etc. Because of this high volume of traffic, the beach does close down for one day of the week for “maintenance” on Tuesdays. If your a person with any physical problems that requires assistants going up and down the walk path from the beach there is a little trolley that provides lifts. So if your not so much into the tourist spot, but more quiet local spots in this same Hawaii Kai area. There’s a bluff area, where the rock formation is seriously cool. Not much of a swimming area but more of jumps spot. It’s a chill spot to hang around. Goes by China Walls or Spitting Caves and its in a pretty quiet neighbor hood area. The signs are pretty non-descriptive until you arrive to the path entrance. If your a go-pro type of person this area will definitely interest you more than Hanauma Bay. Than again.. you can do both in one day! It’s a beautiful spot for sunsets as well. Makapu Hike and Whales 143 Makapu Hike and Whales 139 p.s: Didn’t know I could move my photos about like this…. I’m going to keep playing with my post format!

Rise and Shine: Koko Head

Ready for another hike? Something a little more challenging? Let’ Go!

Koko head, an extinct volcano, with just over 1000 steps composed from a decommissioned railway previously used for military purposes of carrying supplies to the bunkers that are on top that were used as lookout points.  It’s a progressive incline, so essentially when you begin to feel tired it gets harder. Now I don’t think that should dishearten anyone from attempting the hike, just be mentally prepared for the last 200 steps (which in the grand scheme isn’t a whole lot). At around the midway point the ground slops into a ditch, but the railway track continues straight upwards. It’s a minor balancing act that’s easily done or to the right (left coming down)there is an earth beaten path for about 20 meters if you’re like me  and get paranoid of slipping between the railway ties. Once you reach the top your welcomed to a 360 degree view of the south end of Oahu.

#1 Tip: Go early

Because the sun rises in the east the assent to the top will be shaded as the rail tracks are facing more westerly. The relief will be welcomed. Once your on top the sun will be there for you. Feels almost close to some sort of welcoming of Ra (one of ancient Egypt’s deities).

koko head

#2 Tip: Bring a SackPack

Any type of bag, I only suggest the SackPack because it’s light and the least fussy carrier I’ve ever taken on hikes. Plus it should be big enough to carry everything you need; water, camera/phone, essential personal belongings (keys, & cards), and sun protection.

me pretending to be a photographer
me pretending to be a photographer

#3 Tip: Wear athletic clothing

This may sound like common sense, but you’ll be surprised at how many people will insist on wearing jeans, dresses, sandals, etc. Clothing that’s heavy or footwear that leaves the feet aching soon into their hikes. Let’s be practical.

Coast going up towards honolulu
Coast going up towards honolulu

#4 Tip (optional): Bring a sharpie

I only say this because the bunkers at the top already have lots of graffiti signatures  from other hikers making their mark to commemorate their hike to the top. Mines there somewhere, but not visible anymore since I used a pen (it was all I had on me).

Last Step
Last Step
Pretending I'm about to fall into koko crater.
Pretending I’m about to fall into koko crater.
Going Up
Going Up!

BUS RIDERS: You can get to Koko head via the bus. If your coming from Honolulu you’ll either be on the #1 or #1L bus. You’ll want to get off at the announced stop Lunalilo Home Rd + Anapalau St. The next stop is father away from the road you’ll need to turn into than this one, even if it doesn’t look like it. I know, I’ve done it. Once your off the bus its about 10 minute walk to Koko Head, look at it as your warm up and loosening your limbs and joints. Enjoy!

Hike time: going up- 30-60mins (depends on how active your feeling 🙂 )

Rise and Shine: Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

I don’t have a real rhythm to writing these blogs I feel, even though I’m only a few posts in, so I thought I’d share a few more stories/tips on various spots on Oahu. I lived there for a decent time and had my routine of school, but when the weekend came it was game on!

Makapu’u Lighthouse. Sound familiar? It’s the most south-eastern tip of the island. You have quite a few choices on where you might like to begin your day of hiking and exploring. Makapu’u lighthouse trail, the tide pools, the beach around the bend (when your there you’ll understand), Pele’s chair, etc.

#1 Tip: GO EARLY

Makapu’u is a hot spot for whale watching during migration season, November to May. You need to get there early in the morning, around 8am, that’s the best time to catch all the action. It is a windy spot, however you’ll warm up along the hike, just remember to bring a light jacket or sweater. You can bring binoculars or a camera to zoom in, but the best method is with your own eyes. You’ll get so caught up in your devices trying to spot the pinky sized whales you lose this stunning moment. Put all that away and just soak in this magical moment you’re lucky to watch. Your memory is stronger than you think and a photo will only deteriorate those swelled up emotions your feeling from watching this magical animal from breaching, diving, spy-hopping, lob-tailing, or even spouting. Humpback whales are very active whales when they want to be, and you should never feel the need to peel your eyes away from that show. Tatianna* and I were fortunate to have the trail to ourselves one early morning and got a good 30 minutes of whale activity from this one pod, we were delirious calling them “our family” or plain old “ours” as if the pod knew we were watching and wanted to give us this private show. One of the best ways I could have started my morning.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse
Closed, thanks vandalism. hahaha
Closed, thanks vandalism. hahaha

#2 Tip: BRING A LOVELOCK

I’m not sure this is the most common knowledge piece of information, however; Hawaii has its own Paris Pont des Arts Bridge. At the “summit” of this hike there are some stairs that lead up to a man-made viewing area that’s fenced in. I’m not sure when it began on Oahu, but clearly this spot can be a romantic spot if the occasion calls for it. Just because honeymooners choose Hawaii instead of Paris doesn’t mean they can’t lock their love and throw away the keys for an eternity of happiness. All of them signed and dated, at that point I was fully saturated in girly mushy sighs. Ahhh

Bringing Paris love to Hawaii
Bringing Paris love to Hawaii

#3 Tip: PACK YOUR SWIMSUIT

What a better excuse to dip into the ocean but a nice hike upon an extinct volcano? You have a few options, so let’s talk.

First, Makapu’u beach, it’s just on the other side of the lighthouse hike, 10min walk along the highway (there is side space along the road) or a 2 min drive from the lighthouse trail parking area to the Makapu’u beach parking lot. The waves here make it perfect for body-boarding or boogie-boards. The beach is crescent shaped so there’s plenty of space to layout. This beach actually seemed more of a local spot rather than touristy to me, and my guess is because to drive/bus here you’ll be passing lots of other amazing spots you’ll want to stop at as well (I’ll tell you about them). Makapu’u being a former volcano and all means is lava rock is in abundance along this coastal area. The beach also has an area where you can walk on top of the lava rocks and look to see the kind of sea life that lives in these coral-like areas. Lot of baby urchins! 

Makapu'u Beach Park and Sea life park
Makapu’u Beach Park and Sea life park

Second, the Tide pools. If you want to waste no time to getting soaked from your hike instead of walking all the way down about mid-way you’ll see on ocean-side (of course) a bit of an off-beat rocky pathway down along the side of the cliff. If my memory serves me right near where the information boards about whale migration are located. Not an extreme 90 degree angle cliff just a steeper path than the one you took coming up the path, so there is a slight barrier just so your reminded of where your feet are going should the view distract you (kind of like the barriers on the inside lane of a track separating the first lane and the inner grass field). Be sure-footed during your decent, loose rocks will have you slip occasionally. Once you reach the bottom, again, its lava rock, so if you’re not comfortable barefoot on sharp rocks it’s easier to keep your shoes on until you get into the pool… I’m teasing…sort of. Anyways, these tide pools do have a strong currents so be prepared for the incoming and outgoing waves. Also on stand-by for a good photo shoot is a blow hole! I’ll insert a photo below so you’ll see what I’m talking about, it’s pretty amusing because as much as you prepare for the action photo you’ll initially will be spooked by the abruptness of the water shooting upwards so aggressively.

Careful! it's kinda steep
Careful! it’s kinda steep
Blow hole!!
Blow hole!!

Lastly, Alan Davis Beach & Pele’s Chair. The least stressful because of the natural barrier the rocks and coral have created means little to no waves. The sand in the water is nice and fine to waddle in, the water level is deep enough to attempt a few tricks if you feel brave and confident about your balance on the wood pole. I squealed like a piglet, and it’s not even that high from the water! I just scream easily. To reach this area, it just requires taking the alternative trail that’s offered at the beginning of the lighthouse trail to the left. Don’t worry about the trail forking off a couple times during your trekking; they all come back together every time. Easiest way for me was to just keep left on the path. The name for this area is pretty simple, there’s a rock formation that looks like a chair so why not let it be Pele’s? And Alan Davis use to own tons of land back in the day. 

Alan Davis Beach
Alan Davis Beach
Pele's Chair
Pele’s Chair

So hopefully any future travelers to Oahu have found this post intriguing enough for them to venture southeast of the island. It’s such an awesome place to spend a sunny day, pack a lunch or even stop in Hawaii Kai for an early dinner. This type of adventure is one you’ll remember!

Panoramic view of southeast coast
Panoramic view of southeast coast
Mānana aka Rabbit Island
Mānana aka Rabbit Island
Ariel must be around here somewhere... her wave crash scene is up!
Ariel must be around here somewhere… her wave crash scene is up!
Some locals enjoying a "spa treatment"
Some locals enjoying a “spa treatment”
a free ticket to the nature show

Fun Fact: This area of the island is actually not too dissimilar in vegetation as to desserts; abundance of cacti and succulents along the trail.