Beware, this may be turning into a hiking blog!
Dave and I had a whole morning planned out for Saturday. It started with breakfast at our favorite Honolulu dinner. A short hike was part of the plan, so we made sure to eat a power breakfast: Belgium Waffles and lots of syrup. If you’ve never had it, coconut syrup is delicious!
Then we made a short stop at Walmart to get supplies for some DIY curtains. (That’s a whole other story/post in and of itself!) We weren’t planning on a long hike, but grabbed a bottle of water to accompany our Gatorade anyways, and then headed off for the morning’s main event.
Walmart was less a “date” portion of the trip and more utilitarian. Since traffic on Oahu can be kind of crazy, it’s best to condense travel, so I was actively looking for a hike near the city. I found one called the Manoa Falls Trail.
Manoa Falls has a greatly undeserved reputation on the internet for being one of Oahu’s best destination hikes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty enough, but again, I would use the word “hike” liberally. It’s a 1.5 mile trail that is supposed to end in a beautiful waterfall and pond you can swim in. We started the walk slowly so I could take pictures, but the further we walked, the more onset we were with other people.
Like I said, it’s not that it wasn’t pretty… it was just less of a hike and more of a stroll. It’s a great walk for people with children, older folk, or tourists. Nice, wide paths. Some pretty things to look at. Overall though, it not what it was advertised as.
There was only one waterfall at the end of the hike, and the pool was roped off for swimming. A few people were in the pool anyways. Everyone else was crowded around the ropes, finding whatever space they could to take pictures. Not a few kids in bathing suits were crying as their parents refused to let them near the pool. It was a small, cramped end to the hike, and could have been a rather disappointing morning adventure… but then I saw this.
The arrow pointed up a narrow, very rocky trail, so of course Dave and I took it! Thus began the real adventure. We didn’t really know where the trail ended, but we had two full Gatorades and half a water left, so we started walking.
I have less pictures than I would like from this portion of the hike, but there were so many places where having a camera out was just not a great idea. The trail was narrow, rocky, muddy, sometimes with steep fall offs (though there were so many bushes and trees in the way you were never in a huge danger of falling off the mountain).
The ‘Aihualama Trail ended fairly ignobly, intersecting with yet another trail, in the middle of the forest. Thanks to the family walking in front of us though, we knew there was a ridge line somewhere close. We picked the “up” direction and kept walking. We were fairly close to the end at that point, and so soon we emerged to this:
Since we weren’t high enough yet, we decided to climb a tree…
Finally we headed back down, and just as we were about to step back on to the Manoa Falls Trail I saw the shot I’d been waiting for all day.
I think this might be a Japanese White-eye? We’d been listening to birds sing all day, but with all the people I hadn’t caught a picture yet. Great way to end the hike!
By the time it was all said and done our little morning hike turned into an all day adventure of 6.2 miles. Now the only question is how do we trump it next weekend?