Around the Island: Day 4

Our fourth day on Oahu was one of the busiest. We decided to see several different things on the eastern side of the island, since we were staying on the west.

We started off with breakfast on the balcony of our place. Gorgeous views of the ocean to enjoy as we sipped coffee and had fruit and Costco muffins. To our delight, we also were able to see several rays and sea turtles swimming along the shore. Apparently it was a favorite spot of theirs in the early morning. No clear photos of the rays or turtles sadly, but you can at least get an idea of the view.

After breakfast we took off to head to Nu’uanu Pali Lookout to enjoy some beautiful views. Definitely worth the stop to enjoy seeing so much of the natural beauty that Oahu has to offer. The mountains, the lush green, the water, and so forth. We stayed there only a couple of minutes before heading on our way to our next destination.

Next on the list was the Byodo-In Temple, a replica of an actual ancient temple in Japan that was built in Hawaii in the 60’s. As I have unfortunately not been able to get to Asia yet in my travels, it sounded like a great experience to be able to visit.

It took a little while to get there, as the temple is located right be a cemetery, and with Memorial Day, things were busy. However, soon enough we were parking to head to the temple.

The place was beautiful. A peaceful natural landscape, complete with the tranquil reflection of the temple. We wandered through, enjoying the sites and snapping pictures.

After we felt we’d seen all the temple had to offer, we decided to head to a waterfall hike not too far away. The falls were the Likeke Falls, and the trail was right off of the Pali Golf Course, which is no longer in use. Thankfully that meant plenty of parking.

The walk wasn’t too long, though it was quite humid in the forest. We enjoyed the various sites, a water tower covered in graffiti, mongoose hiding in the foliage, and vines and roots forming patterns through the forest.

The falls themselves were pretty crowded, so we didn’t hang out long. It definitely wasn’t the biggest or most impressive waterfall I’ve seen in my travels, but it was pretty and people were clearly enjoying cooling off a bit in the water.

After we’d seen the falls, we headed back down the trail to and towards the coast to find some lunch. We ended up at a place called Kalapawai Cafe and Deli. The place mostly had sandwiches and other simple lunch food, but it ended up being really tasty and definitely hit the spot after a busy morning!

We had some good food, and then we headed off to go snorkeling. We had decided to try Hanauma Bay, part of a nature park well known for being a good place to see ocean wildlife.

Unfortunately, as we turned to go into the parking lot, we were startled to find they were closed! Turns out the park is not open on Mondays. Only open part of the week actually. Again, I can’t be sure if that’s a regular thing or just part of COVID times, but it did put a bit of a damper in our plans.

Thankfully, while driving we’d noticed some other beaches that appeared to be pretty still, therefore good at least for being able to see well in the water.

We headed back towards some of those beaches, stopping at the Halona Blowhole pullout to have a look. Unfortunately the tide wasn’t high enough to have the blow hole actually working, but it was still a really pretty area and we spotted some sea turtles down in the waves as well!

After our quick stop at the blowhole, we headed a little further down to Kaopo Cove Beach Park. The place was actually not too crowded, in spite of the holiday. Many of the other beaches we’d seen on our drive seemed pretty swamped.

At the beach, we headed out into the water to take a look. As we’d seen from our drive, the waves weren’t too strong, and therefore we were able to see really well and not be too battered around.

Unlike our previous day snorkeling, we didn’t see any sea turtles sadly! But there were lots of pretty tropical fish, a saddled snake eel, lots of urchins, and some sea cucumbers (see the one underwater photo above). We had purchased some underwater bags for phones to try to take some pictures while snorkeling, but unfortunately I found it difficult to see the screen in the water, so most of my photos did not turn out well. But, at the very least it was a fun experience even if I wasn’t able to document with pictures.

After a few hours enjoying the beach, we packed up and headed back towards our place for the evening.

We stopped along the way to see if a restaurant was open on the holiday weekend, and if so if they took reservations or had room. The place was called Beach House by 604, Unfortunately, they failed to answer their phone, so we went to actually see about it. Weirdly enough, the restaurant was on a military base, so without a military ID we had to park outside and walk in. My brother graciously offered to go check on availability.

Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn’t taking reservations and was extremely crowded. Any wait would be probably more than an hour. Feeling hungry, and uncomfortable with salt drying on my skin and sand all over, I asked to please just head back to our place and find somewhere else for dinner. I really needed to wash the salt off my body.

Thankfully, it was agreed we could head back and do another meal on our balcony instead. I washed off and my dad went to grab some frozen pizzas and salad ingredients.

After getting cleaned up and having something to drink, I felt a lot better. After a little bit my father returned with pizzas and salad ingredients. Unfortunately, the oven at our rental place was a bit uncooperative, so it took longer to get pizzas cooked than we’d anticipated. However, eventually they were ready and we were able to again sit on our balcony and enjoy the sunset over a meal.

As with the evening before, we finished things off by a walk on the beach in the dark. We again saw some of the needlefish, which were pretty fun. After that we cooled off in the pool before heading up to get a good night’s sleep. We had one more full day on the island, and were determined to enjoy it to the max!

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