Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hawaii Day 2-- Diamond Head

Our second day in Hawaii was much better-- and much more expensive! We started by hiking Diamond Head for the sunrise. Having never been to Hawaii, I thought this might be a romantic, quiet way to start a Tuesday morning. Apparently, so did 2 tour buses of Japanese tourists and a van load of Germans. In fact the hike was pretty crowded with probably over 200 people making the journey. It's a short hike, but quite steep. It includes a stairway and several tunnels. I would classify the hike as "very doable" for anyone in reasonably good condition. In fact, I like the hike much more than the view of the sunrise through a sea of other people's heads. We did make a nice friend on this hike. She shared some Japanese candy with us, and was excited that we could converse in broken English about the geography of Japan. (Apparently naming a city like Niigata is worth 2 handfuls of sweet candy). She also shared another "treat" with us that tasted roughly like a mouthful of the cat's litter box, and I still don't know if it was fruit, meat, candy, or a bite of lint from the laundry filter. Of course, she wanted to watch me eat it, which tipped me off to its impending taste. (It seems this is a common pasttime-- Australians want you to try Vegemite and several Hawaiians wanted to watch us taste poi. I don't invite people to America and then grin stupidly at them as they take a mouthful of Tuna Casserole!) Anyway, the hike climbs several stairways, passes through a tunnel or two, and comes out on top of an extinct volcano rim. Actually, you are climbing up out of the volcano's rim from the inside. You can see Honolulu and a wide expanse of ocean, including the sunrise. For any bird nerds, we saw several kinds of birds on the hike, including cardinals, doves, and finchy looking things.
About 1/2 way up, we stopped to catch the sunrise.

The sun from the top of Diamond Head--
we missed the actual sunrise since we had to fight through those 200 tourists.

Our first picture together in Hawaii--it was really windy on the top.

Randy in one of the tunnels we hiked through.


The sign at the bottom--there was even a line to take a picture here.

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