Dustin, Kim and I woke up early on Sunday morning, well before sunrise, to hike Olomana Trail. The trail was pretty intense, especially considering I was backpacking with about 20lbs of gear, luckily Dustin was there to switch off with. The trail is steep, crazy steep, over a 1,600 foot elevation gain in under a mile. The first part is a pretty gradual increase, but by the end there are rock walls with rope assists, it morphs from a hike to a climb in quite a few spots. The trade off is that the views were spectacular, scrambling up boulders, full on climbing up a sheer rock face, deadly drops on either side off a path only a foot wide, it was all worth it to see the top of this ridge. We took a much needed rest at the top, I got a video of the 360 degree panoramic view and we snapped a few photos, really feeling like we had accomplished something that morning. We hadn't quite made it for sunrise, but we did have the top to ourselves and didn't see another soul until about half way back down the ridge.
After the descent, which is just
as strenuous with the amount of muscle fatigue that had set in, we made it back to the Jeep; round trip about 2.5 hours. For breakfast we stopped at Sweet Home Waimanalo, a place Jeff and Mel had told us about; they said they grow or buy everything locally. I had a pineapple soda and some coconut French toast, we also bought a photo print from a local artist inside. Small, quaint little place on the side of the road with great food. I highly recommend trying it if you are in the area.
The rest of our day was kind of a time crunch. I had reserved a time to meet with a flight instructor from Moore Air so that I could check out a plane the next day, (for those of you who don't know, I just tested out for my pilot's license January 20th of this year). I wanted to surf so we headed out to find a surf shop, they guy was cool there and told us that surf was really not up on the windward side of the island today and to try back. We shopped around a little bit, Kim bought a few
articles of clothing and Dustin some board shorts; we loaded back up and headed back to the condo, and just walked out to our little beach. When I say little this beach stretches on forever and has a nice sized shore break with impossibly blue waters. We swam a bit, I had a little crab attach itself to me while swimming which had me a bit startled at first. After spending the rest of our limited time there we hit the showers. Kim and I headed to the general aviation side of the Honolulu airport and Dustin headed home.
I had set everything up before even knowing for sure if I was going to have my license... always an optimist. There are some specifics of flying in what is called Bravo airspace. Bravo is the busiest airspace and is loaded with regulations. Omaha is the busiest airport I had flown at up until this point, Omaha is class C. After sitting down with Jelica we covered the airspace a bit and some of the rules surrounding the island with VFR navigation. I had studied up on it quite a bit and felt pretty well prepared, it wasn't long before
we were in the plane. Seeing the island from the air was pretty fantastic. It didn't take long to get the hang of the communications, the pronunciation of check points and towns was the toughest part. The Hawaiians only have 12 letters in their alphabet and everything looks and sounds just like the next word. This was the first time Kim had flown with me and she did great, and felt like she could handle flying with me alone the next day. After we landed and shut down we signed some paperwork and Jelica gave me the rental agreement for the next day. I'd be flying for my first flight alone, with a passenger, around Oahu departing and arriving in class B airspace.... no hill for a climber right?
Duke's has some of the best reviews on Waikiki as far as food and atmosphere go, we decided on that for dinner. We just missed sunset as we sat down facing the West. Dinner and service were great, Kim and I set out and itinerary for the rest of the trip as days are passing way too quickly. The first thing we noticed leaving is the volume of people, if
you are looking to get away while visiting Hawaii do not stay near Honolulu. The traffic is awful, hoards of tourists crowd the streets looking for their hotels or filing through tourist trap style shops. The experience solidified my desire to stay on the opposite side of the island and really experience Hawaii. After a long few days and a very early morning we were ready to crash. I stayed up to write a bit and Kim did some homework, but we basically just retired after making our way back to Waimanalo. I turn 32 in a few short hours.
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