50th Anniversary
Hawaii Trip
November 1-8, 2007

Third Day - Saturday, November 3rd

Village Entrance Saturday we got started early again. This time the knee had improved a lot and I felt like a short hike so we left the Village and crossed the street to the Wailana Coffee Shop. On the way there, we passed this fountain at the entrance to the Village and the Kalia Tower, another of the five Waterfall towers. The waterfall feeds into the pond around the sign. Under construction, in the background, is what will be the Hilton Timeshare resort. That unusual tree is right in the middle of the Village Bazaar. Judy did a lot of internet research before we left and this place was highly recommended as a much more reasonably priced place to eat than anything Village Bazaar in the Hilton campus. I had two very large Eggs Benedict, with both ham and turkey and hash browns and she had the breakfast special, all-you-can-eat pancakes with two eggs and bacon. She couldn't eat all of the first set of pancakes. With two coffees, the bill came to about $20. Not too bad, all things considered.

Judy's first goal, after breakfast, was the giant flea market held every Saturday at the Aloha Stadium. Again, it is clear across town, near Pearl Harbor. This time I took the H-1 freeway on the mountain side of the city instead of Ala Moana street along the waterfront. I'm not sure the traffic moves a lot faster on the freeway but it was a different set of sights.

True to form, there was a turnoff a half-mile or so before where we needed to exit for the stadium. Well, what looked like an exit turned out to be the freeway. The exit was the larger and straighter route. I, of course, took the turnoff, landing me a half-mile short of my goal. After another half hour wandering around the narrow residential backstreets, most of which are one way, we finally arrived at the stadium. Meanwhile, we had passed again within a block or so of Pearl Harbor and the signs directing to the Arizona Memorial. I made another mental note of it.

There must have been several hundred vendors at the flea market. We wandered about for an hour or so and bought a few gifts along with a canvas bag to carry them home. We probably visited 40 or so tents before Judy started to maybe feel a little sorry for me, hobbling about on one and a half legs. Although I had not complained, I was no doubt ready to get off it so kept quiet and let her talk herself into leaving.

On the way back, we again passed Pearl Harbor and I again made a mental note of how to get there. If I remember right, we found H-1 and took it back to the resort, that is, as close as it comes. Actually, the traffic came to a grinding halt a mile or so short of our goal and I elected to get off and take the city streets the rest of the way. After a couple more wrong turns and ending up somewhere in the campus of the local large Catholic school, I finally found Ala Moana and got back in time for another rest and some more fruit and chips in the room.

Ocean off Waikiki Ft Russy Park Early afternoon, we again went for a walk along the beach and the Ft. Russy Park behind it. You can see a few surfers trying to get something out of the small waves off Waikiki. Oh, just ignore the lady on the cell phone in the park. It is pretty much impossible to take a photo anywhere near Honolulu without getting people in it.

Later, we decided to drive up to Diamond Head. The hotel is about on the boundary between Honolulu and Waikiki. Our map indicated a drive through the main street of Waikiki and on to the beachfront below Diamond Head. This time, there was a "Y" in the road, not shown on the map. It was right in the middle of Waikiki and, in the midst of the tourist traffic, I, of course, took the wrong branch. If there is any grid pattern to the street layout in the city, it is undetectable to me. Add the one-way nature of most of them and it took probably an extra mile or two and a semi-grand tour of Waikiki before finally finding the base of the mountain.

This was where we first saw those houses precariously clinging to the cliff and overhanging the beach, the ones you see on television and in the movies. At one point we deliberately took a side road past a row of those cliffhangers and down to the beach. I honestly was not sure our rented Impala was going to be up to the return trip back up that steep and narrow road. That is, if I could even find a place wide enough to turn it around for the return trip. If I lived there, I think the only suitable four-wheeled vehicle would be a Jeep. At first I thought Judy's Volkswagen would be good but, on second thought, I'm not sure it has enough power for some of the grades. Well, it's a moot point as I can't afford to live there anyway. The median price of a home on The Birds O‘ahu is $640,000. Our map shows a lighthouse on the beach at the base of Diamond Head. I'm sure it is there but we never did find it in spite of some searching.

At one point on the way to Diamond Head, we stopped at a scenic overview of the ocean. While there we noticed a couple of small birds with a fairly unusual looking characteristic to their feathers. One of them had lost its tail feathers, probably to a cat. The birds were gray and the stripes appeared to form darker rings around them. They looked sort of like miniature pigeons. At first there were just a couple of them but the longer we stayed there, the more that seemed to join the group. They were obviously pretty accustomed to tourists as they definitely wanted to be fed and seemed to have no reluctance to come right up to people. We didn't have anything for them, I'm sorry to report. We were to see a lot more of these birds on the island.

Tunnel from Outside After driving all the way around the base of the mountain on the beach side, which is what we wanted to do anyway, we finally made it to the climb up the back side and the entrance to the crater. Entry is through a natural tunnel (lava tube) that the volcano blew through the side of the Tunnel from Inside mountain during one of its angry periods so many years ago. The photo on the left is from outside and the other is from inside the crater. I read later that it has been extinct for over 150,000 years. I'm not sure why but there are a couple of military areas in the crater. There is one interesting looking, little traversed road with the typical "Don't even think about going in here" signs but no gate. Since there seemed to be nothing else in the crater, I can't imagine what secrets it held. It just makes you wonder. Unlike the Punchbowl, the Diamond Head crater is not maintained and doesn't seem to have anything other than a parking area for $5 per car. But like Punchbowl, it would be a real hike to the rim where I'm sure the view would be outstanding. My knee was still not up to that. Below is a panorama of the south to northwest rim of the crater. I thought I got photos all the way around but apparently not. Panorama of Crater

Mountains kokohead We took a few pictures then made our way back down, around the remaining portion of the mountain and back toward the hotel. These are from just outside the entrance tunnel. On the left is looking north toward the mountains. Notice the little trolley bus making its way back down the mountain.On the right is what I believe to be Hawai‘i Kai and Koko Head although it looks more like an island from here. On the way back to the hotel, we passed through some of the same area in which we were sort of lost in Waikiki.

Yacht Harbor After a brief rest, another visit to the beach seemed in order. We headed west to the Honolulu Yacht Harbor and found the Hawai‘i Yacht Club. I had my OCBC card and even had the name of the Sobstad sailmaker who is a member but we just didn't have time to visit. Maybe next time? This panorama is from the Yacht Harbor area.

Rainbow Tower This next picture is looking back into the Hilton resort from the harbor. The colorful building is the Rainbow Tower. The Tapa (our hotel) can just be seen in the background to its right. The Beach Late remaining photos are various scenes in the Village. The beach is part of the Village campus and bronze sculptures, such as these, are everywhere. Also, there are several ponds and fountains to be found wherever you look. Bronze Flower Elf The sign nearby describes the elf sculpture. I can't remember his significance for sure but he does something good. It seems like maybe he plants the flowers and such every night or something like that. Antelope Bronze

We finally went back to the Wailana Coffee Shop for dinner and both had a slab of Ahi tuna. It was good if overcooked and a bit dry. I think it was there that I had a Kona Long Board Lager. While I rested my knee under an ice pack in our room, Judy went back to the Whaler store and got me a half pint of rum, thinking that was the magical ingredient that lubricated that knee last night. That was pretty much it for Saturday. We again hit the bed fairly early. Flamingos in Pond Another Pond


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