Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day 2: Hiking Diamond Head...

For our second full day in Hawaii, Ryan and I woke up early (of course, we were still on IL time) and ate an early breakfast.  While we were eating breakfast, we looked up the times for The Bus in the book we had picked up the day earlier with all the routes and numbers.  We had already planned to hike Diamond Head today (Sunday, June 8) and we wanted to do it early, because from everything we had heard from my parents and my sister, there wasn't much shade offered, except in the tunnels.

The Bus dropped us off in a parking lot outside of Diamond Head and the driver pointed out where we were to cross the road and start the journey upwards to reach the entrance to Diamond Head.  We walked about 3/4 of a mile or maybe a mile to the entrance (all up hill), and the view was already something to behold.  
Starting up to the entrance of the state park
Almost to the entrance...
We made it to the entrance!
We paid our $1 entry fee to get into the park, stopped at the bathrooms and began our hike up Diamond Head.  On the website for this state park it says: "The hiking trail to the summit is very steep and uneven in some areas.  The last 1/10 of a mile is all stairs and especially steep.   Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for your hike.  Wear good walking shoes, bring water, and wear a hat and sunscreen"  And they weren't lying.  It was a steep hike and the trail was uneven.  The last 1/10 of a mile WAS all stairs going straight up!  But once you got to the top... What. A. View!  It was beautiful and well worth all the sweating we did to get up there.  We drank almost 2 of our big water bottles by the time we were back down.  Some people must not have read the website, because there were ladies wearing really fancy dress shoes, there were men in flip flops, poor little kids were in sandals (I'm sure they all had blisters by the time they were done).  We ran into several military families where there were men in camo pants with kids riding in backpack carriers- they got my respect!
Isn't this flower gorgeous?!?
Our view as we hiked upwards
The first round of stairs, then a tunnel, then some more stairs...
The view from the top!
If you look at the trees, you can see how windy it was (the breeze felt wonderful)
So sweaty (why Ryan doesn't look like it, I have no idea, lucky man!)

Once we got back down to the visitor's center, we stopped off at the food truck and Ryan bought us a strawberry & pineapple shave ice.  It was refreshing and cold and basically was gone by the time we finished walking to the stop where The Bus was going to pick us back up.  We were fortunate that The Bus had just arrived and we didn't have to wait at all, AND our transfer passes were still valid (our original driver had given us 4 hour passes instead of 2 hour passes) so we didn't have to pay for the return ride back to Waikiki (score for us, our goal for being frugal continued!).

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