Monday, November 30, 2009

Waikiki After Dark

One of the best freebies in Oahu is the Waikiki Beach Hula Show at Kuhio Beach Park at the intersection of Ulunlu and Kalakaua Avenues. Winter hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 7 p.m.

Entertainment commences with the traditional sounding of the conch and the high energy performers let loose with hula and Hawaiian song for about an hour.  It will leave you smiling and touch your nostalgic souls.

For more night time events check out the Hawaii Visitor Bureau's Oahu schedule for December.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Oahu Heiau winners

Congratulations to our three winners:  D. Texeira, A. Schmidt and B. Crabb.

Our November 20 photo was taken in Makaha Valley on the west side of Oahu.  The Kaneaki Heaiu is a centuries-old homage to Lono, the god of peace and fertility.  It was converted to a war temple in the late 1700s when Kamehameha and his men sojourned there prior to launching an unsuccessful invastion of Kauai.

Your approach to the heiau should be respectful and no entry is allowed onto the main platforms.  To reach the heiau drive to Mauna Olu Estates in Makaha and drive past the gatehouse.  Located on private property, it is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 10 to 2.  No admission is charged.  For activities and points of interest on the West Side, consult your Oahu Trailblazer .

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mystery question

Can you name this this ancient Hawaiian site?  Be one of the first three to identify this not-so-famous place and win a new Oahu Trailblazer (hint) guide.  Our e-mail is  Aloha and good luck!  We'll be announcing the winners in our next posting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Shaka

Howzit brah?, hang loose, au-rite, cool, take care, goodbye, hello, 'til next time are some of the meanings of this totally Hawaiian gesture.  Don't be offended if someone bro's down the shaka, you're being extended a little aloha (friendship) from da locals.
Malama i kekahi i kekahi:  take care of one, take care of all.

Getting the "Y" right takes some practice.  Since it's a very "in" thing to do, get it right before you land so you put it into action behind the wheel where you'll notice it used all the time. It's another form of thank you. Most Hawaiian drivers are extremely polite, never tailgate, timidly merge and hardly ever honk.

The orgins are many. Most credit a foreman of the Dole Pineapple Cannery who lost his three middle fingers on the job.  After losing his job he became a security guard on the Sunset Beach, Oahu sugar train where the all-clear signal was communicated by a wave. Mr. Kalili's thumb/pinkie method is now universal - check out our Pres flashing the sign.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Father Damien's roost

Molokai's north coast. The 3 mile trail from topside to Kalaupapa hugs the nearly perpendicular cliffs and descends 1,600 feet to the peninsula.  Twenty-six switchbacks corkscrew in and out of canyons and ravines.

The leper colony is now a National Historic site and still home to a few former patients who have chosen to remain there.  Access is strictly regulated.  Tours can be arranged through Damien Tours of Kalaupapa for $40.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time Travel from Maui

To see what it was like on Maui in 1950, take a 90-minute ferry ride (or a 10-minute flight in a helicopter) to Molokai today. The entire north side of the island is roadless, where 3,000-foot high cliffs take on the Pacific. Drive east and the road skirts a coast of ancient fishponds and a surfing beach before ending at lush Halawa Valley (pictured here) home to several towering waterfalls and jungled hiking trails.

Going west on Molokai leads to more arid red-earth slopes and Papohaku Beach Park, with its 3-mile run of white sand. The north tip of the island (west of the sea cliffs) is Kalaupapa Peninsula where the leper colony was overseen by Father Damien in the late 1800s (tours take you down a switchbacking trail, yet another throwback in time).

Full scale tourism has never taken hold on Molokai, largely due to the efforts of locals who have shunned it. Island Marine runs ferries out of Lahaina, and Blue Hawaiian, as well as other companies, lift whirlybirds out of Kahului. See page 188 of Maui Trailblazer for an itinerary of a long day on the island.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Molokai Reef

An aerial view of where the manta rays and octopus roam. Helicopter tours of Molokai take off from Maui, fly over some of the highest coastal cliffs in the world and provide staggering views of waterfalls, fishponds and snorkeling waters. Fly with Blue Hawaiian and only go on a clear day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Snorkeling Anahola

The pointed peak in the Anahola Mountains that rises above this bay is named Kong, as in King (since it looks like the ill-fated ape in profile), but that movie was not filmed on Kauai, but instead the peak's downslopes were featured in Jurassic Park. (The local joke is that everyplace in Hawaii has been in either those dinosaur films or TV's Hawaii Five-O.)

A two-mile strip of band of yellow sand rims the bay, broken in the middle by the usually slack waters of Anahola stream. Coral reefs make for better-than-decent snorkeling, but shallow water and rip current (during higher surf) are drawbacks. From this side of the Bay, at Anahola Beach Park, a dirt track skirts a wild coast through Hawaiian Homelands, making for a non-tourist getaway hike.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Among the rules to ensure safety when hiking Kaua'i's NaPali Coast is this: Never follow a goat trail.

Kids like to chill at the terminus of the Awa'awapuhi Trail, the most popular among the down-and-up, out-and-back trails on the ridges that lead seaward from the upper edges of Waimea Canyon. The first part of the the spur is okay for sure-footed hikes, but only visitors with wings or hooves should go farther.

Provided you manage your time and avoid foul weather, the treks are safe for the careful hiker, unless you  sprain the shutter-finger snapping pictures.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Contest Winners - No Worries

Congratulations to the winners of the No Worries Hawaii planning guide.  Adventures await, including a trek down from the Waipo Valley Overlook. We appreciate all their enthusiastic comments relating to our blog and that the photos and commentary are inspiring travelers to visit the islands.  Our five winners are:  Claudia Sparks, Missoula; Tracy Abramson, Bristol (UK); Camrynne Six, Beaverton; Erik Prue, Petaluma; Jenn Zansinger, Chico.  Happy trails!