Thursday 9th August 2018
Today we are doing a Circle Island Sunrise Tour with Oahu Photography Tours. Luckily Hurricane Hector missed the islands, however the storm clouds were looking low and ominous. It wasn’t raining – yet. Alex picked us up at 5:25 am (need to be up before sunrise to take photos of the sunrise) and then we picked up another couple – Rochelle and Derek – fellow Australians – who only live an hour away from us. We were stoked. It’s been so long since we’ve met any Australians. We were happily chatting all the way to the first stop. Alex, our photographer / guide, was also very nice.
Our first stop was at Sandy Beach. We weren’t going to be able to get great sunrise photos due to clouds covering the sky all around us, however the winds had whipped up the surf, especially at this location. We experimented with different perspectives at Sandy Beach and then went to the Halona Blowhole and Cove- just from the lookout. It was so stunning, even in the less than ideal weather conditions.
Our next stop was the Makapu’u Point Lookout. This was stunning. We could see the mist coming over the mountain. As we were taking photos we saw some majestic frigate birds coasting on the strong winds. It was amazing. We noticed that the wind was whipping up the side of the mountain and you could see the dirt mingling in the mist.
We went to another picturesque location of a beautiful beach.
We went to Kalapawai Market in Kailua for our breakfast stop. It was quite quaint and old fashioned. The food was delicious too and not expensive. Phil said the coffee was great. Alex had claimed that the Australians love the real coffee at this place. We all went for a short walk to the Kailua Beach and park.
Our next stop was the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. This was where the rain started. It was pouring down. It had been sprinkling / raining most of the morning, but it started bucketing down, just as we got there. It was obvious that this complex is amazingly beautiful in the sunshine.
The heavens opened and it was bucketing down. Rochelle and I both bought umbrellas here, so it would stop. The rain decreased and so we headed back to the mini bus. We stopped on the coast to see some Hawaiian Monk Seals. This is a favourite place of these seals to rest. These seals are endangered and very protected. It was hardly raining at this point.
We stopped at a fruit stall and tried some fried bananas. They were delicious. We then headed to see a huge banyan tree that has been used in the filming of Lost (I think). We got to see a mongoose – from a distance. This tree was massive. After taking photos here, we headed to the local beach. There were some people paddle boarding, with their dogs on their boards. Sadly, the clouds were rolling in again, so no sunshine for these shots.
We then continued on our journey around the North Shore. We pulled up on the hill overlooking Waimea Bay where crazy people were jumping off a rock into the water. Alex was explaining that the water isn’t all that deep where they were jumping off and there are many warning signs asking people not to do it. Still they do!
The sun was trying to shine through the clouds that are starting to break up. We travelled along the coast a little more and then Alex pulled over where there were lots of cars. He figured that the turtles must be playing in the water due to how many people were there. He was right! We got across the road (Alex stayed with the car as he couldn’t find a car park.)
This was so amazing to see these creatures in the wild. It truly was amazing. Phil took his shoes and socks off and paddled in the water so that he could zoom in to these gorgeous turtles.
After we had finished here, we stopped off at the Dole Pineapple plantation. Alex pointed out the ‘rainbow’ gum trees at the entrance that are glorious. We took some photos here and then had to try the Dole whip ice cream. This was absolutely delicious!
We headed back to Waikiki exhausted after our big day out. We relaxed for a little while when we got back. Rochelle and Derek had recommended the cheeseburger place next to our hotel so we went there for dinner. Great choice.
Early to bed tonight. Luckily we can sleep in tomorrow. We have our nothing on day -which also means shopping day!