Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hawaii: Oahu's North Shore (08/20/09)

August 29, 2009

In the afternoon of August 20, we joined Oahu Nature Tours' to Explore the Famous North Shore of Oahu. Our driver on this tour was named Clinton.

We first saw the Ko'olau Mountains along the way, with their unusual ridged appearance. Our first stop was in the Valley of the Temples, which was actually a cemetery. There we visited the Byodo Buddhist Temple, which was typical but with a very picturesque backdrop of green cliffs.

We then drove along the shores of Kahana Bay and made stops at two scenic spots. One to see the Chinaman's Hat rock island formation. Then next to Laniloa. The rough surf hitting the craggy rocks was quite a sight to behold. Pictures cannot capture the grandeur of this landscape.

Next, we drove through a small town called Kahuku, who had a mementos of their failed sugar industry. We stopped on a roadside shrimp store to eat a late lunch. Just to try, Elaine bought their best-seller Butter Garlic Shrimp. For a serving of 10 shrimps, the bill was $12. The food was tasty and the shrimp succulent, but a bit unwieldy to eat on a bus because you still had to shell them.

We then saw the legendary Sunset Beach and the beach of the famous Banzai Pipeline. Unfortunately, the famous thrilling 30 foot waves only appear in the winter months of November to April. During our visit, the beaches were very calm. The waves were even higher in Waikiki! This was a disappointment, but the views were also very nice indeed.

Next stop was Turtle Beach, so called because rate green sea turtles rest on its beach. Luckily there was one beached on the shore when we got there. I was also observing a couple of turtles swimming near the shores. Too bad I was not quick enough with the camera to catch them as they surfaced to breathe.

The next stop was the old town of Haleiwa, noted to be a home for surfers and artists. We stopped over at their plantation style town center where we enjoyed a cup of the Hawaiian favorite called "shave ice", which was basically a sno-cone with cream topping. Very refreshing.

Because it was already getting late, we did not get to stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation anymore. We also did not get to see the so-called Hawaiian Stonehenge which was also noted in the brochure. The tour guide also noted that we passed by the historic Schofield Barracks, but again did not stop over. Another disappointment.

Byodo Temple

Chinaman's Hat



Sandy Beach

Site of the Banzai Pipeline


Rock Jumpers at Waimea Bay

Turtle Beach

A Turtle Dove on Turtle Beach

Shaved Ice!

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