Monday, December 3, 2012

Hawaii: Oahu: Little Circle Island Tour (8-21-09)

August 31, 2009

On this tour, our driver-guide is a funny Chinese guy named Robert. We were with a noisy happy group of Chinese-speaking Indonesians. Robert had to deliver his tour narrative in both English and Mandarin. The Chinese jokes lack punch when translated to English.

Our first stop in this half day tour is the Diamondhead Road Lookout. From this vantage point, we see the dramatic and expansive Pacific Ocean. At this lookout there was an interesting marker commemorating a flight by Amelia Earhart from this point.

The next stop was the famous Hanauma Bay along the island's southeast volcanic coastline. The view from the top was amazing. But this bay is also a noted area for snorkeling, and we see a lot of tourists doing just that in the shallow waters.

From there, we went to the Halona Cove. This is supposed to have been the beach where the famous kissing scene of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was shot for the movie "From Here to Eternity." There is also a "blowhole" there that shoots up columns of seawater into the sky as the waves hit. On a clear day, our guide said we could see four other islands of Hawaii from here, including Maui. Also, during winter, we could see humpback whales from this vantage point. The views here are breathtaking nonetheless. My pictures again do not do this place justice.

The next stop was the so-called Makapu'u Lookout. From here we can see offshore islands, such as Rabbit Island, Bird Island, Turtle Island, Goat Island and Cake Island. Again the views here are also breathtaking despite the light fog covering the uninhabited islets.

Along the way to the next stop, we saw typical homestead houses for native Hawaiians in the Waimanalo area. These were in sharp contrast to the extravagant-looking homes in the Kahala District, the so-called Beverly Hills of Hawaii, earlier in this trip.

The last stop on this tour is the very windy Pali Lookout. This was actually described by Mark Twain as one of the most beautiful views on earth. According to our guide, this area is where most Japanese tourists commemorate Gen. Yamamoto (since Japanese tourists generally forego Pearl Harbor for obvious reasons).

Kapiolani Park Fountain
With Diamondhead in the background

Amelia Earhart plaque
Too bad I can't read what was on the plaque anymore!

Luxury house in Kahala district

Hanauma Bay

A paradise for snorklers

The Blowhole!

Other Hawaiian Islands
Which you can see from this vantage point on a clear day. We did not see them.

"From Here to Eternity" Beach

Hawaiian Homestead
Given free for Native Hawaiians for preserving their culture

Pali Lookout

Very windy!

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