Thursday, November 10, 2011

Punchbowl Crater, Manoa Falls & Our First Visitors

I can't believe it's been two months since I last posted, but as expected, once work got going for me, my spare time dwindled.  So as not to let too much more time pass between posts, it seemed appropriate to update the blog.

We've been living in Hawaii for about two and a half months now and although the initial excitement has died down, we are still exploring the island and discovering new things every so often.  As I've mentioned before, we live in an area of town known as the Lower Punchbowl due to it's proximity to the base of a large extinct volcano.  Several weeks ago, we decided to pay the Punchbowl another visit and check out what appeared from a distance to be a lookout point on the edge of the rim.  It did not disappoint and I was able to get a new perspective of the city of Honolulu and can even identify more of it now that we've been living here for a while.

Downtown Honolulu looking towards Eva from Punchbowl Crater.

Downtown Honolulu from Punchbowl Crater.

Downtown Honolulu from Punchbowl Crater.

Looking towards Waikiki and Diamond Head from Punchbowl Crater
























































A few of weeks later, Roxi and I decided to go for a hike in the Manoa Valley to see Manoa Falls.  Hiking in the jungle was nice but challenging despite the path.  The valley gets quite a bit more rain than the area where we live, which made for some very muddy stretches on the trail.  Eventually, we made it to the falls and although we were a expecting a larger waterfall, it was still a very beautiful hike and we noticed another interesting perspective of the falls on our way back down the trail.

Manoa Falls



















Manoa Falls



















Being on Oahu is great but living so far away from family can be hard at times.  We've been looking forward to a home connection and last week we got it when Roxi's parents, Vicky and Larry, visited us.  It was great having them around and very exciting to share some of our favorite things on Oahu and do some things we hadn't even had the chance to do yet.

On their first weekend in town, we took Vicky and Larry to the North Shore via the Pali and Kamehameha Highways around the windward side of the island. No trip over the Pali would be complete without a stop at the Pali Lookout.

Vicky and Larry at the Pali Lookout.















We spent the rest of that afternoon at the Turtle Bay Resort lounging on the beach and swimming in the cove.  Roxi, Vicky and I even got to see a young sea turtle surface in the cove several times before diving below and presumably swimming out to where there were fewer humans around.  As the sun began to set, we headed towards Haleiwa stopping at a few scenic areas along the way.  We were losing light very quickly but decided to make one last stop at a beach near Haleiwa that Roxi and I had previously seen a large sea turtle while swimming in the cove.  We got more than we bargained for at this stop as there were two very large seas turtles basking on the beach.  Although Hawaii law prohibits getting within six feet of the turtles, it was amazing to get to see them from that distance.  Roxi managed to take some excellent photos in the waning sunlight.

Sea Turtles near Haleiwa

Sea Turtles near Haleiwa

Sea Turtles near Haleiwa

Sea Turtles near Haleiwa

Sea Turtles near Haleiwa



















































































Later in the week, we went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, a first for all of us since Roxi and I had not had time to make a trip there yet.  Hanauma Bay is an old volcano crater whose eastern end has completely eroded allowing the sea to fill it and create a unique and amazing coral reef within its bowl.  It is without a doubt, the best place I have ever been snorkeling.  The colors of the fish were so vibrant and they never seemed bothered by our swimming around them; that is until Roxi and I saw an eel.  We're not sure what type of eel it was when we first saw it hiding in some coral but we were amazed and in awe. As we looked on, the eel started to make what seemed to be aggressive movements towards us.  At that point, we came to our senses and moved away as quickly as possible without further agitating it.

Hanauma Bay from the rim of the crater.















Sadly, all good things come to an end; Vicky and Larry left last Saturday to return home but not before we all got to see a double rainbow.  It sure made sitting in the Honolulu traffic much easier to handle!

Double Rainbow!

1 comment:

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