Hawaii Trip, Day 4: Kaena Point Hike

Continuing with the hiking trend, this day was spent hiking Oahu’s westernmost point. We left Daniel’s house early, caravaning up the East coast, along the North Shore, and to the West side of the island. That drive was spectacular – it was so picturesque, with gorgeous beaches every 5 feet, and the awesome mountains everywhere. The highway that follows the coast all the way around the island ends before Kaena point, becoming a dirt path that you really don’t want to drive on unless you have four wheel drive and a lot of ground clearance. Right before the end, where there is a pulloff to park, there is an airstrip that flies gliders, as well as the Others’ village from the TV show Lost. It is actually a YMCA summer camp (or something), and is not 100 yards from the beach (not the middle of the jungle like they make it seem in the show!). In fact, all over the island are landmarks and things from Lost that I started to recognise – it was weird (and a lot of the cast lives in Kailua too).

Anyways, so we parked the car and started out to the point. The plan was to hike to the point, around, and to a beach on the south side and then hike back in the afternoon. All in all it was a 10 mile hike. Getting out to to Kaena Point was uneventful, except that the sun was beating down, and there was no breeze to speak of. Kaena Point itself is an albatross nesting area, so a lot of the area is roped off. We saw a few albatross hatchlings, just sitting there by the side of the path. We had hoped to see some seals at the point, becasue they sometimes congregate there, but no luck. We hung out at the point, on this cool big rock, then started heading south. At this point, the ‘road’ continues along the cliffs right by the ocean to the south. Because of erosion, in one place the road had collapsed, and we had to scramble to the other side of the cave-in.

As we continue on, we keep seeing cars below the road on the rocks below. We weren’t sure if they were the result of over-ambitious drivers or what. This was apparentlythe place to be if you had come to Hawaii, rented a silver Jeep (seriously, if you are ever in Hawaii, count how many silver Jeep 4×4’s are on the road, it is weird), and wanted to go off-roading.

Finally we reach the beach, after what seemed to have been a much longer hike than 5 miles. We eat lunch and go for a swim, naturally. Of course, the beach was a lot cooler than this makes it sound. It was gorgeous, with crystal blue waters and an amazing view. But I feel like that pretty much goes wherever you are in Hawaii, so I will stop writing about it. You can just assume that every beach was great – I mean, look at the pictures! So, we start hiking back to where we had parked the hula bus. About halfway back we started running low on water, which was not fun – but we all survived.