Our first stop of the day was the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike, which is at the island’s most eastern point. The hike itself follows a paved road that leads from the highway to the lighthouse. Parking was at the beginning of the road right off the highway. The basic hike itself is very easy, simply follow the mile or two of paved road to the lighthouse and enjoy the view. However, the true adventure of the hike is for the more adventurous. A little more than halfway up the road to the lighthouse, there is a lookout with a sign talking about humpback whales and a small trail that leads down to the ocean and the “Dragon’s Nostrils” – an outcrop of rock that is covered in tidepools with two large holes in the middle that roar and shoot water spray as the waves come in below the rocks. You will likely see people swimming the tidepools, just be careful and watch out for urchins! There is quite a scramble from the trail to the bottom, but it was worth it. This hike is a great opportunity to watch for humpback whales in the winter months.
On they way home, we stopped at Bellows Air Force Station to hang out at that beach. Bellows is a military station just north of Waimanalo on the eastern coast of Oahu, which acts as a vacation destination for military families. Since Daniel’s dad has a military ID, he was able to get us onto the base to check out their beaches. Being right on Waimanalo Bay, the beach was very nice (if not as nice as Kailua!). We bodysurfed for a bit – and I was definitley the best at it in our group! Even though the waves were pretty small, I would consistently ride a wave all the way into shore, leaving everyone else behind. Fun times.