Hawaii Trip, Day 5: Surfing, Pali Highway, and Ko Olina Snorkeling

The next morning, we went surfing with one of Daniel’s little brothers’ teachers, who lived right on the beach in Kailua. No super waves, but there was good body surfing to be had, and it was just so beautiful and we hadn’t gotten de-sensitized yet. After lunch (at Burger King, where the trash cans say “MAHALO” instead of “THANK YOU” – awesome), we went on another hike. Noticing a trend here? This time we hiked along the old Pali Highway, which hugs the East side of the mountains that run through the center of the island. More great views here, and a lot more jungle scenery than the pillbox hike. At one point we had to climb down a rope to go under the current Pali Highway, which was interesting. The hike starts at the aptly-named Pali Highway lookout, and ends at a golf course at the base of the mountains. It is hard to imagine cars, and especially large trucks sharing this tiny road! The road is only two lanes, and barely even that – with rock faces on one side and dizzying dropoffs on the other, no wonder they built a new highway to replace this one!

In the evening, we drove over to Ko Olina to go snorkeling. Ko Olina is a big resort on the south west corner of the island, but since all beaches in Hawaii are public, you can get into the resort and use their beached for free. Also, they have a big Luau at the resort, and bus people in from Honolulu for it and everything (big $$). However, the luau takes place right by the beach. So, you can stand on the public beach and watch the luau for free. No buffet, but whatever! We didn’t stick around for the luau, though, as we wanted to get some snorkeling in before dark. While we were out, we saw a number of sea turtles, which was cool – I had never seen them in the water before. We would go turtle watching sometimes home in Melbourne when they come ashore to lay their eggs (always being careful not to keep them from laying those eggs), but it was good to see them in the water. Unfortunately, there was some sort of film all over the coral, and it was overcast, so it wasn’t spectacular snorkeling.