March 24, 2014

Snorkeling in Hawai'i

Snorkeling in Hawai'i. I've only dabbled in snorkeling at two places, sad I know, but I don't have my own gear yet (update : I now have a snorkel and fins!). So that will be my reason why. When I first moved to Hawai'i, snorkeling was not on the top of my to-do list! I had a bit of a scare during Ho‘omāka‘ika‘i (kind of like a camp for where we learned about our Hawaiian heritage; it's pretty fun) back in 6th grade. We went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and my advisor thought it would be okay to grab and pull my feet (maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but lets just say there was very little trust between me and the world). Ever since, I never wanted to do it again ...

And now here we are, all thanks to one of my lovely friends (Alyson), she pretty much held my hand and got me back into the water snorkeling away ... well maybe not holding hands. But it now has become something that I look forward to, plus it's pretty fantastic to have photographer friends (Alyson Gradwell Photography & Open Water Productions ) ... cause you get some awesome shots like the ones in this post.

There are only three places that I have snorkeled at :
  • Hanauma Bay (tourist infested ... in my opinion, I'd save time and go snorkel somewhere else)
  • Electric Beach in Kapolei (so much fish to see, honu, dolphins!)
  • ... some place else that I don't feel like sharing :) Trying to keep some places local.
I frequent Electric Beach about every week (except for the past few weeks) and I love it there. It's just amazing what we see each time, I've seen a pod of dolphins and got so close that I could touch them, but I try not to. Here's a video to prove it! Can't forget about the honu (turtle in Hawaiian), you're bound to see one every time you go, but please don't touch. It's illegal anyways, so don't!

I know there's so many more amazing snorkel spots, so if you know of some, feel free to comment below. I'll just have to check them out one day!

February 17, 2014

Hiking : Konahuanui Summit (K2)

Konahuanui, one of my favorite hikes in Oahu.

We found this hike upon chance, the Manoa Cliff trails is a hike I've frequented and there's always little trails that go in different directions. From Manoa Cliff, we usually take Pauoa Flats and right at the end of that trail is Nu`uanu Lookout. It's truly a sight to see, especially on a clear day. At the end of the trail, it's pretty visible that there's a trail to the right of it, and as curious as we are, we love to wander. So I did that one day and I ended up staying on it for about 20 minutes. And it was clear to me that the trail goes much further than I imagined. Eventually my brother figure met up with me and we explored some more and decided that we'll have to come back another day and do this trail.

At last the day came, we were amped and prepared for this one. There were only three of us, so I made us egg salad sandwiches and cookies. We stopped for bottles of water and quick snacks before we started our hike.

We parked right outside of the entrance for Pu`u `Ohi`a Trail, which is such a lifesaver when you're done with the hike and you won't have to walk miles to your car. So, I am always the caboose on hikes, my cardio sucks and I just can't keep up with the others. I don't mind because well, I'm always taking pictures and catching my breath, so it works out perfectly for me.

From Pu`u `Ohi`a, we took Pauoa Flats and then were on our way towards the second peak of Konahuanui or K2. The day was pretty overcast and there were times where we experienced the blazing hot sun and humidity, it was a relief when we got swarmed by the lovely breeze! To me, it's a pretty crazy hike. We'd be at the edge of the ridgelines and the drop-offs are pretty steep.

It's pretty hard to tell in the picture above, but all the greenery in front of the ferns at the bottom of the picture, is a very-VERY steep drop.

I'm pretty sure I gave my mom a little panic attack when I told her about this trail. It truly is something that you have to experience for yourself to really understand what I'm trying to tell you. We'd have trails like this and times where we'd be on the very top of the trail making our ways towards to the top of K2. On a rainy day this hike (like most hikes) is extremely dangerous. Near the tail-end of the trail to K2, the path is grainy dirt to compacted dirt, and it's very narrow. Where I stepped was about a foot wide, probably less than that. The other two that I went with had to walk alongside of it since their feet couldn't fit on the main path (which is not safe for a rainy day). Towards the top, there are some ropes to help you ascend, which I always take advantage of when my legs tired.

I was about 30 minutes behind the other two, but once I finally arrived it was smiles because well, I made it. It's a great feeling. It was super overcast that day, but we got glimpses of previous trails we've done to the east of us. As always, the sight from the top are amazing! We debated about going to K1, but we all voted no and headed back down after our lunch.

K2 is the second highest point (a little over 3,000 feet altitude) on the Ko'olau Mountain Range, on our next adventure, we'll be completing this hike and going all the way to K1.

This hike roundtrip was about 5.5 hours (I think), we were exhausted by the end of it and completely sore the day after. Not even Haiku Stairs made us this sore.

Yay, first hiking post, hope you liked it.

DISCLAIMER : Like most hikes, it can be very dangerous. And this post is documenting the sights I've seen during these hikes. This post is provided for entertainment and informational purposes only. This is not a hiking guide at all. This information is not intended to offer advice on any trail that is shared on this blog. The writer of this blog is not responsible for any accidents, injuries, rescues, loss of life by anyone attempting any of the hikes on this blog. As a reader, please be responsible,use common knowledge and good judgement to safely enjoy any hike.

February 12, 2014

Hikes of Hawai'i.

One of the many things that kept me occupied while the mister was deployed was hiking. I'd go about once or twice a week with my brother figure, no way was I in hiking shape or whatever. But it was definitely something that I looked forward to every week, the sights you see during these hikes are simply breathtaking. Most of the time, I can't even believe what I see. So, I've decided to start documenting these hikes and posting them weekly, I wish I thought to do this beforehand, but you have to start somewhere.

Sadly my hiking partner has moved away and I haven't gone in a couple months. My attempt to do a hike that's solely there for a great workout was an epic fail, I was pretty disappointed with myself. But I was an idiot and decided not to eat anything before the hike. Clearly I can't pull that stunt anymore and be fine.

My favorite hiking blog to follow is Unreal Hawaii, actually it's probably the only hiking blog that I follow. I am so jealous of the hikes they do, most of the ones that they blog about are beyond my hiking abilities. They do some rock climbing that's definitely something I don't do, I'd be falling to my death if I attempted that. The views they come across are AMAZING, I envy them! If you're an experienced hiker and looking for a challenge, check out their website for some pretty sweet hikes.

So keep a lookout for my weekly hiking (there's a link for it on the navbar) posts, for now, check out what I take during my hikes.

  • Very worn & torn backpack. There's quite a big rip at the top, almost threw it out, but I just can't part with it. AND, the mister won't let me get a new one ... yet.
  • Snapback hat. I have three, so it changes. I don't wear it the entire hike, gets pretty sweat real quick.
  • NOT hiking shoes. As you can tell, they're just regular Nike tennis shoes.
  • Extra tshirt. It's just refreshing to change out of your sweaty one after a hike.
  • Hand wipes.
  • Sunblock.
  • Band-aids.
  • Alcohol wipes.
  • Benadryl pen. They're for my mosquito bites.
  • Bug spray. I've been bitten 7 times in 15 minutes before.
  • Neosporin.
  • Ibuprofen. My best friend.
  • GoPro camera.
Not seen in the picture:
  • Nikon D60.
  • Waterbottle.
  • Snacks
  • & myself.
There's probably more stuff I should bring, like a rope and a knife.