|Hawaii - thursday 2004-08-26 0700
|last modified 2006-01-29 0403
|Categories: Daily Grind
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Full Hawaii photo folder.
I stayed in Nanakuli on Oahu for a week. Nanakuli is one of the poorest parts of the island, but even the poorest part is witness to the blissful beauty of an uncluttered ocean view, nevermind the crackhouses and ghetto conditions engraved in its heart. I assume it's changed since my friend grew up there, with stoplights, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants cropping up along the main road.
For over a year I've been longing for a place to gaze at the stars during the night and found the Boston area to be sorely lacking in accessible, low-light pollution, high altitude spots to satisfy me. The first night after arriving in Hawaii, we slept on the beaches of Nanakuli. If there's any more ideal a place to stargaze, I haven't found it. The ocean provides its symphony of flowing waters and crashing waves as a soundtrack to a spectacular evening show, stars hanging in eternity, shimmering through the atmosphere like playful spirits in the deepest depths of space. I saw a shooting star for the first time outside of meteor showers. I could have sat there on the beach, gentle, cool winds blowing across the sands (keeping mosquitoes away), listening to the sounds of the ocean and watching the stars and been content with a complete vacation.
More ocean enjoyment followed during the week with a visit just downshore to a section of reef carpeted with sea vegetation and riddled with holes inhabited by anemone and sea urchin. At the right tides, swimmers can jump off the reef and be pushed straight back up on top by the waves. It's freaky at first, one has to swim straight at jagged reef, and once you get back on top, you have to avoid hitting the rocks in the back, stepping in a spiky hole, or twisting your ankle. I managed to lose some significant amounts of skin learning to master the reef. At night, the reef becomes a drug dealer's haven.
We also stopped by Waimea to jump off the thirty foot hunk of rock jutting out of the ocean. Perhaps cliff diving gets progressively more exciting with higher jumps, but after a couple jumps, it lost its edge (and my ears started to hurt). Some pro diver put everyone to shame doing somersaults, twists, and pikes.
There are a lot of tourist beaches to be found, and we stopped by Ko Olina, a set of four artificial lagoons trying to become the crown jewels of a neo-Waikiki, the city natives never visit unless they're with mainlanders. It's a little tame, so we set about trying to build human pyramids in the water.
Hawaii's a nice spot to visit, maybe even to live. I'll go back one of these days and start learning that whole surfing thing.