Hawaii (Oahu Island) Part 1
Day 3: Hiking Diamond Head Crater, exploring Iolani Palace and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
On day 3, we decided to hike the Diamond Head Crater. We woke up promptly at 5 am, to skip the usual bathroom rush hour, and were out by 6 am, waiting for the bus that never arrived because it was a Saturday. After waiting for an hour, we took a cab and reached the trailhead. We did see why it is best to start hikes early, it can get extremely hot and uncomfortable even by 8 am. This is where we started from while the tiny structure at the top was where we had to reach.
Base of the trail head
About 30-40 minutes of panting and sweating later, we reached on top. While hiking, we saw arid, barren land. But once at the top, we saw the whole of Honolulu, including the beach line, spread right in front of us.
After lunch we went to the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace used as an official residence by a reigning monarch in the U.S. Given that I hail from a country of kings, palaces, and places of historical interest, I was especially interested to check it out.
A palace is a palace – with all its grandeur. Huge doors and windows made of carved wood. Ornate carpets and decorations. We did the audio tour of the palace and found many interesting facts. We even had to were these blue shoe covers, lest we dirty the floors or the carpets.
And guess what – Govinda was here too.
My friend was interested in checking out the campus because she used to live there about 26 years ago. As for me, I have always been fond of visiting different campuses. So I just tagged along.
Another discovery- I haven’t seen so many china roses (hibiscus flowers) ever since Saturday evenings as a kid in India when dida (grandma) would do Kali Puja and ask me to pick the red variety from the garden. And of course the ICSE 9th grade biology dissection classes where we were expected to separate every organ of the flower, including the male and female components in its entirety.
On day 1, we were recommended a food place which we never found, even after an hour of walking and looking and asking around. On evening 3, we were generally strolling by the Waikiki beach, undecided what to eat for dinner when out of the blue, our dream destination for day 1 cropped up. Fate !!
After hogging our hearts on sushi, we returned to the hostel, full and happy and sleepy as ever. We intended to go to bed early. Day 4 had more in store for us.