Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lua pele ~ Volcano/Crater

I had a great day today :)

I slept in until about 10:00 this morning, but still wasn't sure of what I wanted to do today. So while watching an episode of LOST out on the patio, I was looking out at the water, and Diamond Head is right there in the center of my view. I was looking at it and though to myself, "You know what? I'm going to hike that today!" So thats what I did!

I looked up some reviews about it to see what other people were saying, and I also looked up the transportation and fees into it, since it is a State Park. For those of you who don't know, Diamond Head is a volcanic crater, that is estimated to be about 200,000 years old and inactive for 150,000 years. It is iconic to the island of Oahu, and is a major tourist attraction.

(This sign was posted at the start of the hike)

Now, I was a bit worried, because I have a slight history of passing out, or coming close to it, and since I couldn't find anyone willing to hike this in the heat of the day, I'd be hiking alone. I brought plenty of water and a hat, but didn't think about food. Thankfully I ended up being fine. 

Once I was all ready to go, I checked TheBus schedule to see when I would need to leave, and I left my dorm around 1:15 and caught my first bus. When I got off at the transfer point, I waited for my next bus. Well, it turns out that I ended to walk down to a bus stop a bit further down the road, and ended up missing the bus that I had already been waiting 15 minutes for. So once I got to the correct bus stop, I had to wait another 30 minutes because I had just missed my bus. So I called and talked to my family for a bit, before my phone battery drained to 20%. This made me nervous, since I had a looong trip ahead of me, but I just turned my phone off as soon as possible to try and save the battery.

I got off at the bus stop at the base of Diamond Head around 2:50, and had to walk about a seventh of a mile, just to get to the entrance of the State Park, where you pay. While walking up this first portion, I had to walk through this tunnel with cars literally two feet from me, because there wasn't really a sidewalk, just a little portion of road in which the pedestrians walked on. 

I walked through this big tunnel through the sides of the crater for cars and busses to pass through, and was inside of the crater at this point, it is so cool knowing that you are practically in a volcano :) Here is the tunnel...

I then got to the booth, where I had to pay a $1 entrance fee, and then began the trek up! The first portion is not bad at all, it is pretty flat and paved, but then the paved part ends, and it become really steep, rocky and uneven. It was like this the entire way up. There were a couple lookout points along the way up. Here are some pictures from those areas. 

There was one point where I began feeling kind of light headed, so I sat down in the little bit of shade that was available, because let me tell you, you are being hit with direct sunlight the entire time.

I then came to these three sets of the steepest stairs I have ever seen, and I swear there were about 50-75 steps on each one. Connected by these tunnels that were almost 100% pitch black. I literally couldn't see a thing and felt claustrophobic inside, and the ceiling of the tunnels felt like they were closing in on me...This is the entrance of one of them.

I finally made it to the top just before 4:00, and the view from up there is incredible. You have the Pacific on one side, the water is so absolutely clear and blue, it is gorgeous. And then on the other side, you can see all of Waikiki and Honolulu, and see the different Mountain Ranges in the background. It is really just so beautiful at the top. Here are some pictures that I got. 

There is also an old WW2 bunker at the top, which I thought was pretty cool! 

Once I had seen everything, I just walked back down, which was not bad at all. Here is a picture that I took from right at the entrance of the crater, looking into it, but I took it on my way down.

As I got close to the bus stop where I started, I tried turning on my phone, and it had completely died. Thankfully I checked the routes I needed to take while I sent my mom a picture from the top, so I knew what I needed to do from this point on.

I got on the bus I needed, but the stop I was at was just at the end of the bus route, so the bus driver asked me where I was going and told me which stop to get off on and exactly where to go. 

I finally made it back into my dorm at 5:20, and was completely exhausted and so hungry! I talked to my mom for a few minutes just to let her know that I was safe, because I know she was a bit nervous for me :)

I then went and took a shower because I'm sure I didn't smell too decent, and I then went down and had some dinner, because all I had eaten was some pretzels and a granola bar at 11:00. So I definitely needed to get some food into me, and it tasted so goo!

Since then, I did some laundry, mainly because I wanted to wash my backpack, but I also threw in some dirty clothes that I had. I absolutely hate washing clothes here, because there are about 15 washers, which is great and there is always one open, however, the dryers are another story. There are 10 dryers, BUT 7 OF THEM DON'T WORK. This is honestly so annoying because you have to sit with your wet clothes until a dryer opens up. So while I waited, I went out to the roof for a few minutes to see downtown Honolulu at night, which is just as nice to look at :)

Total, my laundry took about 3 hours, due to the awful dryer issue, and I finished didn't finish until around 10:00. 

I then got everything that I need for class tomorrow ready, and also watched an episode of LOST while folding and putting away my laundry. 

I am now absolutely exhausted, mentally and physically, from todays events, and am off to sleep! I hope you enjoyed this rather long and hopefully interesting post. :) 

So that's it! I'll talk to you guys tomorrow night, goodniiight! <3

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