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Oahu--North Shore, Kailua Bay and Ho'omaluhia Botanical Park


Sharks Cove
June 7, 2012          Heading up to the North Shore, Alan was looking forward to revisiting  Waimea Bay, the home of 30-50 foot  waves, and a favorite hangout spot for him when he was stationed on the island back in the early 70's.  The Bay looked more like a placid lake than the site of international surfing competitions.  During the summer the waves disappear.  The beach is not known for it’s snorkeling so we moved on to Sharks Cove.

Sharks Cove is a summertime only snorkeling destination.  In the winter, waves similar to those found at nearby Waimea Bay pummel this Bay as well.  Climbing down to the water from the parking area and even into the water, we were glad we had water shoes to protect our feet at the rocky entrance.  During our snorkel at the park, we saw the largest variety of tropical fish that we have ever had the opportunity to snorkel with.  The water quickly goes to between 8-15 feet in depth with the bottom being primarily smooth boulders with some coral heads.  Scuba divers are also attracted to the Bay for its underwater caves and tunnels.  The reef is located next to the shore so there is easy access to this wonderful snorkeling area.  In spite of its name, sharks are not common in the cove; and when they are seen, it is the non-aggressive white tip shark.

Ted’s Bakery at nearby Sunset Beach is known foremost for their chocolate coconut pie.  We started by sharing an order of Hawaiian BBQ chicken and finished the meal with the pie.  The pie lived up to all the hype, if you’re on the North Shore, this is a must do.

Upon our return to Waikiki, we were told about the “biggest ever” firework show to take place that evening.  Walking down to the beach, we saw a beautiful full moon rising with Diamond Head in the background.  This was, undoubtedly, the ultimate firework experience.

From Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
Heading to Kailua Bay the next morning, we stopped at Nu’uanu Pali Lookout.  The temperature had been dropping as we got into the mountain area and when we walked out to the lookout the winds were so strong it was difficult to stand, and even harder to snap a picture.  The Lookout provides an incredible overview.  Historically, the Lookout was the site of a fierce battle in the 1700's in which hundreds of men were driven over the cliff to their deaths.

Kailua Beach Park
Arriving at Kailua Bay, we found another free public park.  This is a perfect park for hanging out, sunbathing or swimming.  There is also a nearby rental concession with kayak rentals if you want to paddle out to nearby Flat Top Island.  With the sandy bottom and gentle surf, this is a perfect spot for young families.

At Cinnamon’s Restaurant, I indulged in a traditional Hawaiian dish of shredded pork along with laulau (taro leaves wrapped around pork and butterfish) served with rice.  Alan was a little less adventurous and enjoyed their Eggs Benedict.

After being fortified, we headed to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens.
Heliconia
This 400-acre park has six garden areas; they are planted with trees and shrubs found throughout the tropics.  Another free public park, there are parking lots at each garden areas and a lookout site.  In addition to a wonderful diversity of plants, we also spotted a few of the endangered Hawaiian Coots.  Indian Mongoose are numerous in the park.  They are considered a nuisance, and are harmful to the bird life. But, because they have been here since the 1880’s, when they were introduced to rid sugar cane fields of rats; officials are hesitant to eliminate the varmints.  This is a rainforest, and not thinking ahead, we did get rained on, but, luckily, it moved out quickly.  

The ending to another beautiful day in paradise.  Tomorrow a new adventure.

Seen at Pali Lookout
From Pali Lookout



Sexy Pink Heliconia

Endangered Hawaiian Coot

Panama Flame


Indian Mongoose

Lookout at the Botanical Gardens

Hala

Mountain Apple

From the Brazilian Nut Family

Breadfruit

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