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A Visit to Hawaii III-Oahu in A Day

A Circle the Island Tour of Oahu

With only a few days remaining of our 7 day vacation in Hawaii, my husband and I booked a tour called "Circle the Island" tour of Oahu. Our tour guides, a married couple in a passenger van picked us up at the resort early in the morning. Greeting us both with a Hawaiian Lei necklace, Patricia or Pat as she had us call her, explained that we would be a small group of 10 taking the tour. Leaving the resort we headed toward downtown Honolulu and ran smack into the remains of rush hour traffic, backed up from an earlier car accident. Since arriving on the island, I had been completely appalled at the huge amount of traffic running in and out of Honolulu every day. While it would have been more convenient to stay downtown to be close to all the tourist sites, I was happy to return to the peace and tranquility of our resort after a long day of sightseeing.

Finally moving on with the tour after picking up the rest of our tour group downtown, we headed out of Honolulu up into the mountains. The scenery was beautiful, becoming more green and lush with every passing mile. Our first stop of the day was the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, a favorite stop among visitors to Oahu. The panoramic views of the Windward side of the island from this lookout point really blew me away in more ways than one. Located at Nuuanu Pali State Park, the lookout overlooks the 985-foot cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range. The first thing I notice upon exiting the van was that it was extremely windy. The trade winds blow through the valley between the high mountains on either side, forming a strong wind tunnel of sorts. I really had to lean into the wind to get to the viewing spot but the view was well worth it.

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Leaving the Lookout, we headed down toward the windward side of the island that we viewed from above. Our tour guides provided fascinating commentary all along the way. Our next stop was a beautiful spot called the Byodo-In Temple. The Buddhist Temple located on the Windward side of Oahu is a replica of the Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan. It was simply stunning. There were koi ponds, gardens, a 3 ton brass bell, and a 9 foot lotus Buddha statue inside the temple. We got to walk along the gardens and enter the temple itself to take in the peace and serenity of the site.

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Walking out of the Temple, I headed over to the gift shop where I purchased a miniature gong shaped like a Dragon. I keep it on my family room mantel where I can see it and remember this lovely place. Around noon we stopped for lunch at an unusual place. Our guides found a "shrimp truck" where we stopped to sit outside and eat some delicious shrimp scampi and rice. It was a fun eating experience as you can see at this website:

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

I have to admit that I went back for seconds, the food was so good. My husband teased me about that the rest of the day. The next stop on our tour was Laniakea beach or Lani’s is also referred to as “Turtle beach” because this natural sanctuary attracts so many of the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle or “Honu”. Since the year 2000 the turtles have been basking on the beach enjoying the warm sun rays, and the abundance of seaweed growing on the rocks which they feed on. On the right hand side of the beach is a small cove in which the turtles make their way in to the shore thru the channel, the large numbers of boulders and coral reef act as a deterrent to the turtles predator, tiger sharks. We took a few minutes to enjoy the crashing waves of the ocean and the sleeping turtles on the beach before moving on.

Laniakea Beach
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The most enjoyable part of the day was the time we spent at Kualoa and the 125-acre Moliʻi Fishpond, one of Hawaii’s most well preserved ancient Hawaiian fishponds. We enjoyed a guided tour of the gardens and learned how ancient Hawaiians developed aquaculture and agricultural practices. Kualoa has been a prime Hawaii film location for TV series and movies. Kualoa has served as the backdrop for the TV show LOST, the original Hawaii Five-0, Jurassic Park, Godzilla and Fifty First Dates movies. Here is a video of what you will see:

Kualoa Ranch Video

It just so happened that the day of this tour was also our Wedding Anniversary. So the guides had some fun with Reginald and me doing a game show where we won a prize. It was so much fun!

Reggie & Me at Kualoa Ranch
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Our final stop of the day was the Dole Pineapple Plantation. We were all pretty tired by then so we just looked around a little, bought a few souvenirs and then headed back to the van. It was a beautiful place. Soon enough we were headed back to our respective hotels. It had been a long day, but a wonderful one. I did not see everything there was to see on the island of Oahu, but what I did see, I loved!

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Next up, a tour of Pearl Harbor and a journey through one of the United States darkest times in history.

Too be Continued........

Gerrilyn Grant Gipson Esq.
Owner & Travel Consultant
Meetings & Events Unlimited Travel Services

Posted by Gerriv 10:02

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