Getting some Aloha spirit with Bike Hawaii

Waikiki Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 22 › view all entries
Breakfast at the Hula Grill

We awoke early today; we needed time for a hearty breakfast before setting off for our day of adventure.

It was off to the Hula Grill for breakfast. We knew the food was delicious and the service quick so we wouldn't be late for our 9am pickup in front of the Moana Surfrider. We waited 20 minutes for our pickup, but it was worth the wait. I had a wonderful day.

A couple of days ago I had a session with the tour consultant at the Princess Kaiulani and made some arrangements for the rest of our week. Today we had a full day of Hiking, biking, sailing and snorkelling with "Bike Hawaii" to entertain us. First up was a Rainforest hike through 75-acres of private rainforest, then hop on a bike for a downhill ride through the lush Pu'u Ohia rainforest and finally on to a sail on a 40-foot catamaran, off the beautiful Diamond Head/Waikiki coastline, for a snorkel with the Honu, the green sea turtle.

Matt!!!!
Yippee!

 

Today was a wonderful day! I want to jump straight to the swimming with the turtles part, but I will restrain myself and tell you about the rest of the day first.

We drove to the entrance of the private property for our rainforest hike, where our guide Matt handed out gumboots (rubber boots) and insect repellent and we set off into the rainforest. As it had rained a little the previous night, the ground was a little muddy; the trees were glistening and the streams gently flowing. Matt guided us up one side of the stream through gorgeous lush rainforests to the base of a 200-foot waterfall that, although it was flowing, was not flowing as much as it could have been. Matt informed us Hawaii was also suffering from a lack of rainfall.

Following the path
Even though the waterfall was our destination, it was by no means the best part of the hike. Once we had made it to the waterfall, our trail back was through the most spectacular bamboo forest. The glamorous boots Matt had given us at the beginning of the hike came in very handy as we slipped and slid through the mud,  walked through ankle height foliage and waded though the streams. Coming back through the bamboo we were all slipping and sliding, and grabbing on to the bamboo to do our best to stay upright. "Green is good and brown is bad" This was our mantra for the bamboo walk. Meaning green bamboo is good and still alive and won't fall over when you grab onto it like the brown, dead bamboo would. "Green is good and brown is bad". At least one person didn't know how to listen to instruction because I heard a few yells and splats along the way. We really had to watch our feet and where we stepped, because one false move and down you'd go.
So as beautiful as the scenery was, I only stopped for photos on a couple of occasions.

The hike was only a 3.2 kilometre (2-mile) round trip, and a little tricky, not difficult, just tricky. There was a lot of climbing over and under fallen logs, up and down rocks and shimmying through the bamboo. It was so much fun though. The weather was hot but the sun did not poke through the VOG once, so it was quite dark and moody walking through the rainforest, giving the picturesque pools, tranquil streams and lush tropical vegetation even more atmosphere.

After the rainforest walk, it was back in the van and up a mountain to jump on a Kona mountain bike to coast back down the other side of the mountain. Everyone wore a helmet and thank God, because one young guy - about 20 years old - went straight over his handlebars.

I have Honolulu at my feet. :)
Unfortunately, I didn't see it, but I heard him talking about it during lunch. He said it was because his front tyre hit one of the big potholes, but I reckon it was because he was mucking around. I took one of the corners too fast and nearly came a cropper, but managed to right myself just in time. I had a good case of the wobbles though and I nearly didn't right myself. Mel was very nervous on the bike and took her time riding down the hill. We had the van following us with another guide driving, and he would only go as fast as the slowest rider rode, so there was no pressure to ride fast, and with him travelling behind us, no other cars could pass us on the road, Matt rode at the front of the convoy setting the pace.

We stopped halfway down the hill at a fantastic lookout to enjoy the gorgeous view over Honolulu and our lunch, a sandwich and a drink included in the price of the tour.

From our lunch stop on the bike ride
After which, we jumped back on the bikes for the rest of our ride.

On the way to the boat for our sail, Matt made a pit stop for anyone who wanted to pick up some beer to enjoy on our sail.

At the marina, we changed into our swimming gear and settled ourselves onto the Catamaran for our trip out to swim with turtles.

We sailed out to the waters off the coast of Waikiki where every two years the Sea Turtles - Honu, return to their nesting sites just as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. The Honus have the longest lifespan of any creature on the planet.

Hi Mel (photo taken with my underwater camera)
The rhythm of their lives is peaceful and calm. To encounter them, gliding in the depths is to experience serenity in motion.

I am going to have to change my most memorable travel experience. This is the most magical thing I have ever experienced. It had been years since I had done any snorkelling and I was a little nervous about hopping into the choppy water, so I took my time, and by the time I finally did get into the water, most of the others were hopping out, not having had any success spotting the turtles in the water. Snorkelling was like riding a bike, as soon as I was in the water, it all came back to me and I was off paddling around, swimming with the fish and thoroughly enjoying myself. I noticed a bit a commotion on the boat so I turned to see what was happening and everyone on the boat was waving their arms and pointing to a spot in the water just in front of me.

Aloha Waikiki!
I tried to see from above the water, but couldn't see any turtle, so I put my head back under the water, and there it was, the most beautiful, peaceful animal just a few feet in front of me. I quickly took a photo because I thought he was about to dive back to the bottom of the ocean. I started swimming towards him  but realised he was coming towards me and if I kept moving I would swim into him, and as these are a protected species touching them is not allowed. It wasn't that long ago that they were on the endangered species list, but their numbers have increased enough to remove them from it.

I was so excited! With my snorkel in my mouth, I said hi to him (or her) and thanked him for coming to see me. He swam around in front of me for a little while and then gently descended back to the bottom of the ocean. I believe on a clear day you can see to the bottom and the turtles look like rocks sitting on the bottom, but as visibility was poor, it wasn't long before I lost sight of my new friend.

After being totally mesmerised by him, I remembered to take another photo just as he was diving back to the bottom of the ocean. (photo taken with my underwater camera)

I was so happy. I stuck my head back out of the water and gave the thumbs up to my fellow sailors who were all clapping and waiving at me. I spent a bit more time swimming around and taking photos from the water. I found that my cameras sight was off and my photos ended up being further to the right than I expected them to be. Never mind, I still have my photo of my turtle.

After I rejoined the rest on the boat, there was still one other swimmer in the water, Jessica had come to Hawaii for her 30th birthday with her mother. Jessica was keen to see one of the turtles from within the water and would not get back on the boat until she did. The rest of us on the boat were scanning the water to try to spot one for her so she could swim towards it. We spotted one or two but Jessica was too far away to get to it before it sank back to the bottom.

Jessica finally spotting her turtle. Yeah! (photo taken with my underwater camera)
Finally, we saw one near her and she saw her very own turtle from within the water. I was very excited for her, and I saw what my face must have looked like after I saw my turtle, Jessica was glowing when she got back onto the boat. I know how you feel Jessica.

Well, that's about all I remember of this day. My experience with the turtle was so extra special for me, that for the rest of the day all I could see was turtles floating before my eyes. Now I know how people who dive feel. I have never been diving, but I will be learning how in the not too distant future (I just need go somewhere warmer first). My photos show the view from the Hula Grill, so I know I went there for dinner :) and because I took a photo of the menu, I also know I had Macadamia Nut encrusted Mahi-mahi.  

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the photos of my very special day.

I know it's blurry, but I just love the colour of the sky.


Cheers

Elke

scubagirl76 says:
what a great blog! it makes me want to go to Hawaii sooo bad!
Posted on: Jun 18, 2008
Sweetski says:
Did I make it this far? Girl, you have me screaming for more! I so much enjoyed the day out. I really loved the bamboo walk or should I say, slither :) and I am so glad you remembered to take a photo of the turtle.

Thank you for describing your day so vividly, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :D
Posted on: Jun 17, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Breakfast at the Hula Grill
Breakfast at the Hula Grill
Matt!!!!
Matt!!!!
Following the path
Following the path
I have Honolulu at my feet. :)
I have Honolulu at my feet. :)
From our lunch stop on the bike ri…
From our lunch stop on the bike r…
Hi Mel (photo taken with my underw…
Hi Mel (photo taken with my under…
Aloha Waikiki!
Aloha Waikiki!
After being totally mesmerised by …
After being totally mesmerised by…
Jessica finally spotting her turtl…
Jessica finally spotting her turt…
I know its blurry, but I just lov…
I know it's blurry, but I just lo…
Breakfast at the Hula Grill
Breakfast at the Hula Grill
Now this is what I call an out hou…
Now this is what I call an out ho…
Its been years since anybody live…
It's been years since anybody liv…
The Kukui Nut Tree or the Candlenu…
The Kukui Nut Tree or the Candlen…
Beetle Nut Fan Palm
Beetle Nut Fan Palm
Is that Tarzan I hear?
Is that Tarzan I hear?
Just wandering in a rainforest
Just wandering in a rainforest
Narrow muddy path
Narrow muddy path
Somebody didnt make it out
Somebody didn't make it out
Matt giving another lesson, he was…
Matt giving another lesson, he wa…
Following Matt through the rainfor…
Following Matt through the rainfo…
The waterfall, our turn around poi…
The waterfall, our turn around po…
It was rugged and beautiful all th…
It was rugged and beautiful all t…
Mel watching her step
Mel watching her step
The bamboo forest
The bamboo forest
Panda’s heaven
Panda’s heaven
Path through the bamboo
Path through the bamboo
Green is good, brown is bad
Green is good, brown is bad
Shampoo Ginger, it looked like a p…
Shampoo Ginger, it looked like a …
Hanging Lobster Claw plant
Hanging Lobster Claw plant
Lobster Claw plant
Lobster Claw plant
The path widens now that we are on…
The path widens now that we are o…
Riding in the van to the top of th…
Riding in the van to the top of t…
Hello Honolulu
Hello Honolulu
At the pit stop where we had lunch
At the pit stop where we had lunch
About to hop back in the van to he…
About to hop back in the van to h…
Would you have to pay extra?
Would you have to pay extra?
I am living my dream
I am living my dream
Heading out on the boat
Heading out on the boat
I swam in there
I swam in there
My first sighting of the Green Sea…
My first sighting of the Green Se…
Swimming with the fishies. (photo …
Swimming with the fishies. (photo…
Feeling the Aloha spirit while swi…
Feeling the Aloha spirit while sw…
Beautiful black fish with bright b…
Beautiful black fish with bright …
First glimpse of my turtle buddy. …
First glimpse of my turtle buddy.…
In the middle of the photo is a pa…
In the middle of the photo is a p…
Whose nose got in my shot? (photo …
Whose nose got in my shot? (photo…
It was hard to get a straight shot…
It was hard to get a straight sho…
Even without good vision, the colo…
Even without good vision, the col…
Heading back in after a wonderful …
Heading back in after a wonderful…
Back in the marina. (photo taken w…
Back in the marina. (photo taken …
(photo taken with my underwater ca…
(photo taken with my underwater c…
Dinner at the Hula Grill - again
Dinner at the Hula Grill - again
More of my favourite tiki torches
More of my favourite tiki torches
In the foyer near the Hula Grill
In the foyer near the Hula Grill
Waikiki
photo by: mrgishi