Monday, November 18, 2013

Featured Oahu Favorite: Waimea Valley

After arriving on Oahu, and amid the hectic search for a place to live, Hubs and I were able to escape for a day to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary by re-visiting a special place.

Driving along Oahu's famed North Shore along the Kamehameha Highway, you will come to the beautiful curved beach of Waimea Bay, where surfers and freedivers gather. But, turning South into the entrance to Waimea Valley you will find a spot where ancient Hawaiian kings and high priests lived!

After you've parked your car, you will enter near the gift shop and food concession stand. We decided to fortify ourselves with one of the tasty local offerings before hitting the path toward the waterfall.  Joining us for lunch was our favorite friend, "Mr. Peacock". He and several of his lady friends walk around looking for a handout (please, DON'T feed them), or can be found roosting on the stair rails near the ladies room. It's great to watch and photograph them, but please respect their space. When the male is guarding his hens, he might just give you a display of his beautiful plumage.
Now its time go get your tickets and begin the leisurely walk up the 3/4 mile trail to the waterfall. But, wait...there is a lot to see before you get to the ticket booth!  Don't hurry, this is what a tropical paradise is all about.  I can advise anyone able-bodied to climb the stone steps, and explore beyond the paved path. You will enter a world of Ancient Hawaiian Archaeological Sites and World Class Botanical Garden Collections, as well as wildlife and cultural activities.  If walking is difficult, or the day is too warm for vigorous exercise, you may wish to pay a small fee to take a ride up to the waterfall, and perhaps walk back.
Once at the Waihī Waterfall, there is an opportunity to swim in the pool and sit under the 45-foot falls. The friendly lifeguards are easily persuaded to take a photo for you, so that you may remember this beautiful day.

When planning your visit to Waimea Valley, I recommend comfortable walking shoes, bug spray and sunscreen. Although much of the walk is naturally shaded, there is plenty of opportunity for a sunburn to occur! If you want to swim at the waterfall, take a swimsuit and towel. There are changing booths at the falls; check with the lifeguard before entering the pool.  Lastly, don't forget your camera!  All of the photos you see I took with my phone. It's hard to take a bad picture in the lovely Waimea Valley!

On your way down, keep your eyes open for a fork in the road...it leads to a hidden gem called Palm Meadow where you will find a treasure trove of Hibiscus Hybrids. (That's where I got almost all of the shots of the flowers.)

Mahalo for visiting my blog!  If you have any comments, please leave me a message below.


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