Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010: Oahu - Lyon Arboretum, Manoa Falls, Side Street Inn

Today my goal was to get out of the city. Barbara had lent me Mike's book about hiking in Hawaii, and in it was a folded photocopy of a map of the Manoa Falls area and the schedule for TheBus route 5 to get there. So I headed out for the same area, enjoying the thought that I was re-treading some of the same ground as him, ten years later.

TheBus (yes, it's really all one word) website had been down since we'd arrived in Oahu, but luckily Google Transit had the same information available. It wasn't quite clear where to get off, but as with most tourist destinations all I had to do was hop off at the same time as just about everyone else, and sure enough they were going to the same place as me.

Lyon Arboretum, up in the hills behind Honolulu, was all rain forest: wet, huge trees, lush vegetation, wild chickens, and lots of mosquitoes whenever I stopped for a break. There was a small waterfall at the end of the trail - 'Aihualama Falls.  It was fairly fairly piddly (not much rain recently), but at least I got to contemplate it by myself - no crowds here. I also got to test out my new camera (the Canon Rebel T2i) - I'm able to get shots as long as 1/8 s without shaking, which make the water of the waterfall look nicely soft. Pretty amazing.

The trail to Manoa Falls was busier - it's the bigger waterfall. One pair of teenage girls were playing music on a cellphone as they walked, which would ordinarily be annoying, but the tunes were all mellow and seemed kind of island-appropriate. The mosquitoes weren't as bad at this waterfall, so I took longer to sit and enjoy the sight. The trail is well-travelled, so a pretty easy climb, but I could see how it could get slippery fast with rain turning the red dirt (which looks like clay, but I don't think it is) into mud.

For dinner I finally found us a decent meal at the Side Street Inn. I had seen it listed on a few sites as a favourite of the local chefs, and we were craving food that wasn't overprocessed and targeting hapless tourists. We never would have found it spontaneously - it was tucked in along a small street with no sidewalks - bordering on an alleyway. Once inside it was loud, shabby and cramped, but the food was tasty (especially Korean-style beef ribs) and inexpensive. Still not enough vegetables though...

Photos:  massive tree at Lyon Arboretum, 'Aihualama Falls, the view from Inspiration Point, a flower at the arboretum, Manoa Falls, walking through a bamboo forest

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