September 22, 2011

Slippin and Surfin (Honeymoon pt. 3)

Friday was our last day in Oahu, but our flight didn’t leave until later that night – so Jason didn’t waste any time planning our last day of adventure in Hawaii. We got up, packed, checked out, put our stuff into hotel storage, and went off to see a more tropical side of Hawaii in hiking Manoa Falls.

We had quite a lively tour guide for the Manoa Falls trip. He said he was required to give us a brief, detailed overview of Hawaii’s natural history. You could definitely tell he knew what he was talking about (although most of what he was saying was way over our heads), but the gist of it was that most of Hawaii’s plant life and animal life are not native to Hawaii.

After a 20 minute van ride, we parked in the street of a neighborhood and our guide lent us backpacks, ponchos, bug spray, and walking sticks. Yes, walking sticks. I felt bad for a Swedish mom and her two daughters who wore flimsy slip-on shoes and sandals.

Just after we started walking, our guide pointed out a Cockatoo in a tree – I never thought of just seeing one anywhere else in the world, other than in someone’s home as a pet. Our guide went on to tell us that an exotic bird shop had closed many years ago and the owner let the Cockatoos free into the jungle and they had since multiplied not too far away from the abandoned shop. Hiking further up the trial we also saw further examples of Hawaiian tropical trees not native, but thriving here anyway – East Asian Bamboo and Australian Eucalyptus trees.  
Our Tour Guide
We're weird
The higher up the mountain and closer to the waterfall we hiked, the rainier it became. Upon rounding a bend – the rain suddenly started pouring, but looking down the mountain it was still sunny – definitely a bizarre feeling! From here, the path became much steeper and muddier. After 1.5 miles, we made it to the Waterfall. It was pretty incredible watching the water continuously fall from 150 feet! Unfortunately, Jase and I were so tired and a little upset that it was now pouring rain that we didn’t really get to enjoy it before we wanted to go back down. There’s only a small space to view the waterfall and we had our tour guide take our picture next to Manoa Falls and we started heading back down. Hiking back down was a lot more brutal than the initial hike and we finally put our walking sticks to good use. It was really muddy and slippery. Jason fell on his butt and was so frustrated that his whole backside was covered in mud.
When we returned back to Waikiki, we ate breakfast at Denny’s and Jason took a “shower” in the bathroom sink to look a little more presentable.

Jason absolutely wanted to get his surfing lesson in that he had just been dying to take. We went to Waikiki beach and bought a lesson and I watched as Renaldo (surf instructor) and Jason paddled out to the waves. He LOVED it! I watched for about 45 minutes while he was out catching waves with Renaldo, and then I had to get out of the sun since I already packed away my sunscreen. Jason’s surf lesson was at least an hour and a half and when he was done he was proud to tell me that he had gotten up and surfed every wave except the first! I’m really glad he had such a great time.
Jason's in the Blue shirt
We were happy to be able to get a courtesy room at our hotel to shower and get all the mud and ocean water off of us. After a few hours, we were back on a bus to the airport to head to California. Looking back at our Hawaii experience it was truly surreal that we were there and it all actually happened and wasn't all a dream. Thanks Mom and Papa Cowles for an amazing honeymoon! 
Our new favorite shirts :D

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