Today, we headed back up to the North Shore. This time, we utilized the Oahu public bus system. It is a cost effective way to travel, but requires extra time to get anywhere. We got off the bus in Hale’iwa and walked east along the ocean. The weather was beautiful, sunny with a few clouds in the sky. However, there were very few people at the beach. We were amazed; there were stretches where you could look along the ocean in both directions and not see a single person. We were thankful that Superbowl Sunday kept people glued to their TVs.
After walking along the water for 5 miles, we made it to Waimea Bay for lunch. We rewarded ourselves with my favorite, pb sandwiches, which we had prepared before leaving the Manoa.
After lunch, we walked up Waimea Valley, which is a historical nature park including botanical gardens. Several structures, including stone terraces and walls, and burial grounds, built in the time of the Hawaiian monarchy, are displayed. The vegetation was incredible; it looked like we were in a jungle. We also discovered that Waimea Valley was used for filming of parts of the TV series ‘Lost’ and many movies, such as ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’
At the end of the three quarter mile path, after walking through the gardens and cultural sites, there is a beautiful waterfall. Like the beach, even though it was afternoon on a weekend, there were also very few people at the falls. Visitors are allowed to swim, but life jackets are required and are provided. I thought this was a little ridiculous, but the pool at the foot of the waterfall is 30 feet deep and freezing, so I understand why the park is concerned. We were allowed to swim right up under the falls though.
It was bliss – floating on my back, gazing at the vibrant sky, and appreciating the majesty of nature. Swimming under Waimea falls is my favorite thing we’ve done so far in Hawaii!
After leaving the park and walking further east along the road, we came across a local grocery store. We bought some food, and picnicked along the beach as the sun set over the water. After, we caught a bus back to the South Shore, and returned to our ship.
It was another perfect day in Hawaii!