Diamond head, Pearl Harbour, Manoa Falls

Thankfully O’ahu is a small island, cause we’ve been in Hawaii for only a week but we’ve managed to do sooo much.

Luckily we weren’t left too traumatised after doing Koko head hike, and actually ended up doing Diamond head, one of the most famous hikes in Hawaii, the next day.

Diamond head is an extinct volcano, which is pretty obvious when you see its sloped and circular structure. The crater is 3520 feet in diameter, with its highest vertical height reaching 726 feet.

It was pretty cool being able to walk over a spot that would have once been lava. It’s weird being at places like that and picturing it years and years ago, without any people.

Once again, Hawaii proved itself to be fair to tourists by only charging A DOLLAR for the hike (or five dollars if you want to park a car).

The hike is mostly slopes, with just a few torturous stairs towards the top, but there are plenty of beautiful lookout spots to have a break on the way up. We could see the ocean, the city and Koko head in the distance. BEAUTIFUL!

There’s no way we could come to O’ahu without doing a Pearl Harbour tour. The history parts of travelling are always some of the best bits (I’m such a history nerd these days, so regret not doing it at school).

I haven’t watched the pearl harbour film in years so I couldn’t completely remember what it was going to be about, but when we saw the short 20-minute documentary when we arrived, it was a lot more brutal than I remembered.

For those of you who don’t know, the lagoon harbour was victim to a surprise military strike by the imperial Japanese army in 1941. It was the attack that led the United States in WW2.

Long story short the Japanese military used a whopping 353 aircrafts to completely destroy 188 U.S aircrafts, as well as sinking or damaging all 8 navy battleships, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, one minelayer and an anti-aircraft training ship. 2,403 people were killed with a further 1,178 injured. The Japanese only lost 29 aircrafts and 5 midget submarines.

The USS Arizona ship, still sits on the shallow ocean floor of the harbour, with parts of the ship still poking out of the water. The heartbreaking thing is that there are still hundreds of corpses (of some soldiers as young as 18) still entombed in the wreckage underwater.

There is now a memorial which has been built over the top of the ship, which is unfortunately closed at the moment so we couldn’t go on. But our boat still went around the site so we could get a better look.

Once again, we bought our tickets online for only $1.50!!! If you want access to all the ships and areas then it is more expensive, but so worth it if that’s the kind of thing you’re into. It is so worth going either way just to pay respects and be reminded at just how easy us young people have it these days.

On one of our last days it was quite overcast, so we cancelled our trip to one of the beaches on the East coast and decided to go to Manoa falls instead, and I’m so glad we did!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the in the rainforest we were walking in up to the waterfall, we were also walking through part of the sets from the Jurassic Park films and the TV series Lost (which Me and my family were addicted to back in the day).

GUESS WHO DIDN’T LEARN HER LESSON AND WORE FLIP FLOPS AGAIN! I thought it was going to be a leisurely walk, which is was, but it was really muddy and my feet kept slipping in my flops so I ended up having to slide through the jungle barefoot like Mowgli (not ideal considering it was stoney and slippery, but at least my skin is nice and soft now).

Walking through the forest was amazing enough in itself. Unlike most forests I have been to, the part at the top where the trees meet the sky was so open, meaning that a lot of light could get in and really illuminate all the intricate details of the surrounding foliage.

The narrow trail was wrapped up in bamboo at some parts, then opened up to trickling mermaid streams at the next part, so every corner turned brought something new to look at.

The waterfall was STUNNING! So much higher than I expected, standing at 150feet! It’s a really gentle waterfall as well, and looks like something out of a shampoo advert.

Leaving was so weird because it was raining gently throughout the walk which was really refreshing, but as soon as we left the rainforest we were back into blue skies and sunshine! Nature can be soooo weird like that!

We’ve spent our last day today lying out on lilos on Waikiki beach, taking out goggles with us to look at all the fishes and coral below (still surreal how much sea life there is so close to the shore). I’ve finally topped my tan up more and naively hoping it’ll see me through the winter.

I’m so excited to come back to Hawaii in a few years and maybe see some of the other islands. I’m still shocked at how cheap it is here (the tours, food and booze) and at how welcoming the locals are towards the tourists. I’ve never felt so welcome anywhere else in the world!

Only downside to be aware of if you’re coming to Hawaii, is that although the buses are dirt cheap and run to every section of the island, they can take FOREVER!

Yesterday took us an hour to go 6km! The reason being is the traffic can be quite bad in the city (lots f traffic lights) but the main reason being that the buses stop at every stop every two seconds.

Would highly recommend getting a car or moped. We missed out on some of the main things we wanted to do because of the buses! Long journeys are fine, just not when it feels like you’re in a traffic jam for 3 hours.

See you tomorrow LA!