Check our..er...lush Hawaiian flora??
The view off the first lookout...looking Windward, aka, toward the Windward side, aka, East.
After the first lookout, we walk a little further, up a set of stairs, through a small tunnel, and then have a small heart attack when we come out of it, huffing and puffing, and realize THIS is the REAL set of stairs.
When I reached the top of the stairs, I had to snap proof of the torture. :p
Cautionary note for the claustrophobes thinking they might like this hike: this blurry shot is half way through the 580 foot tunnel, before the bend, and that shadow at the end is a lady having a panic attack at the thought of having to walk through the mountain to continue the hike. I think she was on the verge of barfing.
After the tunnel, we are inside a bunker system, squeezing up this spiral staircase one by one (keep in mind, Diamond Head used to be a major defense fort, with cannons and all!)
Of course, this makes it worth the trouble...what a view, huh? You can even see the horizon curving by now.
And it's even better when there are four whales down there, breaching, tail slapping, blowing, etc..if you squint, and peer at my flashy star, you can see one flipper sticking out. :p Those other white smears of whitewash are from a couple of the other ones, but they weren't being quite as crazily active as the one I managed to snap.
Finally making it all the way to the lookout at the top..if you look leeward, to the right, to the West, you can see the famous Waikiki beach. Which the tourists love. And any right thinking local avoids like the plague. It's also what it looks like when it is RAINING. Which it kept doing, and ruining my shots of Beautiful, Sunny Hawaii. Though it sure was a relief over having burning afternoon sun, I tell ya.
What the tourbooks don't usually show in that view is the military bunkers just over a little, a remnant from Pearl Harbor. This Island has a lot of reminders scattered around like that. Slightly creepy, imo.
After we practically ran down the mountain again, we were going to go swimming on the beach. It wasn't very nice, though (okay, maybe we are spoiled, with the awesome beaches we are used to), so we headed off and got some cold treats, instead. :p The pic came out nice, though.
We are busy plotting our next adventure. I am hoping it's far off enough to get in a little better shape. Cause I was PUFFED!! :p
(Love the new Blogger option of burning through my pic allowance faster and reach paying status sooner, with X-Large pics!! :D )
(Update: Dangit, my template isn't even WIDE enough to handle the big pics. If you are really interested, you can click to see them in their proper size and shape, without random cropping. And don't be surprised if my blog is gone or a jumbled mess tomorrow..I am off to play with template settings..always a bad idea. :p )
(Update 2: Whoop! I did it! I think! Let me know if everything looks truly bizarre! :D )