Monday, February 6, 2012

February 2, 2012. Around Oahu, HI.

Yesterday was a quiet day for us--we were emotionally and physically exhausted after spending the previous day at Pearl Harbor. But I would not have missed it for the world. I took a swim, and we did some shopping. Not much else.

This morning we were out bright and early to catch our bus to tour the island and visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was highly recommended. First we stopped at Diamond Head, making me wish I had time to hike to the top. Our next stop was at Hanauma Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots on this island. Here is Dianne in her very Hawaiian outfit!

The water was crystal clear, and we could see the reef and the people snorkeling from the overlook. Another thing I wish we could do...

Next we stopped where they filmed "From Here to Eternity" and watched for the blowhole below us, caused from pressure shooting the water high into the air through small fissures. We saw it a few times, but I was not able to catch it with the camera.

Throughout the day our guide showed us homes of the rich and famous: Jim Nabors (high on a hill overlooking the ocean), Bill Gates (gated), Tom Selleck (pink) and a home that once belonged to Elvis Presley. I was amused by it all--it reminded me of the Hollywood tours I have heard about...

We stopped at the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, where 400 Oahu warriors jumped off the cliff to their deaths rather than become subjects of King Kamehameha I when he sought to unite the tribes of the Hawaiian Islands in the 1700s.

The bus stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation, where we walked around and had a cup of coffee. There was not enough time to take the train tour or walk through the pineapple maze.

There were articles in the local newspaper about 10 foot waves on Oahu's north shore a couple of days ago, but when we got there we found it much calmer. Warnings were posted, but there were quite a few surfers out there riding the waves, which were about 6' high today.

We arrived at the Polynesian Cultural Center around lunchtime. We paid for the tour and the PCC admission, luau, and show when we booked the trip last night.

Dianne and I both felt as if we were led astray.... this was listed as a "don't miss" attraction, and we thought we were at Disney World South Pacific Style. The banana tree was real, but the rest was staged. And all for the Mormon Church! I guess I should have read the fine print! There is a branch of Brigham Young University here, and this park was created to provide employmen to the students.

But we were here for the afternoon, so we walked around and saw the presentations for all the different islands--Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, etc. There was an outrigger similar to those used by the ancient people of the South Pacific islands. We learned about navigating on the ocean before even the simplest instruments were invented.

All the presentations shut down at 2:30 for the show on the water--flatbed boats were poled down the canal and each island group demonstrated its music and dance.

Then we attended the Samoa presentation, which was very entertaining. The young man you see below is holding a burning coconut, which he lit from a fire he made rubbing two sticks together right in front of us. He told us of life on Samoa in the drollest manner....

And then a couple of young men climbed a palm tree to retrieve coconuts.

We were promised a luau, but it was not exactly what we expected... there were about 500 people in our building, and the food was set up on a buffet. There was live entertainment on a stage, and we were all given leis when we entered the building.

The live show after the luau, "Ha, the Breath of Life" was superbly done and immensely entertaining, complete with fire dancers and volcanos spouting fire into the open sky. What a day!

No comments: